PART 2 -YEA OR NAY?
Letters to the editor were common, it seems so many wanted a say about the right or wrong aspect of convict marriages. There seemed to be more opposition to women convicts being married other than to fellow convicts.
A notice in the following NSW Government Gazette set out the rules as decided at that time...1939
New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW / 1832 - 1900), Wednesday 8 May 1839 (No.414)
The following year the discussions continued...
Convict marriages - opinion of Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (NSW / 1838 - 1841), Friday 14 February 1840, page 2
CONVICT MARRIAGES -
By the new regulations, masters, or mistresses who allow their assigned servants to marry, may still retain them in their service, as the marriage does not authorise either the husband to claim the wife, or the wife to claim the husband; nor do these regulations warrant the masters of convict servants in transferring the one party to the other, without the Governor’s permission; which in future is only to be granted to those who can prove to His Excellency, that they are worthy off the indulgence. We consider these new regulations extremely salutary, as regards convict discipline. Marriage is not forbidden, but can no longer be used as a cloak for bad purposes.
These convict women hardly seem to warrant any negativity...
Convict Esther Abrahams
Image/ convict 'first lady' Esther Abrahams (courtesy State Library of NSW).jpg
Convict Mary Reiby
Letter written by Reibey to her aunt Penelope Hope. Written from on board the ship the day after arriving in Botany Bay, Sydney on 8 October 1792
In Public Domain
The 'discussion' went on...
Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (NSW / 1848 - 1859), Saturday 24 March 1855, page 4
Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News ..
click to enlarge..
5 Jun 1857 nla.news-article2930037.2
Letter to the Editor re female convicts
Convict: Sarah Leadbeater (c.1800) was tried in 1799 and sentenced to transportation for seven years. She later married explorer William Lawson.
However, no matter what the public opinion was, or what the various editors and 'would be guardians of the community' had to say, marriages between convicts and other members of the community continued. They mostly went on to lead normal lives in the community, becoming valued and respectable citizens.
For that I am truly grateful, as I am one of hundreds of descendants
of convict couple, Robert Hobbs and Bridget Heslin.
You can read some of their story here...
Bridget Eslin Ship's List.."Sugar Cane" 1793