Edges of Empire Biographical Dictionary

of Convict Women from beyond the British Isles


Edited by Lucy Frost and Colette McAlpine


Who would have thought that a slave in British Hondurus would end up as a female convict in Van Diemen’s Land? Or that two cousins, the oldest aged 12, would be transported from their native Mauritius all the way to New South Wales? And why was a French-born woman with the extravagant name Emme Felicite Gabrielle Chardonez Mallohomme sentenced at London’s Old Bailey to transportation for life?


Edges of Empire is a Biographical Dictionary offering accounts of many of these convicts among nearly 200 others who were tried or born outside the British Isles. All were transported to the Australian colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land between 1788 and 1853. Their life stories have been tracked from numerous sources around the world, sometimes in detail and sometimes with the merest trace of their existence. The contributors to the Biographical Dictionary are researchers of the Female Convicts Research Centre, based in Hobart, Tasmania. For more information go to: http://www.femaleconvicts.org.au.


In addition to the Biographical Dictionary, which includes all the women for whom information has become available,  the more in-depth and comprehensive study, From the Edges of Empire: Convict Women from beyond the British Isles, is available in paperback from Convict Women’s Press Inc.



Feature Story:

Williams, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Williams (1813?-1854)

by Colin Tuckerman


Elizabeth Williams was born in Ceylon. She had lived with John Bradford in for ten years and had five children with him, only one of whom was still alive. In 1848, she was arrested for stabbing Bradford and was sentenced at the Worcester Assize to 15 years’ transportation.

She sailed on the Stately with 162 other women and 16 children, arriving in Hobart on 2 September 1849. She married John Green, a carpenter, at Longford in the Wesleyan Church on 28 August 1852. They had one child, also named John, born on 1 February 1853.

Elizabeth died one year later on 12 April 1854 at their home at William St, Launceston.  The cause of death was given as heart disease.

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© 2016 Convict Women's Press Inc.