The George Town Female Factory was established in 1822, to house female convicts in the north of Van Diemen's Land.
Women went there to be assinged as domestic servants, or when they were pregnant or sentenced to punishment. Scores of women passed through the Factory in its dozen years of operation. It closed in 1834, when a second factory was opened in the new northern capital, Launceston.
This book tells the stories of 31 convicts who spent time at the George Town Factory. They ranged from women who spent brief periods there to other more rebellious convicts who paid ten, twelve or more visits, and were punished by solitary confinement, hard labour, having their hair cut off or having to wear a heavy iron collar. Four convicts actively revolted, destroying the cells in which they were confined and breaking spinning wheels.
The 22 authors tell vivid stories of the lives of these women, 5 authors are descendants of the convict women. They see them not just as convicts but as great-great-grandmothers, as part of their families, adding a different dimension to their stories.
The book is the fourth in the series - Cascades, Ross and Launceston - all available at The Watch House. The book was edited by well known author Alison Alexander with members of the local George Town and District Historical Society having input into the publication.