Skip to main content

Crime & punishment

Female transport

(27) Female transport

[NLS note: a graphic appears here - see image of page]



Come all you young girls both far and near, and listen unto me,
While unto you I do unfold, what proved my destiny ;
My mother died when I was young, it caused me to deplore,
That I did get my reins too soon upon my native shore.

Sarah Collins is my name, most dreadful is my fate,
My father reared me tenderly, the truth I do relate,
Till enticed to highway robbery, along with many more,
It led to my discovery upon my native shore.

My trial it approached fast, before the judge I stood, [blood—
And when the judge the sentence pass'd, it fairly chilled my
Crying you must be transported for fourteen years or more,
And go hence, across the seas unto Van Dieman's shore.

It hurt my heart when on a coach I pass'd my native town,
To see so many I did know, it made me heave a sigh ;
Then to a ship was sent with speed, along with many more,
Whose aching hearts did grieve to go unto Van Dieman's shore

The sea was rough, ran mountain's high, with us poor girls was
No friend but God ever us come nigh, no one did us regard,
At length alas we reached the land, it grieved us ten time more,
That wretched place Van Diemen's Land, far from our native

They chained us two by two and whip'd and lash'd along,
They cut off our provisions if we did the least thing wrong,
They march us in the burning sun until our feet are sore,
So hard our lot now we are got upon Van Dieman's shore.

We labour hard from morn to night until our bones do ache,
And every one they must obey, their mould beds must make,
We often wish when we lay down, we ne'er may rise no more,
To meet our savage governors upon Van Dieman's shore.

Every night when I lay down, I wash my straw with tears,
While wind upon that horrid shore doth whistle in our ears,
Those dreadful beasts upon that land around our cots do roar,
Most dismal is our doom upon Van Dieman's shore.

Come all young men and maidens do bad company forsake,
If tongue can tell our overthrow, it would make your heart to
You girls I pray be ruled by me, your wicked ways give o'er,
For fear like us you spend your days upon Van Dieman's shore.

                           THE NEW



Come all you wild young fellows whereever you may be,
One moment give attention and listen unto me,
I'm a poor unhappy soul within these walls I lay,
My awful sentence is pronounc'd I'm bound for Botany Bay.

I was brought up in tenderness, my parents' fond delight,
They never could be happy but when I was in their sight,
They nourish'd my tender years and oft to me would say,
Avoid all evil company lest they lead you astray.

My parents bound me 'prentice all in fair Lancashire,
Unto a linen draper, the truth you soon shall hear,
I bore an excellent character, my master loved me well,
Till in a harlot's company how fatal ly I fell.

In the greatest splendour I maintained this lofty dame,
For when my substance I had spent, she treated me with
She said go rob your master, he has riches in great store,
If money you don't bring me, pray see my face no more.

To her bad advice I did give way, then to my master went,
To plunder him of what I could, it was my full intent,
Of costly robes and money too I took as you shall hear,
All from the kindest master, to me he did appear.

The next robbery I did commit, 'twas on a gentleman,
Now full five hundred sovereigns he placed in my hand,
I was taken for this sad deed and to prison sent straightway,
The harlot now forsook me in my extremity.

The awful assizes did draw nigh, before them I must stand,
My prosecutor swore to me I was the very man,
To see my aged parents dear, they bitterly did cry,
Now must we with a bleeding heart part with our darling boy

My master and my aged friends as they stood in the hall,
What floods of tears they shed for me whilst for mercy they
did call,
The cruel judge no mercy showed but unto me did say,
My youth you are transported for life to Botany Bay.

The day before I set sail as I lay in my cell,
My parents dear they came to me to take their last farewell,
Down on my bended knees their blessing I did crave,
My tender parents this alas will bring you to the grave.

My mother swooned in my arms with sorrow and despair,
My father's heart oppressed with grief he tore his aged hair,
What floods of tears were shed for me like drops of morning
dew,                                                                  [we do.
No words could they pronounce to me, but son what shall

Now of my native country I must take my last farewell,
The grief I feel within my breast I'm sure no tongue can tell
Young men advice and warning take, mind what your parents
Avoid all harlot's company lest you go to Botany Bay.

               Walker, Printer, Durham.

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence