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The London convict maid
Bib ID 6328307
Format BookBook, OnlineOnline [text, sheet]
Online Versions
Description [London] : Birt Printer, [circa 1830] 
1 sheet : illustration ; 26 x 19 cm 

A transportation broadside with an anonymous ten verse ballad inspired by Charlotte W., a London servant girl sentenced to seven years' transportation for robbing her master in order to marry her lover. It is illustrated with a vignette woodcut portrait above a half column introduction, which states that the poem is based on a letter sent from 'Hobart Town' by Charlotte to her mother, although in the fifth verse of the poem the judge tells her: "To Botany Bay you will be conveyed, / For seven years a Convict Maid."--Adapted from Douglas Stewart Fine Books Catalogue, August 2013.


"Charlotte W---, the subject of this narrative, is a native of London, born of honest parents, she was early taught the value and importance of honesty and virtue; but unhappily ere her attaining the age of maturity, her youthful affections were placed on a Young Tradesman, and to raise money to marry her lover, she yielded to the temptation to rob her master, and his property being found in her possession, she was immediately apprehended, tried at the Old Bailey Sessions, convicted and sentenced to seven years transportation. On her arrival at Hobart Town, she sent her mother a very affecting and pathetic letter, from which the following verses have been composed, and they are here published by particular desire, in the confident hope that this account of her sufferings will serve as an example to deter other females from similar practices."--Introduction.


"Birt Printer, 3 Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials".

Caption title.

First stanza reads: "Ye London maids attend to me, / While I relate my misery, / Thro' London streets I oft have stray'd, / But now I am a Convict Maid."

F/Broadside N114 copy also available online

A version of the same ballad with variant title (The Convict Maid), printed in Birmingham by Jackson and Son, probably in the 1820s, is held in the collection of the Monash University Library. Facsimiles of four slightly different versions of The London Convict Maid produced by other British provincial printers and held in U.K. libraries are reproduced in Ron Edwards' The Convict Maid: early broadsides relating to Australia (1985).

Ingleton, Geoffrey C. True patriots all, or, News from early Australia as told in a collection of broadsides (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1952), pages 165 & 271, note 115.

Source of Acquisition National Library of Australia's copy from the collection of of Australian bibliophile, Harry Hodges. 
Cited In

Ferguson, J.A. Bibliography of Australia, 1376.

Subjects Ballads, English -- Australia -- Texts.  |  Australian poetry.  |  Convicts -- Poetry.  |  Australia -- Poetry.  |  Australian
Other authors/contributors Hodges, Harry Gordon, former owner
Also Titled

Convict maid

Exhibited National Library of Australia's copy exhibited: “Treasures Gallery”, National Library of Australia, 20a May to November 2020. 

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Details Collect From
F/Broadside N114
Copy: N (pbk)
Special Collections Reading Room
In Use: Treasures Gallery Exhibition

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