Here’s a couple of memos from the overseer at the Cascade Female Factory in Hobart (which was the city women’s gaol by 1858, but with the same name).


Cascade Factory
10 Sept 1858

Sir

I have the honor to bring under your notice that the Soldiers are constantly prowling about the Hill in the rear of the Buildings passing signs and calling the prisoners by name, and when ordered away by the Constables, they only laugh at them & tell them to mind their own business — This morning three Soldiers and a female name Isabella Black a TL holder were on the Hill behind the Buildings making Signs & calling to the Women in the Wash yard, & it was with the greatest difficulty that the Officers could keep order I was compelled to go myself and order them off — When the Constable spoke to the Woman the Soldier threatened to knock him over if he interfered I therefore beg leave to request that you will give the necessary direction to prevent occurrences of this kind as it is utterly impossible for discipline to be maintained in this Establishment if such irregular Conduct is permitted.

I have the honor to be
Sir
yr most obedt Serv
R Atkins


The second memo:

Cascade Factory
10 Sept 1858

Isabella Back D North

Sir

I have the honor to bring under your notice that the Ticket of Leave Holder aforenamed was this Morning in company with 3 Soldiers on the Hill behind the Washyard calling out to the prisoners etc & when spoken to by the Constable she abused him & called him most improper names — As she is a very bad character, and a frequenter of Brothels I beg leave to recommend that she be ordered not to reside in Hobart Town

I have the honor to be
Sir
Your most obedt
R Atkins


This is her:


(State Library of Tasmania)

Seems she had a habit of not being where she should be (absconding). It seems she was absent at the time of this incident too. She was ordered “Not to reside in the district of Hobart” and had her Ticket of Leave revoked.

And here she is:

Absconding Isabella Black, who,, was charged, by Detective Bryon, with absconding from Oatlands on the 3rd instant, and remaining at large until the 28th. Bryon informed the Bench that the prisoner was in company with Matthew West, a well known thief, and that he had great difficulty in getting her to the watch-house. She was sentenced to six months imprisonment with hard labor.
Hobart Town Daily Mercury, 30 September 1858

I’m not sure what happened to her after that. Looks like she was in Launceston district when she recived her Free Certificate, but there seem to be more than one person of that name in the towner then. She doesn’t seem to have married, officially.

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