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FEMALE EMIGRATION

 

The following appeared in  the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, the newspaper with the widest distribution in the County, on  6 September 1834. It appears to be a genuinely informative piece designed to entice more single women to make the journey to Australia but it is, in fact, an elaborate advert  setting out the advantages a woman would experience if she went - instant marriage, a lovely home, protection on the journey and a beautiful future. Above all, it painted a rosy picture designed to attract the hard-working female servant ground down in this country by the unremitting  drudgery of housework and cooking  - this future could be hers for an outlay of just £3! In spite of the promise of Australia, if you read this closely, you will see the women would be taken to Hobart in what is now Tasmania - some distance away, but hey, what can you expect for £3?

 

FEMALE EMIGRATION

The most satisfactory accounts have been received of the success which has attended those females who have hitherto placed themselved under the Emigration Committee; they have been safely and comfortably settled in Sydney and other parts of the Colony of Australia.

 

The Committee have fitted out a fine ship of five tone burthen, which will sail from the Thames for Hobart Town in Van Dieman's Land, on the 16th of October next, which holds out an excellent opportunity for all single young women of industrious habits and good character, who are desitious of endeavouring to better their condition in a distant land, but under the English Government.

 

The Committee have been very cautious in the description of young women thus brought among them and are desirious to co-operate in promoting the emigration thither of females of industrious habits and of good morals and religious character; to such, the Committe can truly affirm the change from thisr condition in England to the comfortable situations they are at once sure to obtain, cannot but prove highly advantageous and those who persevere in a right course, not only in time obtain liberal wages, but may lool forward in a country where the disparity between the sexes is so great, to marry under circumstances of respectability and comfort far beyond what they can hope for in the crowded population of Great Britain.

 

The Committee particularly recommend servants accustomed to the duties of a farm hosue in England to emigrate to these Colonies, the Colonial farmers being in great want of young women of steady industrious habits to fill situations in their families: house maids and servants-of-all work too are much in demand; indeed all who proceed with a determination to conduct themselves with indeustry and propriety are ceratin to do well in these prosperous and delightful Colonies.

 

The cost of the passage, with the assitance of the Government, is only £3 each and the climate of the Colony is most salubrious. Females sent out by the Committee will be taken care of on their first arrival at Hobart Town. They will  be informed on landing, of the various situations to be obtained, and of the wages offered and will be perfectly free to make their own choice; they will not be bound to any person, nor subjected to any restraint, but will be, to all intents and purposes, perfectly free to act and decide for themselves. Every person may confidently rely, that any statement to the contrary is utterly destitute of truth.

 

The Emigration Commission of 1831 - 32, was followed by the work of the London Emigration Committees of 1833 - 1836 and continued to promote lower-class female emigration throughout the 19th century. Each voyage was made under the personal supervision of a chaperone appointed by the Committee . Just 8 single women made the first subsidised trip to Tasmania. Sadly, we don't know their names or how many came from Devon - the remainder of the passengers were family groups.

 

Mealtime on an emigrant ship

Mealtime on an emigrant ship.

The main meal of the day was provided by the owner of the vessel to prevent the fire hazard of passengers lighting little stoves of their own all around the ship

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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