Norfolk Island during the Second Settlement (1825-1855)

Reg Wright BE, BA, MEng Sc.

During the Second Settlement (1825-1855), life for transportees was very difficult and was planned to be so since Norfolk Island was a penitentiary. There were no female convicts, and the only women allowed on the island were the handful of wives and daughters of the civilian and military officers; they were even excluded for a period. There were no women to abuse during the Second Settlement.

By contrast, the First Settlement (1788-1814) had no penitentiary (although Bucky Jones said otherwise) and the convicts lived in individual or shared huts, often with their wives/partners and families. In June 1804 the Norfolk Island population of 1086 included 569 men, 184 women and 333 children. These figures included the 200 male and 40 female convicts. Only 12 of the female convicts were On the Stores, while the remainder supported themselves or were being supported by a partner. By 1805 there were 10 convict women On the Store who were associated with a group of 10 children, while 13 of the 24 female convicts who then remained Off the Store controlled some 40 children. While the First Settlement during Foveaux's period as Lieutenant Governor may not have been a democratic republic, it was certainly not as bad as described by Bucky Jones in his Recollections.

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