Care and control: female convict transportation voyages to Van Diemen's Land, 1818-1853

Ian Brand, Mark Staniforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


"Crime, as Michael Ignatieff suggests, was one means by which the poor rebelled against the constraints of the existing social order. In recent years historians have extensively examined crime and punishment which has proved to be a rich subject area in which to conduct analysis which reflects on modern European society's experimentation with methods of social control. One approach believed that incarceration was insufficient and that British society needed to be permanently rid of the criminal element, preferably as far away as was geographically possible. This paper will examine aspects of the living conditions experienced by female convicts during their voyages to Van Diemen's Land (VDL) in the period 1818 to 1853 and will discuss the qualifications and experience of the male surgeon-superintendents who were responsible for both the care, as well as the control, of these women."
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-42
Number of pages20
JournalThe Great Circle
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Surgeons
  • Criminals
  • Women
  • Prisons
  • Navies
  • Convict ships
  • Diaries
  • Prisoners


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