London Female Convicts of Westminster

Country: England

Region (County/State / Province): Greater London


Contact: Jodie Hawthorne

Study Description 

This is Australian Convict Research – London’s first project. The title of our One-Place Study is ‘Transported Female Convicts of Westminster’. It will focus on female convicts transported to Australia during the convict transportation era (1787 – 1868) who were born in or lived in Westminster at the time of conviction. The aim of the project is to capture a snapshot of transported female convicts from a particular place, in this case, Westminster in London, England.

During the British convict transportation era, around 165,000 convicts were forcefully transported on board hundreds of ships to Australian colonies. The convicts were mainly made up of English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish criminals. Of these convicts, approximately 23,000 or one in seven, were female, and the majority were sent to Van Diemen’s Land/Tasmania or lutruwita. So far we have identified around 80 female convicts from Westminster; most were transported to Van Diemen’s Land.

There are three main parts to the project. (1) Research assistants are collecting data on the female convicts of Westminster parishes as listed on the Digital Panopticon and other online databases. A case study/biographical profile will be produced for each female convict. (2) The profiles will be displayed alongside complementary multimedia props at various TBA locations around London (predominately Westminster) and possibly in Australia. (3) The data collected from online databases will be broken down and analysed together with more nuanced results added from the completed profiles. From this, we will then create a statistical snapshot of the transported female convicts of Westminster. The final aim is to publish the findings on a website, as a research paper and/or book.

We hope that our project will promote understanding of the British convict transportation era, raise awareness of the plight of Australian convicts during that period, whilst also acknowledging the impact of colonisation of Australia on Aboriginal peoples through the displacement of such a large number of English citizens. We are hoping that our study will be replicated to capture snapshots of convicts from other places.

Digital Panopticon –
Female Convicts Research Centre –


1787 – 1868


80+ female convicts

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In-Depth Report

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