Norah Welsh

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
26 May 1837

A woman named NORAH WELSH, assigned to MR. HAZLEHURST, absconded from her master’s premises on Wednesday morning. Mrs. H. appeared at the Police-office to give evidence to the fact of her absconding, and said that WELSH had been for some time in her service, and was an useful and valuable servant, in consideration of which, and her extreme kindness to the children, she had treated her more as a sister than as a servant; but she had been informed that the woman had been solicited by a lady residing at Woolloomooloo to do something in consequence of which she should be sent to the factory, that she might obtain her as a servant, and had promised her very extravagant remuneration. She thought from the place where was apprehended by the constable (on the race-course), that she had absconded solely in consequence of those promises and requests. Mrs. H. said she would take her back if she was satisfied to return to her service, but COL. WILSON informed her that the woman had no option in the matter, it rested solely with herself if she would take her back or not. NORAH was sentenced to be confined and worked in the third class for one month, and to be returned to her service.

We were in hopes that with the change of keepers a change of system had taken place in the female factory at Parramatta, and that the time had passed when refractory and idle servants would prefer confinement within its walls rather than be in the assigned service of private individuals. We have been told that the present is much more efficient than was the late management, but the frequent instances which have recently come under our notice of women absconding from places in which they have not been more than a week assigned, would force on us the notice that something more is yet wanting than the increased severity of the discipline in the Parramatta establishment. Take Wednesday for instance; we were one hour in the Police Officer, when three cases of absconding came before the Bench, the longest period which either of them had been in the service from which they had absconded was one month; the second one week; and the third four days. The cause of these desertions would be worth inquiring into. Does any means yet exist of avoiding the sentences passed upon the women by the Sydney Bench?—Reporter.


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