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A study of middle-class female emigration from Great Britain, 1830-1914 Hammerton, Anthony James 1968

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A STUDY OF MIDDLE-CLASS FEMALE EMIGRATION FROM GREAT BRITAIN, 1830 - 191U by ANTHONY JAMES HAMMERTON B,A., Sir George Williams University, 19&k A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in the Department of History ¥e accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January, 1968 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o lumbia, I a g r e e t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and Study. I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s thes.is f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f H i s t o r y .  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date January 17, 19&<$ i i ABSTRACT The plight of the impecunious unmarried gentlewoman is a familiar theme in Victorian social history. Historians have ransacked literary sources to demonstrate the misery of the Victorian governess and the depth of a dilemma that was sufficiently serious to generate the feminist movement. let there has been no systematic study of the changing fate of the Victorian "distressed gentlewoman" in the face of a l l the attempts by reformers and philanthropists to improve her position during the nine-teenth century. The problem of writing a social history of the Victorian middle-class spinster has been aggravated by the paucity of appropriate sources. This study is based on the records of contemporary female emigration soc-ieties and Colonial Office emigration projects, and on the personal cor-respondence of some emigrants. It investigates the position of distressed gentlewomen from 1830 to 191U. and explains the results of one popular remedy for their dilemma: emigration. Only in the latter half of the nineteenth century did voluntary organizations establish facilities ex-pressly for the emigration of middle-class women. Yet some early-Victor*-ian gentlewomen were sufficiently hard pressed to use the facilities of working-class organizations to escape from difficult circumstances in Britain. The emigration records permit a closer analysis of the social backgrounds and careers of some Victorian gentlewomen than has hitherto been possible. i i i Throughout the nineteenth century in Britain there was an increase ing surplus of women of marriageable age. This intensified the problems of middle-class women who were without any means of financial support. The Victorian social code stressed marriage as the most respectable car-eer for women, and for those unable to achieve that status the employment field was confined, in large measure, to the overcrowded and exploited occupation of the governess. For women with only mediocre qualifications for teaching who were accustomed to the relative leisure of the middle-class home the need to find employment could come as a rude shock, and usually involved a certain loss of caste. The economic problems of dis-tressed gentlewomen are familiar, but i t is not generally recognized that many of them suffered from what we today call alienation. Emigration, more than any possible occupation in Britain, was able to alleviate this sense of alienation by providing remunerative work in combination with secure social relations, a combination rarely enjoyed by the working gentlewoman in Britain. In the British colonies a gentle-woman could safely become a domestic servant without losing social rank and the companionship of her employers. Yet several factors prevented large numbers of distressed gentlewomen from taking advantage of emigration. The early-Victorian prejudice against female emigration, the preference of the colonists for working-class women, the rigid principles of the fem-inists and the insistence of British emigration organizations on expensive preliminary domestic training raised formidable barriers against the emi-gration of most impecunious gentlewomen. When, in the late-Victorian and iv Edwardian periods, voluntary organizations used the rhetoric of the Victorian feminine civilizing mission to encourage large numbers of edu-cated women to emigrate, i t was well-trained lower-middle-class women seeking professional work who benefited most, and not the less qualified distressed gentlewomen. The latter had not profited from the late-Victor-ian advances in female education; rather, the resulting competition wor-sened their relative position in the search for employment. Neither emi-gration nor the achievements of the feminists could solve the problem of the distressed gentlewoman, a problem which remained acute while the Victorian social code survived. Only the decline of that social code and the mass-mobilization of the female labour force during the First World War eliminated the existence of distressed gentlewomen as an important social problem. TABLE OF CONTENTS v PAGE Abstract i i List of Tables v i Acknowledgement v i i INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I. THE PROBLEM OF THE VICTORIAN GENTLEWOMAN 12 II. THE STEREOTYPE OF FEMALE EMIGRATION 5l IH. THE PIONEERS: EARLY VICTORIAN EMIGRANTS 101 IV. A CASE STUDY: MARY TAYLOR IN NEW ZEALAND '130 V. THE EARLY 'FIFTIES: VOLUNTARY EFFORT AND THE NEW IMAGE OF EMIGRATION l6U VI. FEMINISM AND FEMALE EMIGRATION, 1861-1885 220 VII. THE •HOME-HELP* s SOCIAL CLASS AND INCENTIVES TO FEMALE EMIGRATION, 1880-19114. 263 VT.H. CONCLUSION 328 BIBLIOGRAPHY . 338 APPENDICES 358 v i LIST OF TABLES TABLE PAGE 1. Females per 1,000 males, England and Wales 20 2. Excess of Males and Females, England and Wales, l86l . . . . 21 3. Middle-Class Age at Marriage, 181*0-1870 . . 23 U. Selected Former Occupations of Lunatics Compared to Total of each Occupation in Population, England and Wales, 1861 . . . 27 5. Great Britain (excluding Ireland): Putatively Middle-Class Occupations for Women, l85l 3k 6. Female Emigrants Assisted to Canada by B.W.E.A., 1906-12; . , 321* 7. Adult Female Emigrants from Great Britain, 1899-1911 . . . . 325 ACMOWLEDGEMENT v i i I owe a debt of gratitude to a number of people for their valuable help during the preparation of this thesis. Dr. James Winter, with his patient and painstaking criticism, was a constant source of fruitful ideas and moral support. Professor John Norris also offered useful criticism and advice. Mrs. Winifred Gerin suggested some profitable avenues of inquiry into the family background of Mary Taylor, and Dr. Joan Stevens of the Victoria University of Wellington helped to clarify some obscure details regarding Mary Taylor's New Zealand experience. I derived con-siderable help and insight from frequent discussions with Mrs. Barbara Frankle, who is completing a kindred study of Victorian concepts of gen-t i l i t y at the University of Wisconsin. To Seymour Mayne, Canadian poet and student of Canadiana, I am indebted for his suggestions regarding Susanna Moodie and other pioneering female authors in Canada. Miss Vera Douie and Miss M. Surry of the Fawcett Library, Westminster, were most co-operative in helping me to trace some records of the late-Victorian emigration societies. The Earl of Pembroke kindly allowed me access to the Herbert papers on female emigration at Wilton House, Salisbury. I am obliged to Miss Sheila Foster for typing most of the final draft at considerable personal sacrifice. My research was made possible by gen-erous financial support from the Canada Council. IHTRODUCTION A standard feature of the long Victorian era was the unmarried and invariably umarriageable "distressed gentlewoman.w Her chief chara-cteristics are familiar: brought up for a l i f e of cultured leisure, in some cases suffering from "too much leisure," 1 she was suddenly faced with the need to earn an independent living with the use of her super-f i c i a l "accomplishments," music, drawing, dancing and a smattering of French. Her only possible employment was that of the governess, an overcrowded profession i n which most members were ill-qualified, exploit-ed and downtrodden. 6. M. Young spoke both for contemporary fiction and recent historical treatment when he described the governess, "snubbed, bullied and usually quite incompetent,tt as a "standby of Victorian path-2 os." W. L. Burn recently described the dependent daughter as "one of the fundamentals on which the Victorian home was based. "^ Equally, i t is true that the impoverished single daughter was a nagging reminder of certain deficiencies i n the Victorian social system, a disturbing indic-ation that the wealthy and all-powerful middle-class was yet unable to preserve the status of its overprotected women. Although she is a familiar figure the distressed gentlewoman has ^G. M. Trevelyan, English Social History, (London, 19l£), p. 1*88. ^G. J J # Young, Victorian England, Portrait of an Age. (London, 1953, Second edition), p. 90, W^. L. Bum, The Age of Equipoise. A study of the mid-Victorian  Generation, (first published London I96I4., New York, 196f?)» p. 2J>1. " 2. yet to be made the subject of systematic historical or sociological analysis. Many writers have ransacked literary sources—most notably mid-Victorian novels—to produce vivid descriptions of the daily l i f e of the governess.^ Historical works on feminism have demonstrated that the economic plight of the Victorian gentlewoman was a major factor in the origins of the "women's movement.'* What we lack is a composite view of the problems faced throughout the nineteenth century by the rank and f i l e of distressed gentlewomen and of the response of prominent groups in society towards their problems. Most accounts based on literary sources tend to assume that the problem of the gentlewoman was an essentially mid-Victorian one, and that i t tended to fade away with the establish-ment of "fee "women's movement.^ It takes l i t t l e study to show that, on the contrary, the problems of the impoverished gentlewoman persisted up to the First World War, and that one of the f i r s t questions posed by a systematic enquiry should be why nearly a l l her problems remained imper-vious to a l l the reforms of the nineteenth century. How did various re-formers react to and ameliorate this nagging social problem? It is difficult to answer these questions i f one intends to look beyond the customary well-researched literary sources. These sources made exhaustive use of the distressed gentlewoman and governess. Novels hsee especially W. F. Neff, Victorian Working Women. (London. 1929), K. West, Chapter of Governesses, (London, 19h9), and B. Howe, Galaxy of Governesses, (London, J95UJ. ~" $Neff, op. ci t . . pp. 181-3. from Jane Austen to the Brontes s t i l l remain valuable sources for insight into the dilemma of frustrated gentlewomen* But l i t t l e non-literary mat-erial exists which could constitute a systematic body of sources to ex-amine the problems of these women throughout the century. It i s at this point that the question of female emigration becomes relevant. Middle-class women In need of employment turned hesitantly to-wards emigration as a final resort during the nineteenth century. The emigration of respectable spinsters, however impoverished, was a contro-versial and hazardous venture which provoked strong disagreements among interested Victorians. It struck at the roots of a major Victorian pre-occupation with the ideals, beliefs and expectations of genteel English womanhood. A study of the evolution of female emigration can therefore shed light on the reaction of various groups to the Victorian gentle-woman and her vexing problems. How, for example, did the politicians, the c i v i l servants, the philanthropists and the feminists react to the impecunious spinster who contemplated emigration? How, also, did the colonies respond to the sudden arrival of such apparently unprepared misfits? By the mid-nineteenth century the term 'middle-class,* although s t i l l a meaningful distinction, comprised a wide cross-section of sub-classes with diverse social backgrounds and degrees of wealth. The in-numberable popular and literary studies of Victorian gentlewomen have done l i t t l e to distinguish between the effect of various social changes i n the nineteenth century on women from each of these sub-classes. Ex-cept for a few prominent individuals we know l i t t l e of the social back-grounds and subsequent careers of the f i r s t students to attend Queen's College and Bedford College at mid-century; nor, more important, do we know how these f i r s t steps in female educational reform affected the mass of excluded women who could not take advantage of the new opportunities. How, for example, did the borderline lower-middle-class woman and the more gently-nurtured, but impoverished, spinster fare in the face of late-Victorian higher teaching standards wrought by the improved teacher-training of a minority?^ This is the kind of question for which l i t t l e direct evidence exists. The emigration sources, however, can be used indirectly to provide answers. It would be useful, for example, to know which middle-class women were most driven to the outlet of emigration, and what conditions i n Britain motivated them. Did the late-Victorian reforms i n female education and the consequent rise in teaching standards cause more poorly educated women to turn to emigration, and i f so what were their social origins? Finally, how do the colonial careers of mid-dle-class emigrants—their improvement or otherwise—illuminate the nat-ure of their previous social position in Britain? Fortunately the re-cords of some female emigration organizations contain enough data, i n the form of statistics and correspondence, to attempt some answers to these questions. In no case i s there a massive and systematic body of The otherwise useful study of female education by J. Kamm, Hope  Deferred; Girls' Education in English History. (London, 1965), evades this type of question; like other modern studies i t operates primarily within an institutional framework. quantifiable material, but there i s sufficient to make some reliable gen-eralizations. The emigration sources also permit a fresh examination of Victor-ian feminism. Emigration i s one of those social movements which imping-ed on the feminist movement at many points. Nearly a l l the factors which prompted an interest i n female emigration also stimulated the wider move-ment for female emancipation at home. The chronic disproportion between the sexes which produced a visible reserve army of unmarried, unemployed and "redundant" women was a convincing argument for either a massive scheme of assisted emigration or a long-range plan to admit women to pre-serves of masculine employment. The a l l too obvious fact that most of the superfluous unemployed women in Britain were middle-class meant that both feminists and female emigration promoters oriented their campaigns primarily to women of that class. Furthermore, the feminists themselves turned at one point to emigration as a means to alleviate the pressure in Britain for female employment. Female emigration, however, raised a number of questions on marriage, education and employment which were cal-culated to conflict with the principles of the more ideological femin-ists. Their practical resolution of these questions, makes clear the feminist attitude towards emigration and does much to explain the nature of feminist attitudes per se. A study of the emigration movement, there-fore, can serve as a useful vehicle to illuminate the feminist movement at some of i t s most sensitive and hitherto unexplored points. 6. A straightforward study of feminism has yet to provide this illum-ination. Despite the popularity of Victorian feminism in recent histori-ography almost none of the output has contributed to the social and in-tellectual history of the feminist movement. Until very lately most studies were l i t t l e more than biographies of the leading figures or chron-ological accounts of the path to emancipation, with the suffrage movement 7 and i t s success the inevitable climax. The most recent historical works have followed this well-trodden path, and historians seem to have aban-doned the entire f i e l d of the social history of the women's movement to sociologists.® The latter have made useful studies of, for example, the relationship between feminism and the rise of birth control and the fun-ction of the Victorian family i n relation to divorce legislation.? The institutional approach of the historians, on the other hand, has 7See, for example, R. Strachey, The Causet A Short History of the  Women's Movement in Great Britain, (London, 1928). A more recent example of the same basic approach is J. Kamm, Rapiers and Battleaxesj The Women's  Movement and its Aftermath, (London, 1966;. See also D. Mitchell, The  Fighting Pankhurstsj A Study i n Tenacity, (London, 1967). ^Recent studies of American feminism have made some useful contri-butions to intellectual and social history, notably A. S. Kraditor, The  Ideas of the Women Suffrage Movement. 1890-1920, (New York, 1965), and A. P. Grimes, The Puritan Ethic and Woman Suffrage, (New York, 19o7). By contrast the most recent English works lack any new perspective; M. Ramelson, The Petticoat Rebellion, (London, 1967), i s a combination of primitive Marxism and biographical material, and C. Rover, Women's Suf-frage and Party Politics in Britain. 1866-I91iu (London, 1967), while re-lating feminism to the contemporary political framework, does not inter-pret i t within any wider context. A. and 0. Banks, Feminism and Family Planning i n Victorian  England. (Liverpool, 19610? 0. R. McGregor, Divorce in England. (London. 1957). 7. elucidated thoroughly the growth, leadership and organization of the women's movement, but said virtually nothing about the women the femin-ists intended to help. Also, with very few exceptions, historians have treated the feminist movement in a vacuum, failing to relate i t to its social context and other social movements. This failing is due partly to the very nature of the feminist movement. Mary Wollstonecraft1 s feminism of the late eighteenth century was simply one inseparable aspect of the contemporary Utopian radicalism, but the women's movement of a century later was an independent issue quite unrelated to other movements for social reform. The Victorian and Edwardian feminists were middle-class leaders interested solely i n the problems of middle-class women. Most of their campaigns for education, employment and the suffrage were of a moderate and piecemeal nature which involved no fundamental restructuring of society; indeed, most feminists shrank from any suggestion of a change i n the wider social structure. There was no larger social movement with which they could associate, and they would have held aloof i n their middle-class gradualism even had there been one. Consequently there i s l i t t l e scope for historians of feminism to examine the subject within a wider progressive or revolut-ionary movement.10 •"'The fact that this general interpretation is very gradually be-coming the new conventional wisdom suggests that the state of feminist studies i s not as backward as i s here alleged. The new syntheses, how-ever, like that i n the general historical discussion of N. I. MacKenzie, Women i n Australia, (London, 1963), pp. 2-8, have preceded the more parti-cuiarazeci social analyses required to support them. 8. The lack of appropriate sources i s a further obstacle to deeper social analysis of the feminist movement, just as i t i s to an examination of the more general problem of the Victorian gentlewoman. At the admini-strative level historians have exhausted the material relating to the pol-icies, motivations and achievements of the various feminist organizations, but these sources can yield l i t t l e more insight unless they are supple-mented by other material relating to the ranks of middle-class women who were the objects of feminist exertions. The records of feminist organi-zations are sadly deficient i n this kind of material and what l i t t l e ex-ists has not been exploited. Most scholars, for example, rightly assume that feminist workers were interested solely in 'middle-class' women, but there has been no attempt to determine exactly which section of the middle-class benefitted most from their work. Since there i s no wider revolutionary or reform movement within which to examine feminism, future studies must examine i t not in a vacuum, but in relation to other contemporary developments. For example, the sociological study by J. A. and Olive Banks of the role of feminism in the rise of birth control also yielded important knowledge about feminist attitudes towards married women.11 Similarly, an enquiry into the femin-ists ' role i n female emigration can show how they f e l t about marriage and domestic service. The short-lived feminist flirtation with emigration during the 'sixties and 'seventies should help to clarify some basic feminist attitudes. It can also help to explain the impact of the 11Banks, op. c i t . 9. various feminist reforms in education and employment on different sub-classes of women. The emigration sources, although by no means exhaust-ive, do permit a deeper study of these questions than other material. The pertinent sources for a study of female emigration extend be-yond statistics, correspondence and material on the social backgrounds of emigrants to the propaganda employed by various emigration organiza-tions. By the early twentieth century the complex rhetoric used in sup-port of female emigration assumes almost as much prominence as the con-crete accomplishments of the movement itsel f . The rhetoric i s a key tool, therefore, in answering a central question posed by this study: whether i t s promoters conceived female emigration to be a conservative or progressive solution to the problems facing British women, and whether i t was, i n practice, what they conceived i t to be. It should not be surprising to find a considerable gulf between the rhetoric and the reality. Besides offering new material for the study of middle-class women and Victorian feminism, the phenomenon of female emigration also provides a novel perspective from which to view the massive emigration movement of the nineteenth century. The f i r s t formal attempts to organize female emigration schemes in the eighteen-thirties were made long before the beginnings of the Victorian feminist campaign. The i n i t i a l schemes were working-class in orientation, but they appealed to significant propor-tions of middle-class women. Furthermore, the chequered history of early and mid-Victorian female emigration i s itself a history, from an unusual 10. viewpoint, of the hesitant but wider development of middle-class emigra-tion in general. The dangerous and unsavoury reputation enjoyed by emi-gration in Britain during the eighteen-twenties changed to a more fav-ourable one over the subsequent thirty years; this change had important Implications for the future of 'genteel* female emigration, and, conver-sely, female emigration projects themselves contributed towards the moulding of a new image of emigration. Hence the growth and acceptance of middle-class female emigration from an early hostile stereotype can best be studied against the background of the changing emigration image between the 'thirties and 'fifties. It was the emergence in the 'fifties of female emigration as a respectable outlet for educated women which prepared the ground for the more extensive schemes of the feminists and their successors. The sources for this study are those of, or relating to, volun-tary emigration organizations, and, i n the second and third chapters, the emigration records of the Colonial Office. Wherever possible data relative to the lives of individual emigrants has been utilized, parti-cularly their correspondence; but where this is impossible, statistics, administrative records and related published sources add dimension. Since emigrants1 correspondence is less common for the early-Victorian period than later, a case study of one of the better known, although ad-mittedly untypical, emigrants of this period, Mary Taylor, is used to sharpen the general conclusions. The main virtue of Mary Taylor as an emigrant is the relative abundance of useful documentary sources. Her 11, close friendship from adolescence with Charlotte Bronte gave rise to a voluminous correspondence, much of which was destroyed; but those letters that survived provide a clear insight into her background, motivation and emigration experience. That experience has some important features in common with other female emigrants, but i t is more valuable as a guide to the social background of the most elusive type of female emi-grant for the historian, the independent woman who emigrated alone and without the assistance of voluntary organizations. Already assured of a comfortable livelihood, these women instead sought independence and challenge, and since they spurned a l l forms of paternal protection they left no trace of their experience in the records of an emigration agency. Mary Taylor's history does much to compensate for this deficiency. This study extends from the origins of the f i r s t formal attempt to organize an assisted female emigration scheme in the eighteen-thirties to the effective end of the old techniques of female emigration with the outbreak of war in 1911+. The period under review, a long one compared to that covered by most monographs, covers three different generations of women, and illustrates the most important factors of social change which affected women in each generation. Between 1830 and I91I4., however, there were some crucial factors in the lives of middle-class women which remained fairly constant; The opening chapter i s therefore an attempt to identify these common factors. 12. Chapter I The Problem of the Victorian Gentlewoman The picture of the revered, idle gentlewoman, cultivated i n man-ners and superficial accomplishments but shielded from the harsh reali-ties of politics, business and urban poverty, i s a familiar one to scholars of Victorian England. It is a notion which exerted powerful influence as a Victorian ideal and represented reality for countless middle-class women, whose place, married or single, unquestionably re-mained in the home.1 With a regular army of servants and appliances at her service, her concrete household functions were progressively reduced to insignificance i n the nineteenth century, and to replace them con-temporary theorists of "Woman1s mission" devised abstract ideals of noble refinement which at times reached positively majestic proportions. One of the peculiar offices of women i s to refine society. They are very much shielded by their sex from the stern duties of men, and from that intercourse with the basest part of mankind which i s opposed to the humanizing influence of mental cultivation. On them, the improvement of society in these respects chiefly depends.2 ^The term "middle-class", as used here, generally refers to the newly- affluent suburban classes of the nineteenth century, and i s most often determined by the father's occupation, which could range from minor clerk to barrister or industrialist. This broad frame of refer-ence i s realistic when discussing the Victorian woman, since the con-temporary ethic of the 'young lady' applied to a wide range of women ex-tending from the lower-middle to upper-middle-classes. Seme non-urban women like the daughters of country clergymen f a l l within this definit-ion, but in general the women under discussion here are those most af-fected by the progress of industrialization and urbanization. 2 J . G. Phi 11.1 more reviewing Woman's Rights and Duties "By a Woman,'' Blackwood's. Vol. .LTV, Sept. 1«U3, pp. 383-it. 13. Is this familiar picture an accurate one? Its unquestioned accep-tance suggests that i t may well be overdrawn and some qualification is un-doubtedly necessary before accepting the conventional view. The long schedule of household duties prescribed by Mrs. Beeton in her famous Book  of Household Management suggests that the female members of a middle-class family had l i t t l e time to spare after their daily rounds of house-hold supervision, child care and social obligations.^ Florence Nighting-ale, who belonged to an affluent upper-class family, found the assign-ment of supervising and taking inventory of the still-room, pantry and linen-room a taxing chore, much as she loathed i t s apparent f u t i l i t y . ^ For most women the daily routine may have brought a sense of purpose which could easily be lacking from a l i f e divorced from a l l the industr-i a l and commercial pursuits of society. On the other hand the most systematic enquiry to date suggests that after the middle of the century middle-class women came to enjoy an increasing amount of leisure which only a few put to constructive use.-* From the eighteen-fifties the %he amount of domestic chores could vary substantially depending on whether or not the family employed a housekeeper, in which case the housewife's role was reduced to one of supervising the housekeeper; s t i l l , for a l l Mrs. Beeton's diligence she was unable to find sufficient routine duties for more than a morning's work, and expected the afternoon to be devoted to social visiting; I. Beeton, Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household  Managementj (London, 1906, orig. published 1861), pp. 10-20. ~~ **C. Woodharaj-^ mith, Florence Nightingale. 1820-1910. (London, 1961, orig. published 1951), pp. 53-1*. **J. A. and Olive Banks, Feminism and Family Planning in Victorian England; the Banks further speculate that the drive and energy of the feminists was a result of their release from the "burden of domesticity," and of the tr i v i a l i t y and humiliation of leisured ladyhood, which both l i t . rapid rise i n the middle-class "standard of comfort" denoted a steady in-crease i n the average establishment of domestic servants, which, together with the advent of labour-saving appliances, curtailed many of the house-hold activities of most gentlewomen. J. A. and Olive Banks aptly des-cribed the effects of this change on the mistress of the house as trans-ition from "the perfect wife to the perfect lady," and while their de-scription of the idle gentlewoman as a status symbol may be exaggerated, i t is clear that female leisure did become more of a mark of status and respectability during the mid-Victorian period. The trend towards more leisure for the middle-class woman, a l -though rapidly accelerated during the nineteenth century, was certainly not new. For several centuries the wife's pre-industrial role of partner in her husband's business had been diminishing. By the seventeenth cen-tury, most writers agree, the middle-class woman's time was almost wholly taken up with homemaking, normally a demanding task even with a large company of servants.^ S t i l l , i n such matters of slow and fundamental stemmed from the mid-Victorian rising standard of living, pp. 10-13; for a more detailed analysis of the increasing "standard of comfort," see the earlier study by J. A. Banks, Prosperity and Parenthood, (London, 195k)9 chaps. 5-7, esp. pp. 101-2. ^A. Clark, Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth Century, (London, 1919), p. hi; C. Hole, The English Housewife in the Seventeenth  Century, (London, 1953), pp» 2-5$ the best account of the pre-industrial family is i n P. Arids, Centuries of Childhood, (transl. R. Baldick, London, 1962), 339-1+1 and passim; Ari6s' pre-industrial model of the six-teenth and seventeenth centuries cannot be taken as an accurate descript-ion of the contemporary English family, which probably evolved to indust-r i a l patterns more quickly, but his picture of the closely knit family, including servants and employees, i n which the wife was commonly regarded 15. change i t pays to be circumspect. The wife of Peter Laslett 1s seventeenth century master-baker was both a partner and a subordinate, "a partner be-cause she ran the family, took charge of the food and managed the women-servants, a subordinate because she was woman and wife, mother and i n place of mother to the rest.1* So long as apprentices, journeymen and servants resided on the premises and were regarded as part of the family, some vestiges of the woman's pre-industrial role remained, and i t was not uncommon for a widow to carry on the business after her husband's death. The major change for women only came with the separation of the dwelling-place from the entrepeneur's working-place, a change which, Laslett argues, was not a recognized feature of the seventeenth century social system. The greatest acceleration in the process by which home and working-place became separated occurred during the nineteenth century. The sub-urban movement strengthened the tendency of women to be completely de-tached from the affairs of the family business. H. J. Dyos shows in his study of Victorian Camberwell that the drift to new suburbs became well established at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and attracted as a necessary business partner, indicates the basic shift which indust-rialization wrought i n the woman's role. Laslett, The World We Have Lost. (London, 1965), pp. 1-lUj I. Pinchbeck, Women Workers and the Industrial Revolution. 1750-1850., (London, 1930), pp. 303-6, attributes the most crucial changes i n i n -dustrialization for women to the latter half of the eighteenth century. 16. prosperous new residents who travelled daily to the commercial metropolis for their employment.^ As transportation facilities improved the subur-ban movement gathered pace, and brought with i t the social and economic isolation of women. The rapid changes seemed so fundamental to those who lived through them that in 1869 a female reformer could argue that the old unity of family industry had only been destroyed i n the past forty years by the omnibus, steamboat and railway, creating "a state of things suggestive of monastic and conventual service without these enclosures."^ The virtues so enthusiastically assigned by the Victorians to their women were virtues of the suburban housewife with a family to breed, servants to supervise and a husband to c i v i l i z e . It has yet to be proved exactly how idle most middle-class women were in the nineteenth century, but the Banks' studies confirm the im-pression.which so much of the literature of the time conveys, that their idleness increased during the century, and that i t became an important mark of respectability, or, as Banks described i t , part of the "paraph-ernalia of gentility." Especially during the 'fifties and 'sixties as prosperity increased, and with i t the retinue of domestic servants and household appliances, the woman's former role of domestic housekeeper diminished. A constant round of social visits, fancy needlework, the °H. J. Dyos, Victorian Suburb. (Leicester, l?6l), pp. 31-7; cf. J. H. Clapham, An Bctoncimic History of England, Vol. I, 1820-50, (Cambridge, 1930J, pp. i»l-2. % r s . J. Stewart, The Missing Law; or Woman's Birthright, (London, I869), p. 13. 17. light morning routine of household supervision, tended to replace manual housework in the wealthy suburbs. The transition "from the perfect wife to the perfect lady" freed the middle-class woman from household drudgery, 10 but, i n return, frequently exacted a heavy psychological t o l l . The re-sulting pressure on so many Victorian women to live up to the noble ideal of the mission civilatrix contributed to their mental strain. The popular Victorian version of the feminine civilizing mission contributed to the trend towards a norm of ladylike inactivity. The high puritanical tone of middle-class society in early industrial England suited the image of Coventry Patmore's Angel i n the House. When John Buskin spoke in I66I4. of woman's "queenly power" and her duty to "assist i n the ordering, in the comforting, and in the beautiful adornment of the state," he was repeating sentiments long held as an article of faith in polite society. Hannah More provided a manifesto for the doctrine in 1799 when, in justifiably condemning the frivolous nature of female edu-cation, she insisted that women should make a Christian use of more serious studies through a gentle religious influence on men. This in-fluence she called "moral power.". "Have men no need," she asked, "to have their rough angles f i l e d off, and their harshnesses and asperities X U J . A. and 0. Banks, Feminism and Family Planning, pp. 11-12 j J. A. Banks, Prosperity and Parenthood, chapt. 5-7. "*%or a discussion of Patmore's poem in this context see W. E. Houghton, The Victorian Frame of Mind. (New Haven, 1957), pp. 31*1-5,392. 12j. Ruskin, 'Of Queen's Gardens,' in Sesame and Lilies, Two lectures delivered i n Manchester, 1861*, (London, 186^), pp. 122-3, l60-l, 177-9. 1 8 . smoothed and polished by assimilating with beings of more softness and 13 refinement?" For more than sixty years a host of lesser writers ex-pressed agreement, and the moralizing literature of feminine obligation, especially common in the 'thirties and 'forties, continued to honour Hannah More's ideal woman. ^  The wives and daughters of prosperous Victorian families were con-fronted with an unprecedented amount of leisure time which only a minority were equipped to use constructively. This, rather than the slow improve-ments in woman's position wrought by the feminist movement, was the most important change experienced by women during the nineteenth century. Not surprisingly, the Victorian cult of the family assured that this general tendency would be elevated to a positive qualification for gentilily. More, Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education, 2 Vols., (London, 1799), Vol. I, pp. 67-9, 178-81, Vol. II, pp. W+, 22-3, 31-3; Hannah More depicted her archetypal model woman as Lucilla in her famous novel Coelebs i n Search of a Wife, which, f i r s t published i n London in 1808, reached its sixteenth edition by 1826, and reappeared frequently in further editions up to 1879. •^See, for example, Sarah Lewis, Woman's Mission, (London, 1839); Mrs. S. E l l i s , The Women of England, (London, 1839); and The Daughters of England, (London, 181+2); Anon., Woman's Rights and Buties "By a Woman", 2 Vols., (London, 181+0); A. B. Muzzey, The English Maiden; Her Moral and. Domestic Duties (published anonymously), (London, 181+1); R. Montgomery, Woman. The Angel of Life. (A Poem), (London, 1833); the popular reviews and early Victorian Ladies' magazines invariably expressed the same views; see Edinburgh Review, Vol. LXXHI, April 181+1, pp. 189-209; Monthly  Review. Aug. 1839. Vol. XI, pp. 535-50; Blackwood's, Vol. LTV, Sept. 181+3, pp. 373-97; The Christian Lady's Friend and Family Repositary. 1832-3, Vol. II, pp. i i i - i v . 19. If women were to humanize their families they must remain within the pro-tective confines of the home, removed from the hard realities of the out-side world.l£ At times the high flown rhetoric might sound unrealistic, but the meaning was clear enough: women required domestic leisure in order to qualify for gentility. What society wants from women is not labour, but refinement, elevation of mind, knowledge, making its power felt through moral in-fluence and sound opinions. It wants civilizers of men and educators of the young. And society wi l l suffer i n proportion as women are either driven by necessity or tempted by seeming advantages to leave this their natural vocation, and to join the noisy throng i n the busy markets of the world.^ It followed that marriage, the sole vehicle whereby women could f u l f i l their "natural vocation" was the primary respectable ambition for the middle-class young lady. Yet the hard fact was that thousands of unmarriageable middle-class women were doomed to lives which both they and society f e l t to be unfulfilled. " 'Woman's Mission,' " Mrs. Jameson indignantly remarked, "of which people talk so well, and write so prettily, is incompatible with 'Woman's Position,' of which no one dares to think, much less to speak."1^ The hard fact was that throughout the nineteenth century the the general tendencies of the Victorian family cf. 0. R. McGregor, op. cit., Chap. 3j and H. L. Beales 'The Victorian Family' in H. Grisewood, Ideas and Beliefs of the Victorians (first published i n 19U9), (New York, Dutton, 1£66), pp. 31*3-50. l 6 B a i l y A. E. Shirreff, Intellectual Education and i t s Influence  on the Character and Happiness of Women, (London, l#5tt), pp. mi-tt7~~ A'A. Jameson, " 'Woman's Mission' and 'Woman's Position ' ", in Memoirs and Essays, (London, 181*6 new edition, i860), pp. 218. 20. numbers of women in the United Kingdom exceeded, at an increasing rate, those of men. In England and Wales the most spectacular increase occured between 1851 and 1661, as indicated in Table 1. Table 1. - Females per 1,000 Males, England and Wales1** Year England and Wales Females per 1,000 Males 1851 1,01*2 1861 1,053 1871 1,05U 1881 1,055 1891 1,063 1901 1,068 1911 1,068 Several factors accounted for the female surplus. The male birth rate exceeded that for females, but male infant mortality was also higher, so that by the age of 15 there were more females living. The constant absence abroad of men in the armed forces and merchant navy, and the great-er drain of emigration on the male population further increased the dis-parity.1? What worried the Victorians most about this phenomenon was the demonstrable fact that the greatest disparity occured in the marriageable ages between 20 and 30, and the less verifiable assumption that the female excess was concentrated mainly in the middle-classes. ^B. R. Mitchell, Abstract of British Historical Statistics, (Gambridge 1962), p. 6, Table 2. The female excess in Scotland was con-sistently greater. •^General Report, Census, England and Wales, 1861, PP., 1863, Vol. LIII, Pt. 1 232217, PP* 6-7. 21. Since emigration and the armed forces drained off a higher propor-tion of youthful males than those at other ages the greater excess of younger women was to be expected. S t i l l the figures seemed alarming in 1861, and provided an apparent explanation for the plight of so many young but unmarriageable gentlewomen. Table 2. Excess of Males and Females, England and Wales. Male Excess Female Excess Army, Navy and Merchant Sea-men Abroad O-U 9,032 5-9 1,851* 10-lU li.,602 - 1,601* 15-19 - 16,782 27,121 20-21*. - 109,073 55,292 25-29 - 100,590 35,328 30-3U - 63,398 19,110 35-39 - U3,982 11,571* 1*0-10* - 32,011 6,367 1*5-4*9 - 2U,220 3,021 The figures were considerably distorted, for as successive census reports complained, many women had an irritating inclination to mis-state their ages. Girls under 20 frequently over-stated their age in order to qual-i f y more readily for domestic service, and many women over 30 under-stated their age for reasons of personal vanity or eligi b i l i t y in the marriage market. After 181*1 each census revealed more women i n the 20-25 age group than had been entered i n the 10-15 age group ten years 20lbid., Appendix, p. 115, Table 70. 22. earlier. Consequently, while an excess of women certainly existed, i t was probably more evenly distributed throughout the ages from ten to forty than the census suggests.2* On the second assumption, that middle-class women formed a dis-proportionate number of the surplus females, there was, and remains, l i t t l e direct evidence, except for the fact that the majority of female emigrants were working-class. Middle-class districts included a large number of domestic servants, which complicated any head count of their female population. The associated popular belief, that middle-class men and women were delaying marriage until later ages, is less difficult 22 to substantiate. The available evidence suggests that a trend towards earlier marriage among the general population occured from lB5l to about I88l. 2^ let a private study of marriage and mortality among the upper and middle classes alone showed an unmistakeable rise i n the age at mar-riage in both sexes i n these classes. In 1871 C. Ansell, Jr. obtained the following results from a survey of nearly 8,000 families:2** 2lResuits and Observations, Census, Great Britain, l£5l, PP.. 1852-3, Vol. DOmil ,^691 - l7 Pt. I, pp. xxiv-xxvj General Report, Census, England and Wales, 1881, PP., 1883, Vol. LUX, £579j7, PP. 15-19S see also T. A. Welton, On the Inaccuracies Which Probably Exist i n the  Census Returns of Ages. (Liverpool, 1876), pp. 1-13. 2 2on the discussion of 'The Proper Time to Marry,' see Banks, Prosperity and Parenthood, Chap. 3. 23D. V. Glass, 'Marriage Frequency and Economic Fluctations i n England and Wales, l£5l to 19314.', in L. Hogben, (Ed.), Political  Arithmetic: A Symposium of Population Studies, (London, 1938), p. 252, Table I. 2i*C. Ansell, Jr., On the Rate of Mortality at Early Periods of 23. Table 3. - Middle-Class Age at Marriage. 181*0-1870. Period of Marriage Mean Age at Marriage Mean Difference in Bachelor Years Spinster Years Ages of Husband and Wife Years Before 181*0 28.61* 2l*.75 3.89 During and since 181*0 29.95 25.53 1*.1*2 Both Periods 29.32 25.16 i*.l6 The most significant feature was that the gap between the male and female age at marriage in the middle-class was widening. Therefore, if, as seems likely, a high proportion of the female excess occured in the same class, i t would be severely aggravated by the growing tendency of men to post-pone marriage until a more affluent period of their lives. Providing her family could continue to support her, the gentle-woman who could not find a husband, and who had consequently "failed in business" as the Saturday Review put it,^-> had l i t t l e else to look for-ward to. Not surprisingly, therefore, she often suffered from what sociologists and psychologists today call "alienation." The lone sub-stitute for her earlier active and concrete role within the family was the business of affecting a respectable and prosperous marriage, and to this end the family, especially the mother, devoted their energies and Life, the Number of Children to a Marriage, the Length of a Generation, and other Statistics of Families in the Upper and Professional Classes, (London, 1871*), p. hSl Ansell conducted his survey for the National Life Assurance Society. His survey covered the clergy, legal and medical pro-fessions and a large number "of other gentlemen and Noblemen" in England and Wales. The clergy experienced the highest age at marriage at 30.1*1*,p.l*8. 25iQueen Bees or Working Bees?' Saturday Review, Nov. 12, 1859. 2k. thereby served a real social purpose. But the marriage market, as the feminists never tired of stressing, was grossly overstocked with eligible women—redundant women as one writer called them —and the result in many cases was to rob the family of i t s sole remaining social function relating to the daughter. Sentimental ties remained, and probably were intensified, but the frustrating existence of suburban middle-class women implied that for them the family had declined in real value. They had l i t t l e useful role to play i n its business, and were faced instead with an aimless routine of t r i v i a l rituals. Charlotte Bronte captured the symptoms of this aimless, alienated condition in her portrayal of Caroline Helstone in her novel Shirley. "Existence never was originally meant to be that useless, blank, pale, slow-trailing thing i t often becomes to many, and is becoming to me, among the rest," mused Caroline. She went on to lament the declining health and "wondrous narrowness" of minds and views which invariably re-sulted from feminine aimlessness, and, like the feminists, appealed to fathers to provide their daughters with useful education and occupation. Contemporaries frequently described these results of uncultivated leisure as a condition of "ennui" which only useful activity could eliminate. 2 7 2 % . R. Greg, 'Why are Women Redundant?', National Review. April lfi62, p. W J I J republished separately as a pamphlet in London, 1869, and in two editions of W. R. Greg, Literary and Social Judgements, (London, I869). ~ 2 7C. Bronte, Shirley (First published 181*9), Chap. 22 j E. Shirreff, op. c i t . , p. 23. 25. The more perceptive analysts saw that this condition went beyond simple mental vacuity or loneliness. J. D. Milne's socio-psychological diagnosis has a positively modem ring. i s i t Is—prevented from mingling her regard in much that i s of vi t a l importance to the well-being of mankind, and from undertaking many duties to which she feels naturally called—there is entailed upon her a constant sense of alienation from society, and the s t i l l more oppressive sense of a purposeless existence.2° Admittedly the frustrations of the idle woman formed a major plat-form in the feminists' campaign for wider employment opportunities, and hence were subject to some exaggeration. But where the feminists speak from personal experience, as the majority did, their arguments can be compelling. Mary Taylor, who had herself once escaped from enforced idleness to New Zealand, described what to her must have been a familiar sight. To receive few impressions, then—to lead the uneventful and almost solitary l i f e which i s often thought f i t for women—ds to ap-proach the borders of insanity; of the state in which the mind cannot distinguish the real from the ideal, and i s more under the dominion of the latter than the former. 29 The feminists rightly attributed this sense of alienation to the depri-vation of a l l purposeful activity. Commenting on the mental and physical weakness of middle-class women to the Social Science Association, Emily ^ J . D. Milne, Industrial and Social Position of Women in the  Middle and Lower Ranks. (London, 1857, published anonymously), pp. 19-20, (revised edition, 1870). Taylor, 'Feminine Idleness,' in The First Duty of Women, (a series of articles reprinted from the Victoria Magazine, 1865 to l£70), p. 118. 2 6 . Davies observed: It i s a rare thing to meet with a lady, of any age, who does not suffer from headaches, languor, hysteria, or some ailment showing a want of stamina. • • • Dulness (sic) is not healthy, and the lives of ladies are, i t must be admitted, exceedingly dull.30 At its farthest extreme the gentlewoman's alienation became a more serious case of insanity, and i t is significant that "Independent Gentlewomen," as shown in Table U , had a higher proportion of recorded lunatics than any occupational group, male or female. Public comment, especially among the feminists, to the effect that the aimless existence of half-educated idle women led i n many cases to insanity, reflected this situation. "Ask medical men the effects of idleness in women," fulminated Barbara Leigh-Smith. "Look into lunatic asylums, then you will be con-vinced something must be done for women." Similarly, a writer i n the Englishwoman's Journal based the desperate need for higher female educa-tion and wider employment opportunities on the high incidence of female insanity? 1 The insanity statistics add weight to the feminists claim that idleness among middle-class women was widespread and psychologically damaging. 3 0E. Davies, 'On Secondary Instruction as Relating to Girls', N.A.P.S.S. Transactions, 1861+, p. 396$ (published as separate pamphlet, l86U)j see also Stewart, op. cit., pp. 10-11, and Emily Faithfull, 'Unfit Employments in which women are engaged,' M.A.P.S.S. Transactions, I863, p. 767. ^B. L. Smith (afterwards Bodichon), Women and Work, (London, 1857), p. 13; 'Female Education in the Middle Classes,' English Woman's  Journal, Vol. I, June, 1858, pp. 219-20; see also E. Shirr eff. op. c i t T , p. klO, who argued that women took part i n fashionable philanthropic work not out of pious altruism but for some escape, however unsuitable, 27. Table 1* Selected former occupations of lunatics compared to total of each occupation in population. England and Wales. I86l.^ 2 Female Male Occupation Total i n Lunatics $ age of Total in Lunatics $ age of occupat- total occupat- total ion ion Musician 1,618 5 0.31# 10,300 27 0.26$ Schoolmistress, master, and other Teacher 58,35© 121 0.21$ 31,811 80 0.25$ Governess 22*,770 136 0.55* — -Domestic Servant 962,786 2,695 0.28$ 109,990 119 0.11$ Charwoman 65,273 21*0 0.37$ - -Gentlewoman, Gentleman, Independent 27,1*20 631 2.30$ 12,1*07 121 0.98$ No Stated Occupation ii.026 Total 10,289,96$ 13,096 0.127$ 9,776,259 11,21*9 0.115? Not a l l of the single gentlewoman's problems were psychological. With large families the norm i t was clearly impossible for a l l these women to remain in a state of unproductive dependence on their families. from "morbid feeling and mental suffering bordering more nearly on de-rangement than we like to allow." ^Extracted from Summary Tables, Census Report, England and Wales, 1861, PP. 1863, LIII, Pt. 1, (3221), pp. v i i i , x lii-lxw, c i i i -cixj the occupations of slightly less than a third of the female luna-tics were not recorded, but the numbers are sufficient to provide a reliable sample. 28. Sooner or later, as the prospect of marriage receded, most of them had to seek employment, for which few of them were adequately prepared. The mid-Victorian period witnessed a dramatic rise i n the middle-class standard of living, but an even steeper rise i n middle-class standards of domestic expenditure—on food, drink and household requirements, especially dom-estic servants,~-so that the average middle-class family had less money 33 to allocate to the daughter's support. ^ In some cases, notably under the stimulus of family economic misfortune or sudden death of the bread-winner, the need to work could arrive with dramatic suddenness. The phenomenon of sudden impoverishment, although not the usual pattern of middle-class l i f e i n the Victorian period, was frequently re-sponsible for producing what contemporaries called the "distressed gentlewoman." We are rightly accustomed to think of the mid-Victorian period, at least, as one of remarkable prosperity. Despite this the i n -security of most gentlewomen stemmed from a congenital "uneasiness" of a large proportion of the middle-class, who had l i t t l e protection against most forms of family economic crisis. The income and social standing of members of the middle-middle and even upper-middle-classes could easily be threatened by financial crises, death or other family misfortunes.^* 33Banks calculated that from l8£0~to 1870 the middle-class rate of domestic expenditure increased by f i f t y percent, although retail prices rose by only five percent. The growing importance of the son's education put further pressure on the family budget, Prosperity and  Parenthood, pp. 101, 1+6-7, chap. 11. ^*F. Muegrove has suggested a useful working definition of middle-29. This would especially apply to those whose income was continually at risk in the form of investments, especially the more speculative type, and those on fixed incomes who attempted to keep pace with the rising standard of living and conspicuous consumption by "keeping up appear-ances. The "ruin" of a prosperous family was s t i l l sufficiently com-mon to remain a popular Victorian literary convention; Thackeray's Vanity Fair is a classic example. More of a threat, however, was the vulnerability of most families to the death of a father who was inade-quately insured. Reformers and feminists often blamed inadequate insurance for the plight of most "distressed gentlewomen." Bessie Farkes, an early class divisions according to income and'occupations from mid-century as follows: LowerHaiddle-classy £60-£20O, routine clerks, elementary school-teachers, lower c i v i l service officials. Mddle-middle-class: £200-€1000, professional men, well-to-do clergy, lesser gentry, superior tradesmen and industrial managers. Uppernniddle-class: £1000 and up, members of diplomatic servicej government office-holders, senior public servants, military commanders, heads of professions, successful mer-chants and manufacturers, higher clergy; 'Middle-class Education and Employment in the Nineteenth Century,' Economic Hist. Rev., Vol. XII, No. 1, 1959, p. 99. 3^ Most feminists directly attributed the existence of distressed gentlewomen to the imprudent extravagance of their parents i n "keeping up appearances" instead of buying insurance and preparing their daughters for employment; see, for example, B. R. Parkes, 'Educated Destitution,' in Essays on Woman's Work. (London, 1865), pp. 81-3; Frances P. Cobbe 'Celibacy vs. Marriage* i n Essays on the Pursuits of Women. (London, 1863), pp. U7-8; J. Boyd-Kinnear, 'The Social Position of Women in the Present Age,' in Josephine E. Butler, Woman's Work and Woman's Culture. (London, IB69), pp. 335-6; Anon., 'The Queen's Institution for the Train-ing and Employment of Educated Women* (Signed Ergane). Victoria  Magazine. Vol. HI, Sept. 186U, pp. U57-8. feminist, argued that middle-class fathers had a moral responsibility either to give their daughters the means to provide for themselves in the form of a sound education or to make financial provision for their daughters by insuring their own lives. But such forethought was rare. It is lamentable to think how small a proportion of our popu-lation insures, when i t is so cheap, easy, and safe for the young married men to do so, and creates help for the women of a family just when, by the death of the breadwinner, they would otherwise be left without resource. To insure, or to save up a portion for every female child, this is a father's sacred duty. Style, position, the keeping of many servants, all should be stinted to effect this end. Unfortunately, as she went on to explain, the passion for material acqui-sitions and a large establishment of servants to maintain mother and daughters in fashionable idleness precluded any outlay on insurance premiums.3°^  £g i ate as 1893 George Gissing underlined the irony of this situation in The Odd Women, a novel which revolved around the feminist issues of the day. Dr. Madden, the father of six daughters, to whom the thought "of his girls having to work for money was so utterly repulsive that he could never seriously dwell upon i t , " is accidentally killed in the first chapter, leaving his daughters unprovided for, immediately after announcing to the eldest that on the next day he would Insure his 37 life for a thousand pounds.-" R. Parkes, 'Educated Destitution,' and 'Social Economy,' op. clt., pp. 77-82, 217-8. 3 7G. Gissing, The Odd Women. (First edition 1893, London, 1911), Chap. 1. Gissing was well qualified to discuss the social problems of women, having been married to a prostitute. He patterned some of his characters after leading feminists, and subsequently became a close friend of the progressive feminist Clara E. Collettj J. Korg, George 31. Judged by contemporary needs, i t i s apparent that most of the Victorian middle-classes were, as the feminists argued, chronically under-insured. In 181+6 a committee of c i v i l servants asked William Fair, for many years Superintendent of the Registrar General's Statistical De-partment, to investigate the existing c i v i l service superannuation scheme and to examine their proposal for an alternative widows' and orphans' pension scheme. Farr found the old scheme ineffectual i n the extreme. The yearly salaries of 16,353 c i v i l service officers averaged only £11+1, among which 8,701+ under £ 100 averaged only £86. The premiums of the superannuation scheme, established i n 1829, f e l l most heavily on those with the lowest incomes, requiring a 2j?% deduction from salaries under £100 and $% from salaries exceeding £100. Furthermore, the 7,961+ employees who returned Farr 1s completed questionnaires drew an average salary of only £106. 5,367 of this group were married, of whom l+,290 had 16,331 children, an average of 3.81 children for each productive family. Admittedly, Farr's sample was unrepresentative of the entire c i v i l ser-vice, but his point was well taken that the superannuation deductions left the majority of those with the greatest need quite unable to insure their lives or provide for their widows and children. Farr noticed that this deficiency had already caused considerable distress among the fami-lies of deceased c i v i l servants, and recommended a combined superannuat-ion-pension scheme along the lines of that of the East India Company Gissing, A Critical Bibliography. (Seattle, 1963), pp. 12, 22, 189-92. 32. •which, among other things, provided a £50 yearly pension to orphan daughters until marriage. But more important, i n view of his intimate acquaintance with British population problems, was Farr's conviction that the same conditions obtained among most of the middle-classes, not least those more prosperous than c i v i l servants. Life insurance i n these circumstances became a moral duty. Life insurance meets the risk of mortality; but i t unfortun-ately happens in a l l professions—and i n the c i v i l service among others—that l i f e insurance, to an adequate extent, i s not effected by the great majority of husbands—and more particularly by those whose lives are most liable to be cut short, and whose large families are likely to prove the severest pressure of want—the heaviest burden on the community. Society has, therefore, a right, and when-ever an opportunity offers, perhaps a duty to see, that such a de-duction is made from the adequate income in active l i f e as wi l l lighten the sufferings of the fatherless children and widows of its members. If the Government set the example in the public service, i t may be copied by other classes; and would ultimately prove a great boon and economy to the nation. 38 Whatever the reasons for i t , the impoverishment of a middle-class family forced independence onto women who, by custom, had been educated —with a smattering of fashlonabls "accomplishments"—for nothing more than courtship and marriage. Only the most exceptional and talented women could hope to prosper from this kind of independence. For Harriet 3%. Farr, Remarks on a Proposed Scheme . . . for the Support of  Widows and Orphans of C i v i l Servants of the Crown, (London, 18k9)> PP« 3-5, 7-13, 16, 29-31. On Farr himself see H. A. Humphreys, 'Biograph-i c a l Sketch' i n W, Farr, Vital Statistics . . . , (London, 1885). Towards the end of the century some feminists began to argue that the proceeds of insurance were inadequate anyway, and that there was no sub-stitute for sound instruction of wives and daughters i n a good business, even i n that of the husband; see 'Women and Work,1 Victoria Magazine, Oct. 1876, pp. 570-1. 33. Martineau the economic crisis of 1825-6 which virtually ruined her family and forced her to work turned out to be a blessing.^ For those who were less talented the results were not nearly so positive. The working gentlewoman automatically suffered a certain loss of caste, and her scope for employment was extremely narrow. The vast majority turned to teach-ing, the only major occupation deemed remotely respectable until the last three decades of the century. The occupations i n Table 5, extracted from the l85l census figures, cover a l l those into which middle-class women could conceivably enter at mid-century without greater class decline than they had already suffered from merely being forced to work. This is not to say that aU those listed i n these occupations were distressed gentlewomen, or even from the middle-class. Elementary schoolmistresses, for example, could include a large proportion of working-class women. Furthermore, few distressed gentlewomen would be properly qualified to be teachers of specialized subjects, or as librarians, musicians and local officers. The feminists were therefore justified i n describing the teaching profession as an "open gulph" (sic) into which the whole class of destitute ladies rushed.^0 The competition and overcrowding among unqualified gentlewomen was intensified by the increasing entry of young women "who are not gentlewomen by birth 8 with an entirely dif-ferent motive, "for the sake of social advancement, just as men some-3?The small amount salvaged by her father was lost i n a further failure of 181*0; H. Martineau, History of England During the Thirty  Years' Peace, (London. 18U9-50). Vol. I. p. 365? H. Martineau. Autobio-graphy, (London, 1877), pp. 128-9, 11*1-3. k°B. R, Parkes, 'Educated Destitution,' op. ci t . . p. 81 3U. times go into the church or the army in order to become gentlemen by profession. a^ A phenomenon which was significantly frowned upon by many feminists, i t made teaching a platform where two classes of women met, in Bessie Parkes* words "the one struggling up, the other drifting down."**2 The most habitual and notorious resort of the distressed gentle-woman, however, was that of the governess. Table 5.^ Great Britain (excluding Ireland) Putatively middle*class occupations for women. 1851 Total Total Occupation Females Occupation Females Commercial Clerk 19 Schoolmistress 1,1,888 Librarian 173 Secretary, Literary Music Mistress 2,60U and Private k Musician 532 Law Stationer 9 (News) Editor, Writer 18 Teacher of Belles-Parish, Union, Lettres 1 District Officer 75U ° of Gymnastics 179 Governess 21,373 n of Languages 571 Teacher-General 5,259 The records of the Governesses Benevolent Institution, which was formed i n 181|.3 to cope with the urgent problems of unemployed, ill-paid and ill-qualified governesses, clearly demonstrate that the profession l&J. Boucherett, Hints on Self-Help; A Book for Young Women, (London, 1863), p. 25. ^B. E. Parkes, »The Profession of Teacher,' op. ci t . . p. 1. On feminist opposition to aspiring working-class governesses see Louisa 0. Hope 'Girls' Schools,' K.A.P.S.S. Transactions, i860, p. 399-itOO. M. A. Maurice, Mothers and Governesses, (London, 18U7), p. 22. &3census Report. 1851 'Results and Observations' pp. 1852-3, LXXXVIII Pt. 1 (I69I-I), PP. CXXI-CXXVTI, Table 53. 35. was overcrowded with distressed gentlewomen. The Institution's annual reports are f i l l e d with references to decayed gentlewomen unexpectedly forced into teaching by sudden family Impoverishment. The lists of can-didates over 50 years old for an annual Institution annuity abound with such descriptions as the following: "Became a governess at 17 i n con-sequence of the embarrassment of her father's affairs."; "Being left an orphan very early, she resided with an uncle, who failed, and she was compelled to become a governess."; "Her father formerly possessed a very large property, but having many children, and having suffered many losses, he was unable to make any provision for his family."; "Became a governess 30 years since in consequence of her father being reduced from extreme affluence to extreme distress. Her whole family being involved in com-plete ruin . . . "; "Father, principal of the Interior Office, Bank of England; his income ceased with his l i f e , and she became a Governess.n^ The Institution itself saw this state of things as right and necessary. Discussing the recent formation, under its auspices, of Queen's College for girls in London, the G.B.I. Report for 181+8 cautioned that The Committee disclaim any idea of training Governesses as a separate profession. They believe and hope, that the ranks of that profession will be s t i l l supplied from those, whose minds and tempers have been disciplined in the school of adversity, and who are thus best able to guide the minds and tempers of their pupils.^5 ^Governesses Benevolent Institution (hereafter designated GBI) Annual Reports. 181+U, pp. 17-21*, 181+7, pp. 22-33. ^ j b i d . , 181*8, p. 17; Elizabeth Eastlake in 'Vanity Fair and Jane Eyre,' Quarterly Review, Vol. LXXXTV, Dec. 181+8, pp. 176-7, argued sim-il a r l y , stressing that "we need the imprudencies, extravagancies, mis-takes, or crimes of a certain number of fathers to sow the seed from 36. The G.B.I, annual reports effectively demonstrate that the over-crowded state of the governess* profession produced severe economic hard-ship for distressed gentlewomen.^ But not a l l of the governess* pro-blems were economic ones. The resident governess occupied a kind of nether world i n the Victorian home between the family and servants, i n which she was accepted as a social equal by neither. This "social iso-lation, n described by so many contemporaries, led inevitably to extreme mental depression and sometimes insanity. Elizabeth Eastlake, a staunch anti-feminist, acknowledged that the declassee governess, isolated i n a l l social relations from employers, guests, servants and children "must to a l l intents and purposes live alone, or she transgresses that invisible but rigid line which alone establishes the distance between herself and her employers."'*7 The genteel young woman was the most vulnerable i n -dividual to this kind of separation. Charlotte Bronte wrote to her sister Emily of her f i r s t governess* position thus: I see now more clearly than I have ever done before that a private governess has no existence, i s not considered as a living and rational being except as connected with the wearisome duties she has to f u l f i l . While she i s teaching the children, working for them, amusing them, i t is a l l right. If she steals a moment for her-self she i s a nuisance.^° which we reap the harvest of governesses," but adding that this inevitable situation could only be alleviated by obtaining higher pay for governesses. k&Fhe G.B.I, inaugurated a contributory scheme of "provident annui-ties for governesses because their meagre salaries, resulting from over-competition, were insufficient to provide for the future: The Institution's "Home for disengaged governesses," was invariably f i l l e d to capacity; Annual Reports. lShh, pp. 15-16, 1852, p. 15. Eastlake, 'Vanity Fair and Jane Eyre,» Quarterly Review. Vol. LXXIV, Dec, 18U8, p. 177. k8C. Bronte to E. Bronte, Stonegappe, June 8, 1839, C. K. Shorter, 37. Charlotte Bronte reflected this conviction i n the humiliation suffered by Jane Eyre from the tongue of Blanche Ingram, just as Anne Bronte's own experiences as a governess were reflected in Agnes Grey's Isolation and loneliness.^9 Mary Maurice, the sister of the Christian Socialist, also stressed the social isolation of the typical governess, constantly forced "to guard against the exactions of her employers—the impertinence, or coldness, of her charge, and the neglect and rudeness of the servants."^0 This same theme of loneliness and social isolation dominated the minor propaganda novels written at mid-century to improve the treatment of gov-ernesses.^1 Katherine West, who has attacked the concept of the down-trodden governess, was nevertheless driven to admit that the governess' situation might be productive of psychological disturbance. The unmatched childless isolation of a woman constantly on the edge of a family circle, must surely have accounted for the unhappi-ness of more governesses than any other cause. It i s strange, there-fore, how few of our books so much as mention it.52 The governess* mental condition amounted to more than simple lone-liness. Before she resorted to teaching,the typical declassee governess The Brontes and their Circle. (London, 18°6), pp. 80-82. h9o, Bronte, Jane Eyre, An Autobiography (First published 181,7), Chap. 17; A. Bronte\"Agne8 Grey. (First published 1850), Chaps. 10-11. 50M. A. Maurice, op. c i t . . p. 31. &See especially Mrs. S. G. Hall, 'The Governess' in Stories of  the Governess. "Printed for the benefit of the G.B.I.,** (London, 1852J, pp. 1*9-105. Mrs. Hall worked regularly for the G.B.I., her husband being on the Board of Management. G.B.I., Report. 1LB52. £ 2K. West, op. c i t . . p. 85. 38. had usually suffered an acute psychological shock in being reduced from a condition of comfortable family security and complacent anticipation of marriage to one of economic insecurity where the old protection of class solidarity lost i t s meaning. As we have seen, the affluent dependent gentlewoman frequently suffered from a form of alienation, and in some cases insanity. Similarly, loss of affluence also brought its psycholo-gical problems for the gentlewoman, and employment as a governess was likely to aggravate rather than alleviate these problems. Since she was alienated in prosperity, i t is not surprising that the distressed gentlewoman had difficulty in adjusting to the kind of misfortune which deprived her at one blow of the twin security of finan-cial support and family and class solidarity. The death of a breadwinner which left his family impoverished, i f i t did not lead to the break-up of the family, was at least likely to cause the semi-permanent absence of the daughter who was forced to go out as a resident governess. This deprived her of the most Important strand of emotional security she had retained in genteel comfort, that of family affection. The change was an abrupt one. "That very society that nursed her in and for her idleness disowns her now, and becomes her worst enemy. She has no right to be poor, but being so, must help herself. n^3 i n a closely knit conjugal kinship system any more distant relatives were, as J. D. Milne argued, ->3stewart, op. c i t . , p. 12;. 39. worse than none.^ The newly impoverished young lady was therefore left alone to attempt earning a living without suffering loss of caste, for as Jessie Boucherett observed "many prefer poverty to loss of social posit-i o n . " ^ But until the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the only occupation offering even a sham pretence of preserving caste was that of the governess. Most frequently, therefore, she exchanged her own recent-ly overprotective family for one where "a cold, distant, stately reserve is too often shown by the mother, towards one whom she ought to regard as a fellow worker for her children's good."-^ The governess in theory re-tained her middle-class gentility, but in practice she was most likely to experience severe deprivation of the most valuable security she had known in idleness, that of unquestioned solidarity with a distinct social class. The usual solution of teaching, therefore, was likely to intensify, rather than diminish, the distressed gentlewoman's sense of alienation. In fact the combination of this heightened estrangement and unaccustomed mental and physical exertion resulted in mental illness for large numbers of governesses and teachers. Contemporaries were vague regarding the pre-cise nature of the mental disturbance, but many agreed with Edward Gibbon Wakefield that governesses formed the largest single occupational class % a i n e , op. c i t . . p. 127. ^Boucherett, op. c i t . . p. 2U. -*^Mauriee, op. ci t . , p. 3k» i*o. i n insane asylums.''7 The G.B.I, reports frequently commented that the illnesses of governesses were usually nervous or mental, "the effects of early labour, anxiety and fatigue, acting on a delicate frame and weak-ened nerves,n and often cited specific cases of women, young and old, who suffered from such ailments as "a nervous and brain fever" or periodic insanity with "lucid intervals."'*8 Florence Nightingale encountered similar experiences during her tenure at the Institution for Care of Sick Gentlewomen in Distressed Circumstances i n 1853. "I had more than one lunatic," she wrote of her governess patients to Dr. Pincoffs, adding "I think the deep feeling I have of the miserable position of educated women in England was gained while there. Much of this phenomenon can be explained by the growing numbers of professional and educated persons i n lunatic asylums from about mid-century, which came to William Fair's notice in his census report for 1861.6° We have already seen, however, that governess lunatics did not, as was generally believed, form the largest occupational class i n asylums. 57g. G. Wakefield, England and America. 2 vols. (London, 1833), Vol. I, pp. 96-8. H. Martineau. Society inMerica. (London, 1837), Vol. I l l , p. li*9j H. Martineau, 'Female Industry,' Edinburgh Review. Vol. C3X, April, 1859, p. 307; Eastlake, op. c i t . p. 177. S8G.B.I., Reports. 181*3, p. 11, 181*1*, p. 11, 181*8, pp. 2l*-35 Case No. 80, 1850, p. 12*; see also M. A. Maurice, op. c i t . . pp. 158-9. 5°Quoted i n B. Howe, op. ci t . , p. 116. ^Census Report, England and Wales, 1861, PP. 1863, LIII, Pt. I ^32217, p. 69. Ul. The proportion of "independent gentlewomen" was substantially larger, being 2.30% of their total number compared to 0.55$ for governesses. Nevertheless, the proportion to total governesses was much higher than that among the highest numerical group, domestic servants, and, with the exception of schoolmasters, higher than the proportion of corresponding male occupation groups in asylums.61 A governess1 position was there-fore no solution to the gentlewoman's alienation, but was more likely to bring with i t further problems of a psychological nature. The problems of the distressed gentlewoman attracted the attention of reformers, and most of them, whether philanthropists or feminists, at-tacked the problem by catering to the needs of the governess. The Gover-nesses Benevolent Institution began a major effort i n 181+3 by giving tem-porary financial assistance to unemployed governesses, establishing a savings scheme for provident annuities and awarding a limited number of annuities to aged and infirm governesses. Subsequently i t established a "Home for disengaged governesses," an elaborate free employment register, an asylum for aged governesses and a savings bank. The G.B.I, was quick to recognize, however, that inadequate education was the most fundamental cause of the governess' plight, and in 181+7 i t began to effect this nec-essarily slow and long-term improvement by participating in the formation of Queen's College, Harley Street, where i t encouraged potential and See Table 1+. 1+2. actual governesses to obtain a thorough secondary education.62 The spread of sound education for a l l those who might become governesses was a pain-fully slow process, however, and the G.B.I, understandably devoted i t s energies to assuaging the most urgent economic problems of the governess. Since the governess1 problems were not wholly economic, i t was unlikely i n these circumstances that much would be done to alleviate her condition of alienation. 6 3 The f i r s t major feminist campaign of the nineteenth century also focussed on the plight of the governess. In fact i t was the problem of the insecure middle-class woman, brought up only for genteel marriage, but with few prospects of either marriage or alternative support, which provided the dynamic at the heart of the feminist cause in the latter half of the century. The struggle was one for wider employment opportun-ities for middle-class women, and for decades the most well rehearsed fem-inist protest was against the complacent assumption that women were by nature ill-equipped for any role but that of wives and mothers, when plain-ly there were thousands who could never marry and were forced into the overcrowded teaching profession as incompetent and exploited governesses. Mrs. Jameson's early diagnosis served her feminist successors well. 62G.B.I., Annual Reports, 181+3, pp. 12-15, 181+6, pp. 11-13, 181+7, pp. U+-15, 181+9, pp. 16-18. ^Anti-feminists like Elizabeth East lake argued that higher salar-ies, rather than a fundamental change in relations between the employer and employee, were the only possible way to assuage the inevitable hard-ships of the governess; 'Vanity Fair and Jane Eyre,' op. c i t . , p. 178. U3. The increasing number of unmarried men with the reading clubs, mechanics institutes—we wi l l say nothing of taverns, theatres, and other places of social resort—argues, of course, an increasing number of unmarried females, who not only have no opportunities of mutual improvement, and social recreation, but i f they be 'respect-able' women, cannot even walk through the streets, without being subjected to the insults of men, also called and esteemed 'respect-able; ' and who are destined never to be either wives or mothers, though they have heard from their infancy that such, by the appoint-ment of God, i s their vocation in this world and no other. Such may be their vocation, but such is not their destiny: no, they must go forth to labour, to encounter on every side strange iron prejudices, adverse institutions formed and framed i n a social state quite dif-ferent from that which exists at present—a state in which the posi-tion of women was altogether different from what i t is now.°U Like the G.B.I., the feminists gave highest priority to long-term educational reform. Their f i r s t object was equal employment opportunit-ies for women, and much of their long campaign was directed against what they regarded as a root cause of female exclusion. Women were not being educated and trained for employment, but instead sought i t only when a l l other avenues of genteel support were closed and they finally acknowledged the necessity to lose caste by entering the employment market. The de-mand for improved education for middle-class girls played a major part in the feminist programme, and not unnaturally the feminists often blamed parents for neglecting the daughter, who even in the 'sixties s t i l l re-ceived only a haphazard smattering of t r i v i a l accomplishments i n defer-ence to the son. Parents seemingly refused to learn, complained Jessie Boucherett, "that a willing heart i s of small avail i n earning a live-lihood, i f united to unexercised brains and unskilful hands." Dorothea Q*A. Jameson, op. c i t . . pp. 231-2. For similar arguments by the fir s t generation of feminists see Parkes, 'Educated Destitution,* op.  cit., pp. lk*o$i and Stewart, op. c i t . , pp. lU-6. Beale, explaining the principles behind her famous college at Cheltenham, insisted that women of the higher classes must be taught the value of work, and complained that on enrolment at 15 years of age, most of her pupils, the daughters of professionals, bankers and merchants, were un-able to answer the simplest questions in arithmetic and French.^ With so much of their work devoted to long-term improvements or economic palliatives i t was unlikely that reformers would effect an early revolution in the fortunes of distressed gentlewomen. Despite the dauntless efforts of the feminists the problem of women in genteel poverty was common to the entire century. By the turn of the century the main accomplishment of the feminist movement had been to establish precedents of female employment and equality for the future. The op-portunities for fruitful higher education for women had improved vastly by 1900, but as Gissing's indignation in The Odd Women makes so abun-dantly clear, untrained middle-class misfits s t i l l constituted a major problem in the 'nineties. Although middle-class nurses, shopclerks, competent teachers and typists could safely obtain respectable work i n the late-Victorian and Edwardian periods, a more thorough integration of women into the economy waited upon the acceleration of social forces stimulated by the shortage of labour during the First World War. 66 The 65j. Boucherett, op. c i t . , p. vi;D. Beale, 'The Ladies College at Cheltenham,' N.A.P.S.S. Transactions, 1865, pp. 274-5. 6%cGregor, op. c i t . , p. 87j Gissing, op. ci t . Of the three surviving Madden daughters, Gissing depicts two as pathetically i n -competent, invariably unemployed, governess-companions. The third, 1*5. G.B.I, had certainly alleviated conditions for a minority of governesses and educated some branches of public opinion by mid-century, but the governess-problem remained at the heart of the feminist movement for another f i f t y years. The complaint of the feminists continued to be that so l i t t l e had been done rather than the reverse.^7 in fact the real campaign for improvement of middle-class female employment did not begin until 1857 with the establishment of the National Association for Pro-motion of Social Science, for years a forum for progressive feminist views. In that year John Duguid Milne, a Scottish advocate who frequent-ly supported feminist causes at the Association, protested against the confinement of middle-class female employment to the occupations of authors, ladies' companions and governesses. For two generations the feminists repeated his protests, but until 1911* there was no all-embrac-ing solution in Britain which could resolve the problem of the distressed gentlewoman through remedying both her economic hardship and her sense of alienation. With such meagre prospects of improvement at home, i t was not surprising that some reformers should advocate, and some women should being attractive but untrained, contracts a prosperous but disastrously unsuccessful marriage. 67tFemale Education in the Middle Classes,' The Englishwoman's  Journal, Vol. I, No. It, June 1, 1858, pp. 217-8j Jameson, op. cit.,"~" pp. 23U-5. ^Milne, op. c i t . U6. accept, the alternative of emigration. In the early-Victorian period Edward Gibbon Wakefield, an emigration promoter and Colonial Reformer, insisted that the vulnerability of the middle-class, or "uneasy class," to economic misfortune was a persuasive argument for a system of patri-cian emigration. He was the f i r s t systematically to describe the "un-easy class" with such prime emphasis on it s major victim, the portion-less daughter. He also offered a ready solution: emigration. Wakefield was chiefly interested i n encouraging members of the middle-class to emi-grate to Australia in order to establish an extension of the British hierarchical social structure there; consequently he was prone to exag-gerate the case for middle-class emigration, but bis location of the "uneasy," or "anxious, vexed or harassed class," was s t i l l important. Writing in 1833, Wakefield stressed a l l the factors which might expose members of the middle-class to economic misfortune, the same factors which became such common currency among the feminists a generation later. The uneasy class in the 'thirties, argued Wakefield, consisted of a l l classes above labourers who suffered from various forms of economic dis-tress; to be more precise, as many as three-quarters—or even nine-tenths "of a l l who are engaged i n trades and professions, as well as a l l who not being very rich, intend that their children should follow some industrious pursuit.",^ 69Wakefield, op. ci t . , Vol. I, pp. 80-105, Vol. U, pp. 106-7 1*7. Wakefield's thesis was that there was an insufficient field for investment i n Britain, consequently the profits of a l l small investors, retailers, etc*, were perilously unremunerative, leaving them highly vulnerable to economic fluctuations. Their plight was exacerbated by the constant increase i n expenditure necessary to maintain social rank, particularly the imposing task of f i r s t educating, and later providing for, a large family of children. Those on fixed incomes, particularly, were fully occupied in preventing their daughters' descent to a lower social class by means of imprudent marriage, but i t was exceptional for women of small resources to marry men of the "spending class." The general rule with the daughters of men of small income, whether fixed or not, i s a choice between celibacy and marriage with one of the uneasy class. Now, a great proportion of young men in the uneasy class dread marriage, unless there be fortune i n the case, as the surest means of increasing their embarrassment. This is one of the most important features in the social state of England. The result was "exuberant prostitution" and mass celibacy among middle-class women. Their only employment outlet lay i n education. Governess-es faced greater competition for work than even labourers and formed the most common occupants of lunatic asylums. Wakefield's solution, that both the capital and labour of the uneasy class should be employed abroad, was not taken seriously outside radical circles i n the 'thirties, but his introduction of the middle-class dilemma into emigration pro-paganda was l o g i c a l . 7 0 Significantly, the rarely-used appellation 7 0 I b i d . ; John Crawford in 'New South Australian Colony,' West- minster Review, Vol. XXI, Oct. 1831*, p. 1*1*7 agreed with Wakefield on the suitability of the uneasy class for emigration. For a further discussion of Wakefield, see supra. Chap. 2. 1*8. "uneasy class" was again coined in the 'sixties by Mary Taylor, a femin-71 ist who had once emigrated to New Zealand herself. The doctrine of feminine civilizing influence had obvious Implica-tions for female emigration. The promoters of a l l the various emigrat-ion schemes regularly paid lip-service to the probable reform that the feminine touch would effect on a crude, male-dominated, pioneering colony. Many writers gave the civilizing mission concept a further peculiar twist which made i t readily appropriate for this kind of treatment. This was the chauvinistic conviction that i t was, above a l l , English women who possessed the necessary refinement to influence male society. In his in-troduction to the 1851 Census William Farr noticed the large number of women—wives, mothers and daughters—without employment, and added, with significant Italics, "but i t requires no argument to prove that the wife, the mother, the mistress of an English Family—fills offices and dis-charges duties of no ordinary importance." F. D. Maurice's sister, Mary, deplored the exposure to a lower moral tone faced by English governesses in France. The damage was permanent but not complete. "When she returns home, her salary may be higher, but her tone is lower, though she i s s t i l l 7%. Taylor 'Redundant Women,' op. c i t . , p. 31; on Mary Taylor, see supra. Chap. U. 7 2See, for example, Maria S. Rye, Emigration of Educated Women. (London, 1861), a paper originally read at N.A.P.S.S. Transactions in 1861. Rye spoke of the necessity to uproot colonial "vice and immoral-i t y " by means of importations of high class women, "an elevation of morals being the inevitable result" of their mere presence, pp. 9, 12. k9. a safer teacher than a French woman, who never had any right principle, to counterbalance her natural frivolity." Most of the ladies' magazines agreed, often attributing the superiority to the distinctive form of Christianity practised in England.73 i t was a minor step from here to insist, as Wakefield did, that English-women should civilize abroad as well as at home. As early as the eighteen-thirties some distressed gentlewomen began to follow Wakefield's advice and sought employment in the colonies. Emigration had some obvious advantages for middle-class women. Those who dreaded the loss of caste and embarrassment which might accompany a wage-earning career at home could safely pursue the same career anony-mously i n the colonies, where most women of a l l classes were more accust-omed to a much wider range of menial chores. The feminists themselves began to promote emigration for gentlewomen in the eighteen-sixties. 7^ Until that time, however, certain public attitudes and a lack of f a c i l -ities prevented many middle-class women from emigrating. Most emigrat-ion enthusiasts looked to Australia, where there was a severe shortage of women, as the best haven for British gentlewomen. But before mid-?3Census Report -'Results and Observations,' 1851, PP. l8f>2-3, LDLVill, Pt. 1 /I69I-1/. p. lxxxviii. Farr traced the English-woman's special character down from the Roman materfamilias and the Anglo-Saxons, a variation on the Whig theory of history; M. A. Maurice, op. cit. , p. hOs The Christian Lady's Friend and Family Repositary, Sept. 1831, Vol. I, No. 1, pp. 2-3. 7l*See infra Chap. 6. 50. century the public associated Australia, and to a lesser extent emigrat-ion generally, with convict transportation, pauperism, distress and pro-stitution, and these assumptions worked as a deterrent against any system of respectable female emigration during the early-Victorian period. Despite the inhibitions some middle-class women did emigrate, and the history of early-Victorian female emigration is mainly an account of i t s gradual emergence from this hostile stereotype. Chapter II 51 The Stereotype of Female Emigration: Assisted  Emigration to Australia. 1832-1836 When Edward Gibbon Wakefield suggested that emigration was the sol-ution for his "uneasy class" in 1833, there was, as later events demon-strated, an indeterminate number of single women in genteel poverty who stood to benefit by such a change. But where stark necessity proposed, social convention disposed. Apart from genuine obstacles to unchaperon-ed female emigration, such as the insecurity and primitive conditions on a long voyage and the uncertain prospects for cultivated women in a pion-eering colonial society, most writers and politicians displayed a firm social prejudice against emigration for any but the most destitute class of labourers. This stemmed partly from the long debate on pauper emi-gration after 1815 and partly from the long association of emigration with convict transportation. The latter became especially important be-cause i t was the large excess of males in the Australian penal colonies which first prompted an interest in organized large-scale female emigra-tion. The first attempt in the 'thirties to supply Australia with non-convict women from the large surplus of English spinsters was a working-class project. But the link between Australia and female emigration persisted for fifty years. Only as Australia's image and reputation im-proved did implacable opposition in Britain to middle-class female emi-gration soften. The fate of the first attempt to expatriate working-52. class women to Australia consequently had profound implications for the subsequent attitudes to any proposals for female emigration, and parti-cularly for those affecting middle-class women. In the f i r s t decades of the nineteenth century the concept of emi-gration received a distinctly hostile press in middle-class circles. The vast emigration of the nineteenth century began after the Napoleonic Wars under the impetus of Malthusianism and economic distress. The per-iod when large scale emigration became accepted was the same period in which a rising poor-rate added a note of urgency to the regular discus-sion of distress, pauperism, the poor laws and a "redundant population." This is obvious whether one turns to Parliament, the press or periodical and pamphlet literature. More obvious is the fact that emigration and pauperism were inextricably associated topics i n the public mind. The discussion of one inevitably involved the other, and most writers saw emigration as simply one means of coping with a troublesome surplus pop-ulation, or at times even an outlet to prevent revolution. 1 In these circumstances, where emigration was automatically linked with pauperism, unemployment or at least individual failure, the concept of middle-class emigration was hardly likely to flourish. ^ e , for example G.Poullette-Scrope, "The Political Economists", Quarterly Review , Vol. XLTV, Jan., Ifl31, pp. 1-52; G. Poullett-Scrope, "Population and Emigration", Quarterly Review. Vol. XLV, April, 1831, pp. 97-1LU5} The Times, March 16, 1826, p. 2. This taint was not confined to the respectable middle-class. From the 'twenties onwards there were innumerable petitions and projects presented in Parliament in favour of pauper emigration.2 Robert J. Wilmot-Horton, Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, played a pro-minent role in a l l these matters and was responsible for two experiments in 1623 and 1825 to settle paupers in Canada at state expense. He also published a series of letters in 1830 to propagate his conviction that emigration was the best remedy for pauperism.3 i l l his attempts to est-ablish a government system of assisted pauper emigration came to nothing except for one permissive clause in the new Poor Law of 183U, but they did provoke considerable discussion in Parliament, and reaction—often hostile—in the press. In 1830 Lord John Russell was convinced that Wilmot-Horton's system of emigration and an improved poor law system "should go hand in hand."** A later b i l l to finance emigration through the poor rates was brought in by Lord Howick in 1831, and while most op-ponents were hostile to i t on grounds of expense, they readily admitted the need to cope with "the evils of a superabundant population"• Out-side the b i l l was interpreted even by London labourers as one intended 2The petitions were sometimes presented by distressed labourers, but more commonly by inhabitants of a parish hoping to reduce the poor-rate by means of emigration. See, for example, Hansard, Parliamentary  Debates. H.S. vol. XVI, Nov. 27, 1B26, C.1U2-3; Vol. XVI (Lords), Dec. 8, 1826, c.317-205 Vol. XXIII, March 23, 1830, c.782-lu % . J. Wilmot-Horton, An Enquiry into the Causes and Remedies of  Pauperism. (London, 1B30.) ^Hansard, N.S. Vol. XXV, June 15, 1930, c. 366-70; for an example of press opposition see The Times, Feb. 17, 1827, p. 3. 51i. to enforce compulsory transportation, and they petitioned Parliament against what they feared would be enforced exile.-* Their protest strong-ly suggests that the disrepute attaching to emigration extended well be-low the comfortable middle-class. The issue of convict transportation also strongly shaped attitud-es to emigration, especially to Australia. From the very beginnings of the Australian penal settlement comment in Britain focussed on the moral degradation of "Botany Bay".^  All the major Australian issues in Britain before 1850 had to do with convict transportation, and the press and periodical literature made constant capital out of the sensational issue of "moral depravity" which resulted. Even the pro- Australian defenders of the transportation system were forced to admit the strength of the resulting image of Australia.7 P.M. Cunningham, an apologist for con-vict transportation who extolled the delights of New South Wales for potential middle-class settlers, complained that ^Hansard, 3rd Ser., Vol H, Feb. 22, 1831, c.875-906; Vol. V, Aug. 8, 1831, c.927-9. ^See, for example, the Monthly Review, October 1792, pp.197-8; G. Barrington, Voyage to Botany Bay, London, 1B01, sequel pp.7-lU, 59, 70s T. Watling, Letters from an Exile at Botany Bay, (Penrith, 1792), pp.lB-9. 7The standard reference on Australia for twenty-five years was a systematic defense of the colony by a Judge Advocate of New South Wales, D. Collins, in An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, (London, 1798 and 1802). Despite his position, he was forced to admit the "odium" associated with the colony in Britain and the widespread incidence of immorality; see 1798 Edition, p.502; lfl02 ed., Vol. H, pp.2, 198; his critics, like Bentham, were quick with the charge that he provided a l l the necessary material to refute his own thesis. For a later apologist see W.C. Wentwarth, A Statistical. Historical and  Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales ... (London, 3JB19, 3 editions to 1B2U;. 5$. New South Wales has, i n fact, but one drawback of a decidedly un-pleasant nature, and even that is more ideal than substantial.—It must be admitted that i t is the only country in the world which you are ashamed to confess the having visited. I have made several slips of this kind before strangers, and I certainly never yet gain-ed a friend by the disclosure; every one, through some excuse or another, endeavouring to elude the pleasure of my society. He went on to describe one encounter with a well travelled companion in a stage coach, who, upon learning he had visited "Botany Bay" recoiled with a grunt, "What I Have you been there, sir?" and withdrew, checking 8 his pockets, to the farthest corner of the coach. Jeremy Bentham set the tone of the campaign to abolish convict transportation by drawing heavily on the theme of Australian depravity.? His claim that transportation fostered the growth of a vicious and im-moral society was increasingly utilized by his successors in their abo-lition propaganda.10 This campaign came to a head in the 'thirties when the Colonial Reformers made i t one of the key issues in their schemes for "systematic colonization" and semi-autonomous colonies of free set-8p. M. Cunningham, Two Years in New South Wales, (London, 1827), Vol. I, pp. 13-U. ?J. Bentham, Two Letters to Lord Pelham, (First letter), pp. 19-21, Printed for private circulation i n 1802 but published in Panopticon  Versus New South Wales, (London, 1812); J. Bentham, Principles of Penal  Law, in J. Bowring, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, (Edinburgh, 1838), Vol. I, pp.li95-7. A°The earliest attack oh transportation was made by the Radical, H. G. Bennet. See his A Letter to Viscount Sidmouth on the Transportat- ion Laws and the Colonies, (London, 1819, A Letter to Earl Bathurst, (London, lo20), and Hansard, Vol. XXX3X, Feb. 18, 1819, c.Uou-509. 56. tiers i n Australia, as proposed by Edward Gibbon Wakefield in 1829. But despite their establishment of the new South Australian colony, the combined efforts of the Colonial Reformers in the 'thirties appear to have done more to discredit the Australian colonies than the reverse, the exact opposite of their real intention. This was wholly attributable to the anti-transportation campaign, led by Sir William Molesworth with constant assistance from Richard Whately, Archbishop of Dublin. Their propaganda repeatedly stressed the crime and vice in Australia produced by large shipments of convicts. Molesworth chaired the Select Committee on Transportation in 1837 and 1838, and its reports occasioned widespread reviews and discussion; subsequently both Molesworth and Whately in i t i a t -ed lengthy debates in the two Houses of Parliament. At length the gov-ernment discontinued transportation to New South Wales after 181*0, a l -though not to Van Diemen's Land, and only after tales of Australian "de-pravity 9 had been resurrected and given a greater hearing than ever be-fore. 1 2 From the mid-twenties one of the main indictments against convict ^•E. G. Wakefield, A Letter from Sydney, (London, 1829, published anonymously); Wakefield i s rightly regarded as the leader of the Colon-i a l Reformers, essentially a pressure group who for fifteen years cam-paigned to inject Radical principles into colonial policy, especially in Australia and New Zealand. A large part of their achievement consisted of the i n i t i a l founding and settlement of South Australia, New Zealand and later the Canterbury settlement at Christchurch. ^See, for example, Spectator, May 12, 1838, pp.l*39-Hl; The Foreign  Quarterly Review, Vol. IX, May, 1S32, pp. 1*22-37: Hansard, 3rd Ser., Vol. LUI, May 5", li&O, c.1236-1307; Vol. LEV (Lords), May 19, 181*0, c.2l*6-31i*; A. G. L. Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies, (London, 1966), pp.275, 367-8. transportation was the charge that i t fostered an ever increasing surplus of men i n Australia, with a l l the attendant vices of a predominantly mas-culine community. Since transported males vastly outnumbered female convicts this sex disproportion, the inverse of that existing in Britain, was certain to persist so long as transported convicts exceeded free emi-grants into Australia. 1 3 In 181+0 Molesworth detailed the widespread homosexuality which resulted, and argued that the women convicts were utterly beyond reform; the argument against female transportation, he insisted, constituted grave objections to the entire system of transpor-tation, since there would be i l l effects with or without the female of-fenders, and emigration of respectable women would be inhibited.1** But earlier writers were more sanguine. The two most popular, but widely criticized, defenders of Australia in the twenties, Wentworth and Cun-ningham, both argued the need for more convict women, or even mass ship-ments of prostitutes, to balance the sexes. Cunningham pointed to the example of the "Twelve Apostles", twelve women sent to Hobart Town by the philanthropist, William Fry in 1822. These, he claimed, had a l l ar-rived pregnant but nevertheless proved to be an eventual asset to the Eobson, "The Origin of the Women Convicts sent to Aust-ralia, 1787-1852", Historical Studies. Australia and New Zealand. Vol. XI, Nov, 1963, p.U3 estimates the female transportees as being 2i+,960 out of a total of 161}.,780; the 18 36 New South Wales Census recorded 55,539 males and 21,557 females. The Van Diemen's Land figures in 163U were 28,801 males and 11,1+82 females. Report of Select Committee on Transportation, (II) I838, PP 1837-8, XXII, (699), p.xxx. ^Hansard, 3rd Ser., Vol. LIII, May 5, 181+0, cc 121+5-6, 1256-7. 58. colony. For Cunningham, any form of female emigration would be a boon to the colony. Women are in fact one of the best and most patriotic consign-ments that could be sent out to our rising country. Even furthering a few shiploads of volunteers from the streets of overgrown towns in Britain would benefit greatly our convict catnmunityj--benefit also the places from whence they might be despatched; and benefit the wretched creatures themselves, by enabling them to begin a new and useful life in another country. 15 Despite their usual antipathy for Australia most of the reviews welcomed Cunningham's proposals. A writer in the Quarterly Review thought mass shipments of prostitutes would effect an improvement in col-onial morals, and in the Edinburgh Review another writer described pot-ential emigrants from Newgate and the streets of London as "a most pat-riotic and valuable cargo".^ But these enthusiasts, and especially Cunningham, overlooked the certain consequence that while these opinions prevailed the Australian colonies would hardly present an attractive prospect to potential middle-class emigrants. It was the misfortune of female emigrants to be closely associated, from the very beginning, with M. Cunningham, op. cit., pp. 262-81; William Fry himself, who managed the Guardian Penitentiary Society, claimed that the much mali-gned "Twelve Apostles" had turned out well, and never admitted the charge that they a l l arrived pregnant; W. Fry to R. W. Hay, (Colonial Office Under-Secretary), March 3, 1833, C.O. 38U/33. See also W.G. Wentworth, op.cit., pp.U82-!i. "^New South Wales", Quarterly Review, Vol. XXVII, Jan. 1828, pp. 22-3. "New South Wales", Edinburgh Review, Vol. XLVH, Jan. 1828, p.92. W, E. Houghton's Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, l82it- 1900, (Toronto, 1966), p.U69, gives Sidney Smith as the probably, but unverified author of the Edinburgh article, but the difference between this and his previous hostile articles suggests otherwise; the article did not appear in his Works; see also the New Monthly Magazine, Vol. XX, Oct, 1827, pp.399-llOO. 59-poverty, paupers and prostitutes. The subsequent history of middle-class female emigration i s therefore a record of its constant attempt to gain respectability and escape from the trammels of a rigid association with the most depressed section of the working class. It was i n this setting, then, that the Government initiated the f i r s t scheme of large-scale assisted female emigration in 1832. Pressure had been mounting for some kind of reform since Wakefield's famous Letter from Sydney emerged from Newgate i n 1829 while he was serving a three year sentence for abduction. In brief, Wakefield argued that col-onial land sales at a high price should replace the old free land-grant system; immigrant labourers would thereby be forced to remain in the lab-our market until they could afford to purchase and cultivate their own land, and thus be prevented from rapidly becoming improvident landowners. Furthermore, a system of land sales would guarantee a constant supply of labour to the colony by providing a permanent fund to finance respectable emigration. The creation of this "emigration fund" was at the core of the Australian problem, for only thus could the intolerable disparity in fares between North America and Australia be reduced.17 Wakefield's principles were taken up by the members of his pressure group, the Colon-i a l Reformers, and, partly impelled by their incessant pressure, Sari Grey's Whig Government incorporated the basic Wakefieldian system into o f f i c i a l policy with the Ripon Regulations in 1831. The Colonial 1 7Wakefield, Letter From Sydney, Appendix, pp.126-31. 60, Secretary, Lord Goderich, then established a uniform system of land-sales i n New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, and shortly afterwards adopted the principle of assisted emigration out of the colonial land fund. 1 8 Quite apart from colonial considerations the events of the early 'thirties were highly conducive to the encouragement of emigration in Britain. The burden of a growing poor-rate prompted the severe new Poor Law of 1B3U which allowed parishes to mortgage their poor-rates in order to finance pauper emigration. Moreover, the threat of Luddism and agri-cultural unrest combined with the news of the French revolution of 1830 to bring a note of urgency, almost hysteria, to the "redundant populat-ion" problem. I t was tempting to conclude that the country must be swept clean of rick-burners, machine breakers and pauper parasites. But i t i s clear that, at least i n i t i a l l y , these motives played l i t t l e part in the Government's action. This f i r s t project i n state-assisted emi-gration consisted primarily of financial aid to single female emigrants, those most needed in Australia for moral reasons, and certainly not the most troublesome class in Britain. Justifying the new scheme to the Treasury, Lord fiowick, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary, stressed that female emigrants would help "the moral improvement of the colony". The members of the Colonial Office, in fact, seem to have attached more im-portance to the shortage of women than did the colonists themselves. When those in Van Diemen's Land betrayed suspicions that they would simply •^Viscount Goderich to Governor Bourke (New South Wales), Sep. 28 1B31, PP. 1831, XIX (328), pp. 126-31. 61. provide a damping ground for the sweepings of British workhouses, Goderich reassured them that the lower cost of North American emigration would always attract individuals or Parishes who wished to finance pau-per emigration. Although the scheme to assist working-class single women was to be accompanied by a loan scheme for married mechanics and their families the terms for the single women were more favourable, and the bulk of the annual £10,000 appropriated from the land fund of the colonies was to be applied to the latter scheme. For the men at the Colonial Office this was a price worth paying for nothing less than a campaign for moral reform in Australia, in which Englishwomen were to be the agents of civilization and morality. 1? The major problems endangering the successful outcome of the scheme were administrative ones, especially those of emigrant selection, and since the ultimate judgement of the scheme was based on its admini-stration i t i s worth «»aniiv<Tig in some detail. Goderich was blithely confident from the beginning that the selection of suitable working-class women for domestic and farm servants would present no problem. There were many unemployed young women, he told Bourke, qualified as x?Howick to J. Stewart (Treasury), July 16, 1831, Enclosure in ibid; Goderich to Lt. Governor Arthur (Van Diemen's Land), Jan. 27, 1832, CO. U08/7; married mechanics received a loan of £20, to be repaid in the colony, while the single women received a free grant of £8, i n -creased to £12 in 1833 and again to f16 (the f u l l fare) in 1835; £6,i|00 out of the fund was applied to the female emigration scheme, and the balance, only £3,600, to married mechanics. Bourke to Goderich, April 11, 1832, PP. 1833, XXVI (lUl), p. 36. 62. farmers1 servants in the agricultural counties who would gladly emigrate i f financial assistance was forthcoming. The necessary arrangements could be safely confided to the recently appointed Emigration CcsnraisB-20 ion. Goderich admittedly had no precedents to follow, but he had no concept of how the best qualified country servants would be selected; nor did he seem aware of the difficulty of selecting virtuous uncorrupt-ed young women from the ranks of the unemployed, many of whom would have been dependent on parish or charitable aid for long periods, with all its attendant risks for their "reputations". Furthermore, i f large num-bers of women were to be sent out collectively the Emigration Commiss-ion would be totally unequipped to handle the project, and the bulk of administrative detail would devolve onto their secretary, Thomas F. El l i o t . 2 1 Since Elliot's own capacities were limited, the offers of shipowners, brokers and charitable institutions to assist were certain to be welcomed with enthusiasm. In October, 1831, the Emigration Commissioners issued the first regulations governing the selection of female emigrants. They made i t clear that preference for the £8 grant would be given to single women 20Goderich to Bourke, Sep. 28, 1831, PP. 1831, XTX (328), pp. 126-31. 21The Emigration Commission was essentially an investigating and advisory body, and consisted of only five members, Lord Richmond, Lord Howick, H. W. Hay, F. Baring and H. Ellis. It was dissolved by Goderich in August, 1832 so there could have been no intention of letting i t serve as a permanent administrative body; Report of Commissioners to Goderich, March 15, 1832, and Goderich to Commissioners, August U , 1832, PP. 1831-2, XXXH (72k), pp. 6-7, 29-30. 63, between 15 and 30 who were emigrating as members of a family. This im-mediately settled weighty problems of administration for the Commission-ers. It meant that prospective emigrants need simply engage their own passage with shipowners, and then apply for the bounty through their parents. A l l the problems of moral supervision on the voyage and recep-tion and employment in the colony would be solved by parental supervis-ion. Whether the women thus given priority of selection would be likely to be suited to colonial needs as the country servants Goderich had pro-mised, the Commissioners did not consider. But they recognized that i f the scheme was to reform colonial morals successfully this method could not provide the necessarily large numbers of women. They therefore pro-posed to recruit a large number of independent applicants and subsequent-ly engage a vessel for single women exclusively. The regulations cover-ing these women were to be more stringent than those for members of fam-i l i e s . The minimum age was increased from 15 to 16, and their applica-tion was to include the recommendation of a minister and two household-ers from the woman's local parish. Priority of selection would be given to those qualified as farmers' servants, but the Commissioners did not suggest that any care would be taken to ensure that only such women 22 would receive the grant. The f i r s t method, under the supervision of families, successfully Report of Commissioners to Goderich, Oct. 11. 1831, enclosed in Goderich to Bourke, Oct. 11, 1831, PP. 1831, XIX (328), pp. 19-20. 6iu facilitated the emigration of at least 1*30 young women to Australia with-out provoking colonial complaints of their suitability. But by 1635 i t became apparent that the free offer of the bounty encouraged a number of unscrupulous private brokers and shipowners to pose as emigration agents with grossly exaggerated idyllic descriptions of Australia. In some cases deliberate fraud was practised on prospective emigrants, and by 1835, when the method of mass shipments was well established, the Gov-ernment decided to discontinue the family method in favour of the mass shipment scheme under more reliable supervision.23 The mass-shipment scheme was a more enduring i f more controver-s i a l , project. It received a bad press both in Britain and Australia and was ultimately abandoned after 1836 as a failure because of the wide-spread belief that i t had not reduced but increased the amount of immor-ality i n the colonies. The criticisms stemmed from a number of very real abuses, but they tended to obscure the positive benefits which the scheme conferred on the colonies and the women themselves by enabling more than 3,000 females to remove to a more promising environment. Yet 2^Lt. R. Low (Liverpool Emigration Agent) to R. W. Hay (Perman-ent Under-Secretary). June 29, 1833 and Aug. 5, 1833, G.O. 38i*/32: Low to Hay, June 21, 183U, G.O. 381*/35; W. Bell (Liverpool Shipbroker) to Hay, Feb. 2, 1635; C.O. 381*/39} Hay to Bell, Feb. 5, 1635, CO. 385/I65 R. B. Madgwick, Immigration into Eastern Australia, 1768-1951. (London, 1937), pp* 97-8; the number of emigrants i n families i s compiled from the various l i s t s returned from the colonies to the Colonial Office, in C.O. 201/233, 201/21*5, 201/21*6, 201/255, 280/55. 65. the real success of the scheme was less important than the firm impres-sion that i t had failed, and the conclusion at the Colonial Office that such failure was inherent in any system of mass female emigration. S t i l l the more favourable side of the scheme has yet to be described. Histor-ians have accepted without qualification the unfavourable verdict of contemporaries, and B. B. Madgwick, the only writer to treat the subject i n extensive detail, has concluded that the abuses i n selection which prompted colonial complaints were justified i n branding the entire scheme as undesirable.2^ The case against the scheme turns on the poor quality of its ad-ministration, and at f i r s t glance i s a strong one. The Emigration Com-mission, despite i t s temporary and advisory capacity, was i n i t i a l l y left i n charge of a l l the details of taking up and fitting out two emigrant ships exclusively for women, and of selecting suitable emigrants. The latter task would assume vast proportions i f individual applicants were to be examined and selected separately, since each ship was to carry about 200 emigrants. However, the immediate offers from several chari-table institutions, i n both London and Ireland, to provide large numbers of their female inmates as emigrants effectively solved this problem.2^ For the institutions this provided an opportunity to dispose of large 2%adgwick, op.cit., pp. 110-11; see also R. C. Mills, The Colon- isation of Australia, 1829-U2, (London, 1915), pp.l8U-91. 2 % . Bessard to E l l i o t , Cork, Feb. 15, 1832; Secretary of "Incor-porated society . . to Elliot, Dublin, March 5, 1832, C.O. 381j/30. 66. numbers of burdensome women with few employment prospects for a small outlay* For the Commission i t provided a welcome opportunity to reduce the costs of selection by confiding the entire responsibility to chari-table institutions, which presumably had a fai r l y intimate knowledge of the qualifications and character of each prospective emigrant. Neither the Commission nor the Colonial Office was equipped to conduct inter-views and investigate the backgrounds of hundreds of women. Without this gratuitous aid the scheme would have been Impracticable under exist-ing circumstances, but at the same time i t meant that the "moral quality" and qualifications of the emigrants would be no better than those of the best to be found in institutions for the homeless and destitute. Taken together, the experience of the fi r s t two shiploads of emi-grants thus selected in 1832 indicated that dependence on charitable i n -stitutions for selection could, but need not necessarily, lead to great abuses to the detriment of both the colonies and the women. This same observation applies to the subsequent fourteen ships sent out between 1833 and I836. The Red Rover, which sailed from Ireland to Sydney with 202 women selected by the Cork "House of Industry" and the Dublin "In-corporated Society for Promoting English Protestant Schools i n Ireland" was an unqualified success i n providing New South Wales with suitable emigrants*26 But the Princess Royal, which sailed from London to Hob art Town, van Diem en's Land, with 193 women partly selected from the 26Bourke to Goderich, Sept. 2u, 1832, CO. 201/227. 67. "Guardian Penitentiary Society" and several London workhouses, was at best a qualified f a i l u r e . 2 7 Naturally the unfortunate experience of the latter ship attracted most attention and tended to obscure the value of the former. Both during and after the operation of the scheme its c r i t -ics pointed to the Princess Royal as a typical example of the evils of collective female emigration.2® Although various charitable institutions responded to the Commis-sion's advertisement with offers of help,2? responsibility for the en-tire selection of the Princess Royal emigrants ultimately devolved onto William Fry. Fry was associated with several London charities and had handled the emigration of the notorious "Twelve Apostles" in 1822. He collected women for the Princess Royal from several London institutions. His own Guardian Penitentiary Society provided 2U emigrants, the Nation-al Guardian Institution for Respectable Servants provided lh and the Re-fuge for the Destitute and various "houseless societies of the same de-scription" each provided a few. However, the Magdalen Female Penitenti-ary, which had originally proposed to assist hh of its own inmates, sub-sequently withdrew from the project. At the same time the Princess 2 7w. Fry to R. W. Hay, March 3, 1833, CO. 38U/33. 28 See, for example, the evidence of Mr. John Russell of Van Die-men's Land before the Transportation Committee, Q.570. Report of Select Committee on Transportation, U , 1838. op.cit., p.59. 2?A. Pellatt, Hon. Secretary of "Pentonville Female Penitentiary", to E l l i o t , Feb. 7 , 1832$ E. Forster, Treasurer of "Refuge for the Desti-tute", to El l i o t , Feb. 13, 1832, CO. 381./30. 68. Royal, with a capacity of 200 passengers instead of 120, as originally expected, was engaged for the voyage. Consequently Fry was forced to look for additional women. He obtained a further 2k from London work-houses and selected the rest from casual individual applicants. Fry did not specify how carefully the latter were investigated, but his boast that the majority were "very respectable", including one daughter of a Baptist Minister from Stratford, was borne out by later reports from the colony after the i n i t i a l complaints had subsided.3° But the result of Fry's selection was that the Princess Royal contained a wide range of women with diverse class backgrounds, from the most destitute of the working-class to the most respectable of the lower-aiiddle-class, "suit-able", in the words of Lt. Governor Arthur, "to become the wives of de-cent tradesmen".^ It was exactly this "admixture" of classes which provoked the most serious complaints from Hobart Town. Arthur supported the principle of collective female emigration, but from the beginning he had urged the need for great caution to prevent "demoralization" of women on the voy-age, and now protested strongly against the mismanagement of the Princess  Royal emigrants. Although Fry had arranged the berths so as to keep the 3°Forster to El l i o t , ibid.; Fry to Hobart Town Ladies Reception Committee, April 15, 1832, C.O. 38U/30; Fry to Hay, March 3, 1633, C.O. 38U/33; Goderich to Arthur, March 29, 1833, C.O. 1*08/9. 3 1Arthur to Goderich, Sep. 8, 1632, C.O. 280/35. 69. different classes of women segregated Arthur maintained that the "injudi-cious association1* of the worst with best had caused embarrassment to some women and corruption to others. The most respectable women had ex-pected to find only companions of their own class, but instead had found the humiliation of mixture with women from reformatories and workhouses. The respectable women blamed Fry for "deception" and feared that "their own characters have suffered from the lamentable association, which c i r -cumstances over which they had no control have forced upon them". But worse, Arthur complained that another class of women, those generally useful as domestic servants and with good reputations, had been corrupt-ed by the "licentious proceedings" during the voyage. At least half of the emigrants were "far more depraved than the generality of convict women" and many suffered from venereal disease on embarkation. They had a l l exercised "a most baneful influence on others less depraved than themselves". Arthur did not question Fry's motives, but maintained that he had failed to realise how l i t t l e reformation had actually taken place 32 among most of the women from charitable institutions and workhouses. Arthur's criticisms were Justified and to the point. Certainly the same abuses were not duplicated on the Red Rover to Sydney, whose Irish emigrants, while also from charitable institutions, were a l l of a single class. This is largely a comment on the relative influences of the different environments of Ireland and the metropolis on helpless women, but i t seems true that Fry had been excessively optimistic in his 32ibjd; Arthur to Hay, Sep. 10, 1832 (Private letter accompanying ibid.). C.O. 280/35. 70. hopes that many ex-prostitutes were permanently reformed. In his origin-a l report to the Hobart Town Ladies Reception Committee he confided that although the women from the institutions had been carefully selected "their late unhappy and fallen situation should be as much concealed as possible and they treated with the greatest delicacy". 3 3 The Ladies Com-mittee protested with reason that such concealment from potential em-ployers would have been "unpardonable as i t would have been impracti-cable". 3^ Nevertheless, critics in the colonies who contended that only a brief examination should reveal whether or not a woman had a back-ground of prostitution ignored the virtually traumatic effect of a four month voyage in steerage conditions with 200 women and a few men, and the excitement of arriving in a new country. The experience was not calculated to bring out the best i n anyone, even with the most rigid supervision, and the task of separating the whore from the pure always appeared easier after the voyage than before. Arthur's final comment on the "Royals", as some of the women became known in Van Diem en's Land, suggests that hasty complaints tended to distort the real picture. I am nappy to say that the mischief has been by no means so great as might have been anticipated, and that, upon the whole, the in-troduction into the colony of even these women has been very beneficial. 35 3 3 F r y to Ladies Committee, April 15, 1832, CO. 38U/30. 3%eport of Ladies Committee, in Arthur to Goderich, Oct. 12, 1832, CO. 280/36. ^Arthur to Hay, Oct. 5, 1833, CO. 280A3. 71. With such qualifications then, need the criticisms of the scheme, by even Arthur himself, be tempered. The imminent dissolution of the Emigration Commission in 1832 pro-mpted the Colonial Office to appoint one of the many volunteer organiza-tions as a permanent body to supervise preparation and emigrant select-ion. Edward Forster, Chairman of the Refuge for the Destitute, a London charitable association receiving government financial aid, offered the gratuitous services of the Refuge for a l l duties connected with female emigration. The Committee of the Refuge had responded immediately to the original Government notice of the project in 1831 by issuing a notice explaining the virtues of female emigration and calling for the formation of a committee of benevolent gentlemen to promote the Government's scheme.3^ It was this committee, composed largely of members of the Committee of the Refuge, and apparently formed before any communication with the Col-onial Office, to which the Government completely confided a l l the busi-ness connected with female emigration. By June, 1832, the London Emi-gration Committee, as i t became known, had printed a detailed advertise-ment inviting applications from women throughout the country. Elliot assisted i n such matters as advertising but otherwise the Committee as-sumed entire responsibility.37 36Refuge advertisement dated Nov. 29, 1831, C.O. 38J./27. 37p o r ster to El l i o t , Feb. 13, 1832, C.O. 38i*/30s Elliot to Forster, May 28, 1832, C.O. 385/11*5 Refuge advertisement dated June 9, 1832, CO. 38V32s Cf. Madgwick, op.cit.. pp. 100-1. 72-The Committee was completely voluntary and lacked any paid staff. Even i t s expenses had to be financed by a surcharge of £1 on the fare re-quired from each emigrant. Without further help then, its activities would have been severely limited, for the task of recruitment and select-ion soon necessitated onerous duties of travel and correspondence with individual applicants and institutions. The only solution was to entrust the job of recruitment to shipowners whenever time and distance made i t Impossible for the Committee. In practice, this meant that the Committee interviewed applicants living i n or near London at their office in Hack-ney Road twice a week, while those farther afield were recruited by the Committee's contractor and agent, John Marshall. Marshall submitted the applications to the Committee for acceptance or rejection with his own comments, and although the Committee did apparently reject same appli-cants despite Marshall's recommendation, i t seems that they were in gen-eral bound to depend on his judgement. As a shipowner and contractor Marshall also received £16 for every female emigrant he sent out, so that, while he had a personal interest i n each ship being fully loaded, he also had the influence and opportunity to ensure that any deficiency in numbers might be made up by recruiting undesirable women at the last minute. The colonists and the Colonial Reformers a l l based their condemnation of the scheme on this charge.^ 38cf. Madgwick, op.cit., pp.l01-3$ Forster to Hay, March 30, 1633, C.O. 38u/32; Marshall to Forster, May 10, 1633, C.O. 381*/32; Marshall to Forster, Feb. 21, 1831*, C.O. 361*735$ see also the evidence of Marshall, Forster and H. W. Parker before the Transportation Committee, QQ. 102*3, 1166-70, 1230-61*, Report of Select Committee on Transportation, II, 1836, op.cit.. pp.89, 100-1, 105-8. 73. It is as unnecessary as i t i s impossible to erect a conclusive de-fense of Marshall against these charges. Quite possibly he was guilty of fraud and misuse of colonial funds, and was consequently responsible for a l l the colonial complaints of unsuitable emigrants. But one should stress what Madgwick himself was forced to admit, that a l l the evidence on either side i s circumstantial. The colonists were quick to notice that Marshall's dual role as shipowner-contractor and selection agent to the Committee was incongruous, but they could never support their accu-sations with positive proof. The only "real evidence" as Madgwick de-scribes i t , comes from the information given to the Select Committee on Transportation which took up the matter in 1638, and i f , as Madgwick rightly suggests, Marshall would never admit having misused colonial funds, i t is equally certain that the Transportation Committee, led by Molesworth, began with a bias against the entire scheme. Molesworth's Committee simply obtained the answer they desired by asking loaded quest-ions, and elicited the preconceived conclusion that the scheme went wrong because of inadequate control over an incompetent committee and unscru-pulous contractor and agent. Furthermore, i t is difficult to reconcile the charges against Marshall with the fact that early in the scheme he received a guarantee of payment for the number of emigrants necessary to f i l l each ship to capacity. This made i t quite unnecessary for him to smuggle i n unqualified women.3? His own defense before the Transportation 3?The extra payment was authorized at Forster's request after Marshall had taken a loss on three ships equipped for 200 emigrants each which a l l took less than their capacity; (the Sarah, Canton and Charles Kerr). Forster to Hay, July 16, 1835; Forster to James Stephen, Oct. 2, 1835, and Stephen's note, CO. 38o/38. 71*. Committee, though suspect, was never questioned, especially the impres-sive volumes of letters he produced to demonstrate his extreme care i n selection. The moral and occupational standards governing emigrant sel-ection, he reminded those applying on behalf of seduced girls, were i d -entical with those governing a private family when hiring domestic ser-vants.^0 Nevertheless, lacking adequate proof, the defense of the emi-gration scheme must rest on other grounds than these; as i n the case of the Princess Royal the most convincing argument is one which demonstrates that the emigrants were not as undesirable as contemporaries believed, and as recent critics have since maintained.^1 A comprehensive picture of the relative success or failure of each shipload, considering favour-able as well as adverse reports, i s likely to lead to a more balanced conclusion. A careful analysis of a l l the available data extracted from the ^%arshall produced six volumes of correspondence carried on be-tween himself and prospective emigrants, which unfortunately have not survived. Some extracts, however, were printed with the Transportation Committee Report; see esp. Marshall to G. Williams, Town Clerk, Tewkes-bury, March 21*, 1835 in reply to assistance for a seduced g i r l ; Report of Select Committee on Transportation, II, 1838, op.cit., p.306. and Marshall's evidence QQ. 1050-53, pp.90-1. ^ C r i t i c s like Madgwick and Mills simply selected colonial reports of the most undesirable women and depicted them as representative of the entire number. Madgwick, having examined four of the worst shiploads, concluded that "There is no point in making further references to par-ticular ships. Every one of fourteen dispatched by the Emigration Com-mittee was criticized to a greater or less degree on similar groundsrt; op.cit., p.105. 7*. despatches of colonial governors and reception committee reports on each ship strongly suggests that although there were many justified complaints about unsuitable women, the overall character of the female emigration scheme was not harmful.**2 Out of fourteen ships despatched by the Commit-tee,**3 seven gave grounds for serious complaint in Australia, either be-cause they contained numbers of prostitutes, girls under-age and inelig-ible for the bounty, and women not qualified for domestic service, or be-cause of disorder, indiscipline and promiscuity during the voyage. But of these seven, the complaints of only one, the Layton in 1833, applied to a majority of the female passengers. Out of the other six, in spite of serious criticism of a minority of the women, the governors also praised the general character and behaviour of the majority on four ves-sels, the Bussorah Merchant, Strathfieldsay, David Scott and Canton. Only on three occasions, in the cases of the Layton, Charles Kerr and Boadicea, did the governors make their specific complaints a basis for wider criticism of the entire system. Furthermore, i n two cases the women complained of were not selected by the Committee but had been fully financed by other institutions and were merely utilizing the Committee's ships and facil i t i e s . These included some of the women who were most seriously criticized for bad character, i l l health and age on the Strath-fieldsay and Boadicea. It is difficult to establish any exact numbers **2For details of the outcome of each emigrant ship, on which the following i s based, see Appendix A. The Committee was not responsible for emigrant selection for the four ships despatched from Ireland, but this distinction was not apparent-ly understood i n the colony and in publicity at home. 76. of supposed unsuitable women as names and numbers were frequently not specified, but even assuming that estimates like "a few" or "in some cases" referred to as many as thirty women, those giving cause for com-plaint, including the emigrants not actually selected by the Committee, would amount to 360 out of a total of 2,703, or slightly less than four-teen per cent of the total. While this number was sufficient to justify constant complaints from the colonies and controversy at home, i t cer-tainly does not warrant the unqualified condemnation i t provoked. The other seven ships occasioned no colonial complaints whatsoever, and much commendation, with respect to the moral and economic quality and behaviour of the women. A l l four ships in 1836, the final year of the project, were included among these, but i t i s significant to note that the last three, the William Metcalfe. Duchess of Northumberland and Lady  McNaughten did provoke indignant protests from Australia. These protests, however, had nothing whatever to do with single female emigrants, but referred exclusively to the new Government project of family emigration which was started i n 1836 to replace mass female emigration. Both Franklin, the new Governor of Van Diemen's Land, and Bourke complained of the destitute and unqualified paupers sent out at colonial expense. The ships were overcrowded, and excessive numbers of children on board spark-ed off contagious disease and high mortality. But the Ladies' Committee in Hobart Town expressed their gratification to find such great improve-ment i n the qualifications and character of the women on the William 77. Metcalfe—along the lines of their earlier suggestions.**** Madgwick miss-ed this essential distinction between complaints of single women and those of complete families. In fact the favourable reception of a l l the women in 1836 inescapably suggests that the Committee was just becoming profic-ient at i t s job when the whole scheme was abandoned. The outcome of each voyage suggests that wise and rigourous super-vision on board gave a greater assurance of success than the method of emigrant selection, although the latter was undoubtedly important. The most disastrous ship handled by the Committee was the Layton in 1833, which provoked angry protests from the Colonial administrators and the ladies' reception committee after a riotous voyage of unrestrained pro-miscuity. But as Bourke made clear, the basic cause was the Committee's faulty selection of two incompetent men to serve as the ship's Surgeon and Superintendent. They quarrelled throughout the voyage, accusing each other of inattention and improper conduct, and failed utterly to control the women and segregate them from the erew.**£ on the other hand, the Sarah, one of the most orderly and appreciated ships, owed its success **%eport of Ladies' Committee, March 25, 1837, i n Franklin to Glenelg, April 12, 1837, C.O. 280/78. **^ Bourke to Stanley, Jan. 21, 1834, Historical Records of Australia, Series I, Vol. XVII, pp. 31+3-6; The surgeon of the Layton gave a graphic description of the various disorders; the crew and male pass-engers took mistresses from among the women, and Rule reported that after one night of unrestrained revelry he found several intoxicated women lying naked under the hatchway; the crew frequently swam naked i n the women's presence; Journal of Surgeon J. Rule of the Layton, C. 0. 381+/36. 78. far more to "judicious supervision" in Arthur's words, than to any super-ior selection.^ 6 Forster agreed, and afterwards took steps to ensure that the supervision on each ship would be as exemplary as that of Super-intendent Charles D. Logan on the Sarah. He combined the duties of the Surgeon and Superintendent into a single post, as on convict ships, and issued rigid instructions to each Surgeon-Superintendent along the lines of Logan's own report.**7 The key to Logan's success had been the exten-sive use of married men, themselves emigrants, both as deputies to en-sure discipline and as a "salutary influence" on the morals of the unmar-ried. Logan's report of the voyage of the Sarah is especially important in view of future developments in assisted emigration, which in 1837 was converted to family emigration exclusively.**® By degrees the Government extended his concept of protection by families until no woman received assistance unless she went under the immediate protection of a married ho couple, preferably her parents or other close relatives. But Forster's meticulous instructions to each Surgeon-Superintendent, patterned after Logan's report, on the necessary precautions to guard the women's morals and behaviour demonstrate the Committee's pre-eminent concern to forestall **6Arthur to Spring-Rice, Feb. 26, 1835, C.O. 280/55. **7Forster to Hay, March 10, 1835, C.O. 384/38. **®Logan's supervision was a mixture of piety, diversionary in-struction and duties and strict inspection. He kept a twenty-four hour male guard and made frequent unannounced inspections and ran nightly checks of the women's quarters; Report of Superintendent C. Logan of the Sarah, in Arthur to Spring Rice, Feb. 26, 1835, C.O. 280/55. **?Glenelg to Bourke, Sept. 18, 1836, and enclosures, PP. 1837, X L i n (358), pp.58-60. 79. any further complaints about the women in Australia. The results of the Sarah and the six other ships with a clean record showed that their aim was not unrealistic. In terms of numbers the female emigration project was, therefore, undoubtedly highly successful. It provided the Australian colonies with badly needed female domestic servants and potential wives without the stigma of a convict background, and opened a new field of gainful employ-ment to women without prospects in Britain. But contemporaries, and esp-ecially the Australian colonists, did not think in terms of numbers. For them i t was the isolated complaint which attracted attention and remained representative of every woman on every ship. Horrors such as those des-cribed on the Layton caused shocked reactions from men who had confident-l y expected that shiploads of women would civilize Australia. Ultimate-ly colonial dissatisfaction and adverse publicity combined with the wor-sening Image of Australia during the height of the Transportation con-troversy i n IB36 to terminate the whole project. The fate of the scheme was decided by the distortions of adverse publicity rather than by a genuine assessment of its total contribution. ^°See Forster*s instructions to John Sullivan, Surgeon-Superinten-dent of the Canton. April 18, 1835, C.O. 361iA5. The Committee had earlier expressed its conviction that respectable families "exercise an Important check on the entire society on board ship, and essentially pro-mote regularity, propriety and harmony. While parents watch over the minds and conduct of their families, the moral influence extends far be-yond the Immediate objects of their solicitude and care**; Forster to Hay, Dec. 30, l83it, C.O. 38U/35; see also the Committee's instructions to the Captain, Surgeon and Superintendent of the Strathfleldsay. May 1, 183U, C.O. 38V35. 80. From the outset the Colonial Office had been doubtful about the wisdom of moving large numbers of young women collectively. T. F. El l i o t preferred them to emigrate in small groups protected by immediate famil-ies, but he was forced to qualify his preference by the need for speed in increasing the female population of Australia. Mass shipments were in his view a compromise with quality in order to obtain the more urgent quan-tity. & Others shared his view that some abuses were inherent i n such a large undertaking, but worth tolerating for the greater gain of reducing the disproportion between the sexes. Goderich told Arthur that the risk of disorder on the Princess Royal had been anticipated, "but that chance was deemed a less evil than the certain mischief of leaving the dispro-portion between the sexes in those colonies without an attempt at its correction. "^ 2 Similarly, Governor Bourke, more often a sympathetic mouthpiece for colonial complaints, acknowledged that i t would be " a l -together unreasonable" to expect a universally favourable report of the women's morals.**3 Even Forster admitted that some cases of "deception" and the influence of a long voyage must inevitably produce some except-ional cases of undeserving women. ^* Colonial immigration officials ^ E l l i o t to Richard Dalton, Poor Law Officer, Bury St. Edmonds, Dec. 15, 1831, C.O. 385/12; Elliot to Catherine McDonough, Jan. 4, 1832, C.O. 385/13. ^Goderich to Arthur, March 29, 1833, C.O. 1*08/9. bourke to Stanley, Dec. 6, 1833, PP. 1834, XLTV (616), pp. 33-5. ^Forster to Hay, Dec. 30, 1834, CO. 384/35. 81. 55 frequently qualified their own complaints with similar observations. This view could easily change into downright criticism of Australian society. In 183U an emigrant's handbook on New South Wales by the Rev. H. Carmichael defended the scheme on the grounds of its priceless value in reducing the disproportion between the sexes, and hence Improving colonial morality. The author went on, In individual cases the change of circumstances, and the state of the colony must, no doubt, have gone far to probe acutely the feelings of these females: and i n other cases some may have become victims of the vice of the country. Yet on the whole, after the temporary feelings arising from separation from home, and from being thus thrown into this society have been overcome, their general condition is sure of being bettered; whilst their influence in restraining men from im-morality and vice, will be more and more felt according as they be-come distributed as heads of families over the territory. Nothing has so powerful an influence over the conduct of men, as the society of virtuous and intelligent females.?" Carmichael's argument that the state of colonial society was to blame for Ill-behaved women gradually became the main line of defense against the scheme's critics. Paradoxically, however, the constant reiteration of the influence of Australian "depravity0 on innocent and helpless young women prompted fears that mass female emigration was suitable only for the most degraded women of England. Although the Committee might regard some abuses as inevitable, £^See, for example, the report of the Colonial Surgeon and Port Officer at Hobart Town on the Boadicea, Feb. 8, 1836, in Arthur to GLenelg, Feb. 19, I836, C.O. 280/65. 5%ev. H. Carmichael, Hints Relating to Emigrants and Emigration  . . (London, 183U), p»38. 82. the correspondence between them and the Colonial Office displays a most scrupulous regard to select well-qualified virtuous women. Furthermore, they invariably betrayed a hypersensitivity to criticism from a l l quart-ers, even seeming to expect i t . One committee member, C. H. Bracebridge, questioning the minimum age limit of eighteen for female emigrants, re-marked to the Permanent Undersecretary at the Colonial Office: I believe parish officers will show that the age of seduction i n England and consequently of expense to their fund i s earlier, not to say anything of the hope of reform being greater in characters who have not been years immersed in vice . . . I wi l l not deny (though i t lessen the numbers of applicants) i t /i.e. the 18 year limit/ may save us from seme abuse from mawkish humanitists who exclaim against separating a poor child from her natural protectors. Such persons know not how many of the ties of nature are irretrie-vably broken among the vicious of the lower classes who live with-out God in the world, and consequently sink .far below the level of human nature in a highly civilized country.?7 The Colonial Office shared this defensive attitude. Each year i n the Parliamentary Papers they published recent correspondence with the Colon-i a l Governors relating to emigration, and during the operation of the scheme this should have involved publishing the cr i t i c a l comments from Australia on same female emigrants. But in fact i t is possible to read through the papers covering the f i r s t two years of the project without seeing any suggestion that a single complaint had emanated from either colony. The Governors1 despatches were carefully censored so that every reference to prostitutes and misbehaviour of the women was absent from the papers presented to Parliament. The f u l l purport of the correspondence, therefore, only becomes apparent when one consults i t in the original, 57c. H. Bracebridge to Hay, June 12, 1832, C.O. 384/30. conveniently Impossible for contemporaries.5 For those interested in the success of the scheme, censorship of this kind forestalled, at least for a time, sensational criticism at home which might discourage the more respectable women from emigrating. Government censorship, however, could not keep female emigrants out of the news indefinitely. Despite the time lag caused by a voyage of about four months, news from Australia eventually filtered back by means of correspondence, returning passengers or crew members. S t i l l , i t i s surprising, i n view of the off i c i a l complaints of some of the earliest ships, that no serious criticism of the scheme was made in England before the Summer of 18 3U. And when that criticism came from The Times i t must have taken the Committee by complete surprise, since they had previously received that very paper's praise. On May 2, 183U a Times article described i n glowing terms the emigrants on the Strathfleldsay and a l l the elaborate precautions on board prior to de-parture.^ But three months later The Times thundered and from that time the Emigration Committee was forced into a defensive position from which i t never recovered. Opposition to any organized emigration project was not inconsis-^Compare, for example, Arthur to Goderich on the Princess Royal. Sept. 8, 1832, in PP. 1833, XXVI (11*1), PP.54-5 with original in C.O. 280/35; also compare Arthur to Stanley on the Strathfleldsay. Sept. 2k, 1831*, in PP. 1835, XXXIX (87) pp. 31-2 with original in C.O. 280^9. forhe Times. May 2, lB3k, p.5. 84. tent with the long-established editorial policy of The Times. Since I8l5 i t had constantly opposed a l l o f f i c i a l attempts to encourage emigration, ostensibly on the grounds that other means of employing a redundant pop-ulation could be found at home. Furthermore, i n the Summer of 1834 The  Times and i t s owner, John Walter, were at the height of their fulminat-ions against the new Poor Law, then i n the final stages of legislation, so that any further opportunity to criticize the centralizing and inter-fering Whig Government would have been welcome.60 In view of Walter's later attacks on the scheme in Parliament in 1836 i t is probable that the outbursts of August, 1834 were written at the behest of the propriet-or. In August, 1834, The Times printed three leaders critical of the female emigration project. Two were based on information from an "in-telligent captain of a merchant vessel just arrived from Sydney" and one on a letter received from a returned female emigrant. The tenor of each was much the same. They tended to stress the more sensational abuses of the scheme, particularly those respecting prostitutes, but The Times,although extremely hostile, made no criticism which Colonial Governors and officials had not already made against a minority of the women; the difference lay i n the clear impression that these abuses were O^On the Poor Law see J. Walter, A Letter to the Electors of  Berkshire on the Hew System for the Management of the Poor feoposed by the Government. (London. 1834). and The Times, April 3 0 , 1834, p.5. 85. the role rather than the exception. This might be explained by the fact that in August, 183U sufficient time had elapsed to permit news to reach London of only four emigrant ships, two of these, the Red Rover and the Princess Royal, not being handled by the Committee, and one, the Layton, provoking more serious complaints than any other ship. The Times' c r i t -icism, therefore, was made before the Committee had really had an opport-unity to show that i t had profited from its early mistakes. The growls of the Thunderer did not go unanswered. Five days after the appearance of the f i r s t c r i t i c a l leader a defensive letter by John Marshall, the Committee's agent and contractor, appeared i n the Globe, Courier and True Sun, papers which had a l l reprinted the leader of August 6 from The Times.^2 In rebuttal Marshall pointed out that the Committee had not been responsible for the Red Rover and Princess Royal, and that i t had been formed for the express purpose of eliminating the original abuses. He then cited reports of the emigrants on the Bnssorah  Merchant and Layton diametrically opposite to those used by The Times. Characteristically, The Times dismissed a l l Marshall's evidence because i t came from men who, like Marshall, had a "common interest" in encourag-ing emigration, but i t i s notable that i t did not repeat the accusation, already made in Sydney, that Marshall had deliberately f i l l e d up the 6 lThe Times, Aug. 6, 183U, p.5*j Aug. lU, 183U, p.2j Aug. 28, 183U, p.2. 6 2The Globe, Aug. 11, l83Uj The Courier, Aug 11, 183U; The True  Sun, Aug 11, 183k. 86. ships with disreputable women immediately before departure. Further c r i t -icism in The Times on August U and August 28 prompted a more elaborate reply from Marshall in pamphlet form on August 29, which was really an extension of his f i r s t letter of August 7 . ^ Unlike the Committee and the Colonial Office he avoided the tactical error of suggesting that some abuses were inherent i n a system of mass female emigration, but he did suggest that some experience was necessary before the system could attain perfection.6*4. It is hardly likely that Marshall's reply convin-ced The Times but, for whatever reason, i t did not deign to answer him, and did not return to the subject until 1 8 3 6 . 6 ^ In his pamphlet Marshall printed a letter to The Times from J. Henty, an ex-Van Biemen's Land resident, which the newspaper had refused to print. Henty had stressed the desperate need for women in Van Diemen's Land, and had suggested that the abuses described i n Sydney did not ap-ply to the smaller colony. He feared that The Times' adverse publicity would discourage potential emigrants, and especially the more respect-66 able women, from taking advantage of the Government bounty. His fear was well justified, for the next three ships to leave London, the Sarah Marshall, A Reply to the Misrepresentations . . . Respecting Female Emigration to Australia, (London, 1834). Marshall reprinted his letter of August 7 i n this pamphlet, pp. 3 - 6 ; see also Marshall to Hay Aug. 21, 1835, C.O. 384/381, where Marshall stated that the Committee had induced him to write the pamphlet. %bid.« p.20. ^Similar criticism of the scheme appeared in "Van Diemen's Land'', Westminster Review. Vol. XXI, July, 1834, pp.50-2. - . ^ J . Marshall, op. c i t . , pp.6-7. 87. In October, 1834. the Canton i n May, 183$, and the Charles Kerr i n July, 183$, a l l departed without their f u l l quota of women. In his report for 18 34 Forster wrote that the Committee had fully anticipated f i l l i n g the Sarah with much needed country servants, but after the press controversy many women of that class had withdrawn their application. ^  Six months later he complained that respectable qualified women were s t i l l deterred by press criticism, and extended responsibility to the Australian press. The unfounded attacks on the labours of the Committee by a portion of the newspaper press i n this country, and the unwarranted imputations cast on them by the Colonial press (which are copied and circulated in this hemisphere) render i t impossible for the Committee to select a number of young women of unexceptionable character from any class, and until the colonists themselves shall assist in aiding, instead of repressing, the exertions of the Com-mittee, no well grounded expectation can exist of the Committee having i t in their power to select a large body of females from those employed i n any given line of l i f e , more especially of per-sons from rural districts, where local attachments are the strongest."8 If Forster was correct regarding the withdrawal of potential emigrants —and there i s no reason to doubt it—then i t seems certain that press influence was central to the success or failure of the system. The Committee's hypersensitivity to criticism thus becomes more understand-able. After the 1834 controversy the Committee had a reprieve from further serious criticism for nearly two years. The Times only broke its long silence i n April, 1836 with a highly commendatory news report 67Forster to Hay, Dec. 30, 1B34, C.O. 384/3$. f o r s t e r to Hay, July 1, 183$, C.O. 384/38j see also Forster to Hay, July 16, 183$, C.O. 384/38. 88. of the Committee's arrangements for the Amelia Thompson.6? But in July the coup de grace was delivered in Parliament by the owner of The Times himself, John Walter II. Walter brought the subject before the House of Commons on three different occasions within a month. He objected to a placard circulated by the Committee, with Government sanction, to a l l post offices, clergymen and parish officers "urging young women, with what he should c a l l indecent and improper incitements, to quit their homes." He denied the Committee's statement that their previous emi-grants had been respectably employed or married. He could ensure the House, from inquiry of several intelligent gentlemen, who had returned to this country from Hew South Wales, the region to which these poor women were invited, that two-thirds of the emigrants were irrevocably and finally, consigned to pro-stitution (Mr. C. Lushingtonj "No 1" "Order" from the Chair.) To Walter the entire system was nothing less than a "white slave trade" far worse than the negro slave trade. The Committee, he argued, had persisted, against the warnings of the Hobart Town Ladies' Committee, in sending out young girls under seventeen to expect immediate marriage with respectable men. Characteristically, Walter concluded with a dia-tribe against a l l emigration schemes which, he argued, severed man from a l l his most natural and affectionate ties. And i f material improvement was pleaded as a motive the greater was the shame of that Government whose subjects could be induced to forsake their country i n violation of 6>Ehe Times, April 29, 1836, p.6. In the same issue a related leading article deplored the need for any emigration, but made no ad-verse comments on the Committee, p.5. 89. a l l natural affections. 7 0 In fact this was a concise precis of the tra-ditional attitude of f he Times to a l l organized emigration. Walter»s motion to have the Committee's placards removed was de-feated, and he was ably answered, f i r s t by Sir George Grey, Parliamen-tary Under-Secretary at the Colonial Office, and then by Charles Lushington, a member of the Emigration Committee. "Considering the great number of females which went out" argued Grey " i t was not to be wondered at i f some turned out badly." 7 1 This was the traditional de-fense of the Committee's operations, but this time, i t seemed, i t was not sufficient, for on July 21 the Emigration Committee passed a resolu-tion against sending any further women to Hew South Wales. The Commit-tee resolved that, adverting to the information imparted to the Committee, both collectively and individually, of the excessive immorality stated to prevail in certain districts of New South Wales, the Committee have formed the opinion that they cannot conscientiously recommend to the Government to encourage the further emigration of single females (however well selected), unprotected by parents or near re-latives, to Sydney. Forster advised Grey that the resolution did not apply to Van Diemen's Land, where "a very different state of society prevails, and the entire state of that community i s much more moral and religious." 7 2 Nevertheless, 70Hansard, 3rd Ser., Vol. XXXV, July 11, 1836, cc.96-105; see also July 8, 1836, cc.12-3; Aug. 5, 1836, cc.9U3-6j Vol. XXXIV, July 5, 1836, cc.1268-9. 7 1 I b i d . Vol. XXXV, July 11, 1836, c. 102. 72committee Resolution, July 21, 1836, and Forster to Grey, July 22, 1B36, PP. 1836, XL (76), p. 1; this resolution was printed i n The  Times, Aug. 6, 1836, p.3. 90. Walter raised the subject in the Commons again on August 5 and boasted that the Committee's resolution stemmed from his own recent motion. But he denied that Van Diem en's Land society was any more moral than that i n Sydney and urged the Government to put a stop to the entire system.7^ Walter's attack on the Committee was not without its effect, but i t is unlikely that i t alone caused the Committee's sudden decision. The Colonial Reformers, led by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, were agitating for a more "systematic'' approach to emigration and colonization. On June 27 Wakefield had appeared before the Select Committee on Disposal of Colonial Waste Lands where he attacked the Emigration Committee and ridiculed the Government for allowing "so Important a work as the con-duct of emigration by the State, to be superintended by a party of people whom nobody knows anything at a l l about. " 7^ But more Important, as far back as October 14, 183$, Governor Bourke of Hew South Wales had submitted a proposal to Glenelg to transform the entire basis of assist-ed emigration into a family emigration scheme in which single females would qualify only under a family's protection. Under the new scheme the colony would send i t s own selection agents to England to select, 7%ansard, 3rd Ser., Vol. XXXV, Aug. 5, I836, cc. 943-6. ^Evidence of E. G. Wakefield i n Report from the Select Committee on Disposal of Lands in the British Colonies, PP. 1836, XI (512), pp. 99-100, Q.926; see also p. 95, Q. 898; and p. 97, Q. 910 where Wakefield advocated the assisted emigration of young childless married couples. 91. supervise, and accompany assisted emigrants to Sydney.7^ Glenelg did not forward his approval of this plan until September 18, so i t must have been under consideration for about six months. There i s no eviden-ce of any of f i c i a l communication of the matter to the Committee, but i t i s inconceivable that they would s t i l l be ignorant of i t s contents by August. Their resolution of July 21, pleading the depravity of New South Wales as a pretext for their decision was, therefore, probably l i t t l e more than a face-saving operation. Despite i t s announcement the Committee managed the three remain-ing emigrant ships already contracted for the current year, two from Cork to Sydney and one from London to Hobart Town. But in his year-end report Forster proposed that the Committee's services might be altogether dispensed with. In July the Committee had f e l t that single women might s t i l l be sent to Van Diemen's Land without their natural protectors, but now "they confess that so many conflicting opinions have reached them that i t would not be right to disregard the doubts which have been ex-pressed on that subject." In any case, as Forster acknowledged, the ap-pointment of colonial selection agents and restriction of financial as-sistance to women emigrating in families rendered the Committee 7^Bourke's proposal was based on the suggestions of the Committee of the Legislative Council on Emigration; Bourke to Glenelg, Oct. 1U, 1835, and Report of Committee, Sept. 18, 1835; PP. 1837, XLITI (358), pp. 3-12j Bourke took steps to implement these proposals before receiv-ing Glenelg's approval; see Alexander McLeay (Sydney Colonial Secretary) instructions to selection agent Dr. David Boyter, Feb. 10, 1836, C.O. 38UA5. 92. superfluous.7^ unfortunately for the Committee i t s termination did not mark the end of public criticism of the system i t had managed. As the events be-came more distant the sweeping generalisations against the system be-came more strident; and i f the Committee's reputation tarnished with age, so did the concept of any organized system of female emigration. One of the most influential writers to criticize the Committee was the resident Presbyterian clergyman in Sydney, John Dunmore Lang, who had himself shown considerable interest in emigration schemes,77 and in 1 8 3 7 launched a scathing attack. 7 8 Like other critics Lang emphasized Marshall's incongruous position as both agent and contractor, and thought that the exposure of unprotected women to the strong temptations of Australian society militated against a successful outcome. But above a l l there was "the improbability of inducing any considerable number of really virtuous females to a distant country, without natural protectors." Lang's italics stressed what every self-respecting middle-class parent fervently believed, that respectable young women should never travel — l e t alone emigrate—en seal. The dire consequence of this delusion, 7 6Porster to Grey, Dec. 6, 1836, C.O. 38iiAl. 7 7See Lang'8 suggestions to Hay, Jan. 15, 183k, C.O. 38I1/36; Lang had already written one popular anti-transportation book on Australia, A Historical and Statistical Account of Mew South Wales, (London, 1834), already in i t s third edition i n 1837, so that his second book was wide-ly reviewed i n England. 7 8 J . D« Lang, Transportation and Colonization; The Causes of the 93. argued Lang, had been the further corruption of Australia rather than, as intended, i t s refinement and civilization. For the past three years the streets of Sydney had been infested with prostitutes from the Com-mittee 1s ships, whereas he had seen nothing of the kind previously.7? "The thoroughly demoralizing influence of such exhibitions may be easily conceived,*1 he concluded, "for one bad woman let loose upon society does infinitely more harm than a dozen bad men.** The Implication was obvious: female emigrants had signally failed to play their anticipated c i v i l i z -ing role; instead of bringing humanity they had brought corruption.®0 The lesson was not lost on those responsible for the future conduct of emigration. Lang'8 strictures on female emigration met with widespread appro-bation in the British press. The Times, devoting space i n two issues to his book, described the scheme as "a wicked knavish trick." William Molesworth i n the Westminster Review derided the scheme as a misguided attempt to convert the vagabonds of London into the matrons of Australia, which instead had polluted Sydney* s streets with the refuse of Westminster; the pathetic result was that "the free emigrants now outstrip in vice and obscenity" the convict population. But few made the analysis of a Comparative Failure of the Transportation System in the Australian Col- onies. (London. 1637). 79significantly, Lang had no experience of, and did not discuss Van Diemen's Land, but his remarks were taken to apply to the entire scheme. pp. 48-9. 9k. writer in the British and Foreign Review, who insisted that so long as convict transportation continued to Australia, either mass female emi-gration or female convict transportation must be carried out to prevent the greater ev i l of a disproportion between the sexes from growing. The familiar evils of prostitution, i t seemed, were minor compared to a society where "the monstrous conception of a Marquis de Sade seem to have received the sanction and notoriety of general custom." This popular criticism was damaging enough, but Sir William Molesworth's Select Committee on Transportation subjected the scheme to further public scrutiny in 1837 and 1838. As a leading Radical and Col-onial Reformer, Molesworth was committed to the total abolition of con-vict transportation, and i t at f i r s t appears inconsistent that the emi-gration scheme should have been given so much attention by the Committee. But the criticism of female emigration served a useful purpose i n Molesworth's anti-transportation argument, as shown by his own speech in the Commons in 181*0 introducing a motion to abolish convict trans-portation. The failure of female emigration conveniently demonstrated the f u t i l i t y of trying to correct the disproportion between the sexes i n Australia by any other means than the total abolition of transportation. 8 lThe Times, Oct. 1 6 , 1837, p. $} see also issue of Sept. 2 6 , 1837, p. 1. W. Molesworth "Life in the Penal Colonies," Westminster Re-view, Vol. XXVH, July, 1837, p. 8$; "Australia." The British and  Foreign Review, Vol. V, July, 1837, pp. 127-9$ see also the Monthly Re- view, May. 1837. pp. U-5 which reprinted Lang's criticism verbatim; and the Gentleman's Magazine, New Ser., Vol. X, Oct. 1838, p. 356. 95. "It i s vain,11 argued Molesworth, to think of altering the proportion of the sexes in the penal col-onies by means of good female emigration, as long as transportation continues, because respectable women wi l l not consent to go alone The Transportation Committee's attack on female emigration was therefore a convenient means to emphasize further their foregone con-clusion that a l l attempts at moral reform in Australia were futile so long as convict transportation persisted. In line with the Wakefieldian doctrine that emigration should be systematically administered by fully responsible paid officials Molesworth also criticized the role of John Marshall as contractor and selection agent.®3 But i n fairness one should add that Molesworth failed to prove his case from the evidence collected by the Committee. He ignored the defensive testimony of Marshall himself and two members of the London Emigration Committee, Edward Forster and H. ¥. Parker, as well as the favourable comments on the results of the scheme in Van Diemen's Land by two residents, and the Rev. ¥. Ullathorne's qualification of his own criticism of the New South Wales emigrants.®** Furthermore the Committee's line of question-ing, while not always successful, was too obviously slanted to confirm cit . , evidence of Marshall, pp. 88-100, QQ. 1037-1160} Forster, pp. 100-1, QQ. 1164-79; Parker, pp. 155-63, QQ. 1228-1331; Russell, QQ. 567-72; Murdock, pp. 119-120, QQ. 1471-80; Ullathorne, pp. 22-3, Q. 220. °6. i t s own preconceived conclusions.^ Admittedly the most c r i t i c a l evi-dence suggests that complaints of some of the Sydney emigrants were largely j u s t i f i e d , ^ they are hardly warrant for Archbishop Whately1 a statement in the House of Lords that "19/20ths of these unfortunate creatures were swept down the strong current of licentiousness which prevails i n those regions, and which no ordinary strength can be expected to resist. n 8 7 But i t was Whately's view which prevailed, and with damaging consequences for the future of female emigration. The view that any really respectable young woman would never consider emigrating alone, especially to Australia, without her "natural protectors" was the most persistent argument against female emigration. The very fact of her willingness to leave the theoretical protection of her family for an unknown lend was sufficient to brand any woman as a moral risk and l i a b i l i t y as an immigrant in the new country. However much this ignored the desperate economic plight of thousands of young women of a l l classes i n Britain, those closest to the routine conduct of assisted emigration were convinced from actual observation that their experience formed the basis for a hard and fast law of feminine behaviour. ?See for example Hawes' questioning of Marshall, Ibid., p. 92, QQ. 1076-7. 8 6Ibid., (I), PP. 1837, ($18), Evidence of Sir Francis Forbes, pp. 28-9, QQ. 476-86; Lt. Col. Henry Breton, pp. 153-4, QQ. 21*00-2, 24-4-10$ J. D. Lang, pp. 254-5, QQ. 3939-43; Ullathorne, pp. 22-3, QQ. 219-21; these comments did not go unnoticed in the press, see Horace Twiss, "New South Wales," Quarterly Review. Vol. LXXI, Oct. 1838, p. 482. 87Hansard, 3rd Ser., Vol. LTV, May 19, 1840 (Lords), c. 275. 97. Indeed, while this general conclusion was unwarranted, i t would be d i f f i -cult to exaggerate the bias against unaccompanied travel as a deterrent to female emigration, and even to female mobility within England.®® The resulting taint associated with female emigration persisted well into the century and for decades inhibited the development of any really signifi-cant middle-class project. Before the termination of the scheme in 1836 the conviction that only unsuitable women would emigrate alone was expressed only by the col-onists. In 1835 the Hew South Wales Committee on Emigration acknowledged "the difficulty of inducing young women of virtuous principles and pru-dent habits to quit the protection of their homes, and migrate on a voy-age of adventure to a distant land."®9 But from the moment that family emigration replaced female emigration the opinion was expressed with in-creasing frequency at the Colonial Office, and, as already noticed, gain-ed a wide public hearing. James Stephen, advising the Treasury of the new emigration policy, admitted that the recent plan had failed to live up to expectations. Despite the praiseworthy exertions of the Committee, he added, "no care and vigilance can guard against the recurrence of ®®See especially Liverpool emigration agent Lt. R. Low to Hay, June 21, 1834, advising that he had selected many respectable women for emigration i f a ship could be sent from Liverpool, but that "there seems an unwillingness on the parents' parts, of the lower better order of society, to trust their children so far from their sight previous to embarkation;" C.O. 384/35. ®?Report of the Committee of the Legislative Council on Emigrat-ion, Sept. 18, 1835, op. c i t . , p. I l l ; see also J. D, Lang to the Secre-tary of State, Jan. 15, 1834, CO. 384/36. 98. evils, which appear naturally to flow from the separation of females at any early age from their natural guardians and protectors, and their ex-posure, notwithstanding the asylum provided for them by the Government on their arrival, to more than ordinary temptations. «90 The most per-sistent c r i t i c at the Colonial Office was T. F. El l i o t , who became Agent-General for emigration at the end of 1836. Commenting on a request from Lt.-Governor Franklin to renew female emigration to Van Diemen's Land, he advised Stephen, The fact perhaps i s , that the very circumstance of a young woman's being prepared to quit the country alone, and separated from a l l her friends, i s in itself, though I should be very sorry to say a conclusive objection, yet an occasion of additional difficulty i n obtaining a perfect assurance of the respectability and correct views of the party.91 Elliot would not budge from his position that the experiment of female emigration had been tried and found wanting, and he remained determined throughout his career that the attempt should not be repeated. The most significant feature of a l l this i s that the belief in the inherent evils of female emigration came to be held more tenacious-ly i n Britain than abroad. The new policy of family emigration in 1837 was based entirely on the needs of New South Wales and ignored the dif-ferent circumstances i n Van Diemen's Land. In the latter colony, as Franklin told Glenelg, the population was concentrated along the coast, and, unlike New South Wales which already possessed numerous interior 9°Stephen to A. I. Spearman, Aug. 19, I836, PP. 1837, XLIII (358), p. 60. 9 1 E H i o t to Stephen, Jan. 3, 1S39, PP. 1839, XXXIX (536-1), pp. 75-6. 99. townships, there were few employment opportunities for married mechanics* Furthermore, in Van Diemen's Land there was a surfeit of assigned con-vict servants, who resided in their master's homes, and although many settlers might prefer free labour, they were not equipped to take in whole families.?2 The first shipload of families sent out with the last single women in the William Metcalfe convinced the Legislative Council that family emigration was positively injurious to the colony; but female emigration was now popular, and the Council suggested that about 300 women annually be sent to Van Diemen's Land in groups of twenty to forty each.?3 The strength of colonial feeling on this subject was suggested in a letter from Mr. Henty of Launceston, read before the Transportation Committee in I838 by H. W. Parker, a member of the Emi-gration Committee. Henty deplored the cessation of female emigration, arguing that the women had wrought a great "moral improvement" in Launceston society; he feared that without i t Launceston would "revert back to the old and barbarous state of the colony as i t existed in 1832." Large towns like Sydney, and even Hobart Town, he argued, were cut off from the country settlers, and the women had no chance to obtain safe and suitable employment, but in Launceston the country settlers flocked into town when the women arrived, and immediately took them away "from al l temptation and vice."?** 92Franklin to Glenelg, April 12, 1837, CO. 280/?8. ?3Minutes of Van Diemen's Xand Legislative Council Meeting, April U, 1837, enclosed in ibid; see also Franklin's formal request to Glenelg, PP. 1839, XXXTX (536-llTpp. Ik - £. 9l»Henty's letter in evidence of H. W. Parker, Report of Select 100. But title Colonial Office remained steadfast against these argu-ments. The embarrassment and criticism wrought by one experiment in female emigration was sufficient to deter any attempt to repeat the ex-ercise. Franklin's requests for female emigrants to Van Diemen's Land were therefore denied,^ and Elliot's view that any such system carried with i t the seeds of i t s own failure persisted. As late as 1650 the Emigration Commissioners warned the proponents of a new female emigrat-ion society against a l l the inherent evils i n the scheme, and related a long history of the experience of the London Emigration Committee. Furthermore, i n the public mind female emigration continued to be asso-ciated with prostitutes and workhouses, or at best unemployed domestics. Indeed, there is evidence to show that regular prostitutes themselves generally dreamed of Australia as an escape from their plight.97 The experience of the f i r s t female emigration scheme bolstered the stereo-typed attitude in Britain which viewed female emigration as a hazardous last resort for the destitute and ruined, and as an almost unthinkable alternative for the middle-class young lady without fortune or employment. Committee on Transportation (II) 1638, op. c i t . . p. 112, Q. 1326$ the tenor of this letter was similar to Henty's earlier letter to The Times printed by John Marshall j supra p. 86. ^Gienelg to Franklin, Jan. 11, 1839, PP. 1839, XXXIX, (536-1), P. 75. . ""Memo, of Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners to Sidney Herbert's Fund for Promoting Female Emigration, PP. 1850, XL /ll63j, pp. 166-9. ?7see the London prostitute's opinion of her certain reform i f she could only emigrate to Australia i n H. Mayhew, London Labour and  the London Poor. (London, 1861), Vol. HI, pp. 1*03-4. "~~ 101. Chapter III The Pioneers: Early-Victorian Emigrants One of the factors which persistently inhibited the development of emigration as a viable alternative for the distressed gentlewoman was the obvious lack of demand in the colonies for refined educated women. As the colonists never tired of pointing out, a crude pioneer-ing agricultural and pastoral society was suitable for none but the most hard-working servant women of humble origins—and preferably country servants at that; consequently they looked askance at the arrival of genteel governesses reluctant to do the most menial kinds of domestic and farrawork.1 This inherent incompatibility between the occupational needs of middle-class women on the one hand and new societies on the other continually obstructed the growth of middle-class female emigrat-ion on a large scale. Only in the eighties when the emigration socie-ties—and the emigrants themselves—finally faced up to this problem did the actual numbers of middle-class female emigrants increase signi-ficantly. Despite a l l the obstacles there was unrelenting pressure i n Britain for some form of middle-class emigration of both sexes. Partly this was a response to the economic need of Wakefield's "uneasy classj" iSee. for example, the evidence of Alexander McLeay, New South Wales Colonial Secretary, to the Committee of the N.S.W. Legislative Council on Immigration, Minutes of Evidence, Sept. 18, 1835, PP. 1837, XLni (358), p. 16. 102. the accompanying propaganda was certainly Wakefieldian. Wakefield* s model colonies i n South Australia and New Zealand were intended as exact replicas of the social structure of Britain, a precise transplantation of every class from the humblest to the highest. But the greatest per-suasion was directed to that class most traditionally reluctant to leave. R. S. Rintoul's Spectator, the mouthpiece of the Wakef ieldians, argued that the new South Australian colony in 1834 offered most advantage to men of small or moderate fortunes, having large families to provide  f o r — a career for a l l tne sons, be they ever so many, husbands for a l l the daughters, however large the brood; and for the contented father, a fiel d of profitable exertion and honourable ambition.2 Wakefield did indeed root out many middle-class emigrants of both sexes at a time when the vast majority of emigrants were working-class. But as Brinley Thomas recently suggested this very success probably diverted the more class-conscious working-class emigrants to the United States, and was a contributory factor i n causing that country to gain in popu-lation at the expense of the Empire.^ A l l the arguments inducing middle-class families to emigrate ap-plied with equal force to single women of the same class. The combined influence of the Government emigration scheme and Wakefieldian promotion campaigns i n the 'thirties prompted small numbers of middle-class women to risk the dangers of a long unpleasant voyage and unknown colony in ^Spectator, Jan. k, 1834, pp. 7-8. % . Thomas, Migration and Economic Growth, (London, 1958), pp. 203^ 4; 207-8. 103. preference to genteel poverty at home. This, undoubtedly, was only the tip of the iceberg of thousands of "redundant women," most of whom re-mained i n Britain to swell the ranks of unqualified governesses and schoolmistresses. But for this reason i t i s Important to get some idea of exactly who emigrated and for what reasons. Did these pioneer middle-class emigrants before 1850 really f i t the well known description of the "distressed gentlewoman?" The evidence i s meagre and scattered but, taking a l l the associated clues into account, some tentative answers should emerge. The Government emigration scheme begun i n 1832 was clearly in-tended as a working-class project to encourage domestic and country ser-vants to emigrate. But in a very short time various pressures emerged for some assistance to middle-class women. An extraordinary proposal by R. F. Breed, a Liverpool shipowner, suggests that commercial inter-ests soon detected the potential lucrative profits which might derive from such a scheme. Breed solicited the Government's support for a pro-ject i n i t i a l l y to send out to Hob art Town fourteen to sixteen "respect-able young females" under twenty-three. He would not charge for the passage but expected, rather naively, to be paid 150 guineas when each woman married. At that time also, he hoped that the Government would allow each of the emigrants a small grant of land as a "marriage portion." Not surprisingly the Colonial Office declined, but Breed was per-sistent. In a subsequent letter he simply requested that the Government guarantee protection of the women in the colony until their marriage* He claimed to have already contacted three families "overburthened with Females of excellent standing and character.B One of the fathers was an artillery Captain with twelve children, " a l l well educated but in strait-ened circumstances. These families expressed delight at the idea of being able to embrace an opening to better the fortunes of some of their Daughters with comfort and protection. 9 But comfort and protection was the key term, and assuming that his own scheme was to lapse, Breed suggested whether some revisal of the Circulars may not hereafter be made so as to hold out inducement to the Emigration of Females of a higher order than seems to be contemplated. The scale of passage money in those circulars would admit of beggarly accommodation f i t only for paupers, or the lowest order of society, and i n vessels that must I take i t be crowded with passengers in which a respectable Female would not embark under any consideration. Goderich dismissed this as "absurd,0 and in his scribbled note displayed a marked ignorance of the situation of middle-class women. He says the aid should be such as to tempt respectable (meaning wealthy) females to emigrate. It does not appear to have occurred to Mr. Breed that wealthy females would be able to pay for them-selves. The sooner the letter is put out of sight the better. It does not appear to have occured to Goderich that, as the artillery captain's daughters knew only too well, middle-class respect ability was no guarantee of middle-class wealth, and similar women in "straitened circumstances" sought for the same solution from their genteel poverty.^ 4R. F. Breed to Colonial Secretary, Dec. 15, 1832, C.O. 382t/30. Hay to Breed, Dec. 22, 1832, C.O. 202/29j Breed to "Commissioners for Emigration," Jan. 5, 1833, and Goderich's note dated Jan. 7, 1833, C.O. 38it/33. 105. At a time when a "respectable" cabin passage to Australia cost from £40 to £80* (roughly the average annual salary of a well qualified governess) i t i s not surprising that some middle-class women attempted to take advantage of Government assistance, which by 1835 consisted of a wholly free passage. For many this presented a rare opportunity to extricate themselves from an otherwise hopeless situation. At the same time i t seems that the majority had to be convinced that a l l other a l -ternatives were f i r s t exhausted. Mary Scheidweiler, for example, only petitioned the Crown from Buttevant, Ireland, after passing through a l l the familiar experiences of the distressed gentlewoman. The educated daughter of an officer who had retired i n Ireland, she had maintained rank so long as he drew half-pay, but on his death was left at the age of 20 to support a younger sister and brother. Excess competition had prevented her from obtaining "a situation in the capacity of Governess or i n some other respectable line." She had recently equipped her sister to emigrate to New South Wales, but was herself unable to make a living "in consequence of which disappointments she would be inclined to avail herself of the opportunity afforded by lour Majesty's benevolence to young unmarried females of emigrating to the colony of New South Wales." With a fourteen-year-old brother also in need of assistance, i t i s un-likely that Scheidweiler was successful, but her case i s typical of -'See Elliot's replies to enquiries, e.g. Elliot to T. Borrows, Oct. 13, 1831, C.O. 385/12 and Elliot to J. B. Monck, April 5, 1832, C.O. 385/14. 106. those who turned to emigration only as an absolute last resort. ^ The Colonial Offiee was usually quick to discourage such casual middle-class applicants. The passage money, they insisted, was provided out of colonial funds to supply badly needed domestic servants from the working-classj consequently educated women were not eligible for any form of grant. Elliot advised a Miss Fltzpatrick that the Government's arrangements "have reference principally to females of the working-class-es, and that they are scarcely calculated to furnish the inducement which you observe would be requisite to lead Ladies in your circumstances to the Colonies. t t 7 At times the Colonial Office showed more diligence i n this respect than the colonists themselves. In 1833 i t emerged that two assisted emigrants were daughters of Mr. Yeoland, the Van Diemen's Land Auditor-General. "It is quite clear", wrote Hay, "that they are not the class of females whom the Government intended to assist i n emi-grating to the colony," and he requested that Arthur demand immediate 8 repayment from Yeoland. In most cases, at least, the Colonial Office ^Petition of M. Scheidweiler, Buttevant, Cork, Ireland, July 2ii, 1835; forwarded from Home Office to Hay, July 29, 1835, C.O. 3&k/39» Miss Scheidweiler was the daughter of a Hanover immigrant who had served as Quartermaster in the First Regiment of Lifeguards for 26 years: her petition included a testimonial from the Vicar of Buttevant, James Law, who concluded that "she would be a very valuable acquisition to the col-ony of New South Wales." There i s no surviving record of a Colonial Of-fice reply. The usual response to eligible enquiries was to send appli-cation forms to be completed and returned to the Emigration Committee. 7 'Elliot to Miss Fltzpatrick, In care of Rev. John Robinson, Mexford, Jan. 20, 1832, C.O. 385/13. 8Hay to Arthur, April 20, 1833, C.O. U08/9. 107. was intransigent on the point that assistance must be confined to those 9 qualified for the roughest domestic service. Despite these official discouragements, however, i t i s a l l too clear that considerable numbers of middle-class women did i n fact receive the Government grant, and others were enabled to emigrate under the scheme's protection at a lower cost than would otherwise have been possi-ble. The frequent colonial protests at receiving governesses, nursery governesses and ladies' maids suggest that one of the major Australian resentments against the scheme was that so many women had social back-grounds which did not suit them for hard colonial work.10 On the other hand one complaint from Van Diemen' s Land might imply that i t was not so much soundly educated middle-class women they resented as those with humble backgrounds and middle-class aspirations. The Ladies Reception Committee noted that that class which usually style themselves "nursery governesses" are l i t t l e required . . . A few good governesses, who are thoroughly com-petent to undertake the education of children in respectable families would find situations. 1 1 ?See, for example, Ell i o t to Miss Chambers, Kenrdngton Cross, June 23, 1832, C.O. 385/14. 1 0See Arthur to Hay, Oct. 9, 1832, C.O. 280/365 Evidence of Alexander McLeay to the Committee of the N.S.W. Legislative Council on Immigration, op. cit., p. 16. The same opinion reached England. In an otherwise favourable description of the Amelia Thompson, a reporter i n The Times suggested that the demand for governesses i n Van Diemen's Land must be less than the supply on this one ship. April 29, 1836, p. 5* -^Ladies Committee Report on Boadicea, April U, 1836, in Arthur to Glenelg, April 29, 1836, C.O. 2807&5. 108. The problem, of coarse, was that the best qualified governesses In most cases had neither need nor desire to emigrate. But whatever their quali-fications the surviving passenger l i s t s indicate that Marshall and the Committee were less reluctant to admit middle-class women than were the Colonial Office. Consequently the alleged working-class scheme included a liberal sprinkling of middle-class women. Once the scheme was well established even the Colonial Office at-titude on middle-class emigrants apparently softened. Hay sent Bourke a l i s t of women on the Layton who "are of superior habits and education, whom misfortunes in l i f e have compelled to seek a maintenance i n another Hemisphere," and requested special treatment for them in the colony to ensure that they found suitable employment.12 It is not clear exactly what caused this new approach but in some cases i t was undoubtedly due to the intervention of persons with some influence. Sophia Eyre, a gov-erness recommended by the Earl and Countess of Denbigh and Viscountess Fielding, received exceptional attention from the Colonial Office, who requested Bourke fs personal assistance for her i n the colony. 1 3 On another occasion Arthur took special pains to place two sisters as school-teacher and governess after a special request from Stanley.-^* Elliot's deferential tone i n his communications with a Miss Igglesden contrasts 12Hay to Bourke, Aug. 10, 1833, HRA, I. Vol. XVII, p. l£6. ^ J . Lefevre to Bourke, July k, l83i|., C.O. 202/32j S. A. Eyre to Hay, July 9, 183U, C.O. 38l»/36. ^Arthur to Stanley, Feb. 1, 183$, CO. 280/5$. 109. sharply with his abrupt rejection of Miss Fitzpatrick1 s request. He had been approached by friends sufficiently influential to prompt him t o go to considerable lengths to obtain an assisted passage on a private ship. She had, he told a shipowner, "been in very respectable circumstances, but the limited extent of her means would preclude her from engaging any accommodation but the cheapest.nl* With the right friends, i t seemed, the Government was quite prepared to help women to escape from their poverty. By I83U the pressure of middle-class applicants was so great that Marshall and the Committee made special arrangements to segregate their shipboard accommodation from the steerage emigrants. For an extra charge of £5 women ttof great respectability" could be accommodated in the poop deck cabin. The Charles Kerr carried as many as fourteen of these "poop governesses," as they came to be known. Marshall described these ar-rangements in his pamphlet in 1834, stressing that apart from accommoda-tion a l l other conditions, including provisions, were identical to those for women in the steerage compartment, "and they are allowed the conven-iences alluded to more to preserve their own peculiar associations than for any other purpose."16 This constituted a significant departure from Goderich*s professed policy to provide the Australian colonies with a l^Elliot to Miss Igglesden, June 4, June 5, June 21, June 28, July 23, l832j Elliot to John Masson, June 20, June 23, July 23, 1832, C.O. 385/14. l 6 J . Marshall, op. cit., p. 13 5 Passenger List, Charles Kerr, Launceston, Nov. 18, 1835, C.O. 280/60. 110. "hardy peasantry" by means of "tne scheme,17 and had the scheme itself not proved abortive, would probably have provided a growing outlet for middle-class women. In spite of this tolerance there seems to have been a general understanding between Marshall and the Committee that emigration was only suitable for the genuinely "distressed gentlewoman." Marshall was quick to point out to potential emigrants that the least well-educated fared l i t t l e better in Australia than in England, rarely earning more than £20 in the most junior teaching positions. When Mrs. Caulfield enquired on behalf of a young woman who "can readily obtain employment here at a high salary," Marshall immediately questioned the prudence in leaving such contentment and prosperity for such a "distant contingency." Although she would probably do well i n Australia, where solid ability and accomplish-ment were needed, she was unable to reach i t without passing through considerable annoyance, tr i a l s , and even, to a certain extent, privations, and I am no advocate for young women of refined mind and acquirements encountering a l l this when they are happy in this country.3-8 Marshall's attitude conformed to his experience, which had shown that only the most desperate middle-class women resorted to emigration; his advice tended to reinforce the tendency of economic and social forces to drive those educated women to emigrate who were least equipped by family 1 7Goderich to Arthur, Jan. 27, 1832, C. 0. 1*08/7. x uMarshall to the Hon. Mrs. Caulfield (Hackley, Armagh, Ireland), Feb. 13, and Feb. 19, 1835, in Appendix No. 55, Report of Select Committee on Transportation (II) 1838, op. ci t . , p. 30U. 111. background to adjust to such a fundamental change. Nevertheless, the very fact that such well-provided women showed an interest in emigrating suggests that the "distressed gentlewoman" was not the only type among her class to choose this alternative. It suggests that a second type, best described as the "independent adventurer," sought emigration not as a last desperate economic necessity but as a wider field for ambitious and venturesome spirits. In a sense the social moti-vation was similar. The rigid prescriptions on female behaviour in Britain failed to provide an outlet for women not satisfied with the traditional goals of marriage or private teaching. The independent ad-venturer, like the distressed gentlewoman, was expelled from Britain be-cause there were insufficient respectable occupational opportunities for middle-class women. But i t would be misleading to confuse the two. The former, although dissatisfied, rarely shared the sense of allienation suffered by the latter, and did not constitute a social problem. There is evidence that a steady trickle of independent adventurers emigrated, especially to Australasia, throughout the nineteenth century, but their outlook differed fundamentally from that of distressed gentlewomen. It is clear, however, that the middle-class women assisted by the London Emigration Committee consisted almost wholly of distressed gentle-women. As Marshall's letter to Mrs. Caulfield demonstrates, the admini-strators of the scheme understood the problem well of the distressed gentlewoman. Furthermore, as far as one can establish, those who did 112. emigrate probably constituted the most severely depressed of their class. But in most cases this can only be inferred from the various occupations listed in different sets of passenger l i s t s . Some passenger l i s t s have survived from eleven out of the Commit-tee's fourteen ships. For five ships there are two l i s t s , one compiled by the Committee before departure showing the previous occupations of each emigrant, and one compiled in the colony showing the type of work obtained, the employer and the salary received. Two other colonial list s also indicate previous as well as colonial occupations so that a basis for comparison exists in seven out of the fourteen ships. To be useful here, however, i t is necessary to make the rather bold assumption that a l l those listed with middle-class occupations necessarily had middle-class family backgrounds. In a few instances, at least, this was almost certainly not the case. On the Australian side, for example, i t is evi-dent that middle-class gentility was not a universal prerequisite f or governesses; some cases occurred, on the Strathfieldsay, for example, of previous servants or milliners being hired as governesses on arrival* Conversely, the instances i n which ex-governesses took positions as house-maids, nursery maids and dressmakers almost immediately after ar-rival could imply deception before departure, as well as the more mean-ingful possibilities that the Australian supply of governesses exceeded demand and that domestic servitude in Australia carried with i t less of a social stigma. But the evidence already cited confirms that several middle-class women experienced as governesses did receive assistance, 113. and there are other casual references in correspondence to qualified, 19 and therefore probably middle-class, governesses. Absolute certainty is impossible but i t i s reasonable to assume that most of the women l i s t -ed as governesses and teachers before departure actually had middle-class backgrounds. Appendix 8 shows the Australian occupations taken up by emigrants with middle-class origins. To the 110 listed with middle-class occupat-ions in Britain should be added 5 from the Amelia Thompson, for which no British l i s t exists, who obtained teaching positions in Australia. Thus there were 11]? middle-class women out of 2160 female emigrants on the 11 ships with passenger l i s t s , or 5.32$ of the total. This does not include 22 women listed as nursery-governesses, an occupation sufficiently f l e x i -ble to attract qualified working-class women unless employers insisted on teaching duties. Furthermore, there is l i t t l e reason to suppose that this percentage would be reduced i f figures were available for the re-maining ships. Even the f i r s t ship sent out by William Fry in 1632, the Princess Royal, included eleven women (out of a total of 193) whom Fry described as "Teachers and Upper Servants" selected from casual appli-cants. 2 0 The obstacles to genteel female emigration, as discussed in chapter two, were s t i l l strong enough to prevent a larger number of x9van Diemen's Land Colonial Secretary's Memo., Dec. 1, 1835, in Arthur to Glenelg, Dec. 26, 1835, C.O. 280/60; Bourke to Stanley, Dec. 26, 1833, PP. 1834, XLIV (616), pp. 32-5. 2 0 F r y to Van Diemen's Land Ladies Committee, April 15, 1832, C.O. 384/30. Hi*. middle-class women from using the scheme, but at a time when working-class emigrant ships were generally regarded with horror, i t i s signifi-cant that any "young ladies" at a l l were sufficiently hard pressed to re-sort to this outlet. At the same time Appendix 8 clearly indicates that some middle-21 class women entered distinctly non-middle-class occupations i n Australia. This was essentially a question of supply and demand. As Alexander McLeay, the New South Wales Colonial Secretary, emphasized, the Australians needed domestic and country servants, not "governesses, nursery governess-es and ladies' maids."22 But the rapidity with which these women accept-ed domestic service or needlework—usually within two weeks of arrival and before many genuine servants had been hired—suggests that the social opprobrium of ungenteel menial work i n Australia was not nearly so great as in Britain. The fear of class decline might be considerably allayed after a congenial meeting with a potential employer of high social-stand-ing and respectability. Most of these women, indeed, obtained positions 2lThe figures in Appendix B are based on the following passenger li s t s i n the Colonial Office records: Sarah: C.O. 381*/35 and 280/553 Strathfieldsay: C.O. 381*/35 and 28oA9;"^anton: C.O. 38U/38 and 201/252; Charles Kerr: C.O. 38ii/38 and 280/60; James Pattison: C.O. 38U/39 and 261/255; Boadicea: C.O. 280/65; William Metcalfe: C.O. 28o/?8; Duchess  of Northumberland (I): CO. 201/21*5; Layton: C^ O. 38U/32; David Scott: C.O. 38U/35; Amelia Thompson: 280/67. The following l i s t s from Australia were copied in the Parliamentary Papers: Sarah: PP. 1836, XL (76), pp. 39-1*0; Strathfieldsay: PP. 1835, XXm ,"WJ, PP. 33-7 5 Duchess of Northumberland (I): PP. l!56, XL (76), pp. 30-3. 22£vidence to the Committee of the N.S.W. Legislative Council on Immigration, op. c i t . , p. lo. 115. with families of high social position and gained recognition of their gentility i n above average salaries. Mary Anderson, an ex-teacher aged 29 from the William Metcalfe, became a general servant i n Major Newman's family at Hob art Town with a salary of sixteen pounds, "to be raised,*' while most domestic servants from the same ship obtained only eight to twelve pounds.23 Elizabeth Chippett, a Somerset teacher off the Sarah, became a nursery-maid at sixteen pounds for a Mrs. Hewett at Hobart Town.' Ann Bowe, an Irish governess of 25 years of age off the Canton, took work as a lady's maid at fourteen pounds i n the home of Mr. Plunkett, the Solicitor-General at Sydney.2* Although, in common with many governesses who took up their usual employment in Australia, the salaries of these women were low, i t is safe to assume that they accepted work they would never consider in Britain simply because i t was judged to be less de-meaning i n the new country and because they no longer had to reckon with the embarrassing disapproval of their peers in Britain. 2^ Their main ob-session was not money but a sense of solidarity with an elite social class, and in Australia this was not inconsistent with most forms of domestic work. ^Passenger List, William Metcalfe, C. 0. 280/78. ^Passengers Lists, Sarah. C.O. 384/35, and C.O. 280/55. 2*Passengers Lists, Canton. C.O. 38U/38, and C.O. 201/252. 2 6Most governesses and teachers obtained salaries from about £15 to £30, not high by English or Australian standards; a few only obtained as much as £60. Marshall made this quite clear to applicants; he told Mrs. Caulfield that **I believe the scale of remuneration is not generally 116. These findings are corroborated by the testimony of a later emi-grant in the 'forties. Susannah House, a lady's maid in England who be-came a nursemaid at a salary of twenty-five pounds in Van Diemen's Land in 181+1, told a Committee on Immigration that there were many women in England who would emigrate i f they could get employment. She thought that women would do much better than men in Van Diemen's Land, but added "we are obliged to lend a helping hand to so many things here that we do not do in England," and later elaborated her complaint, "I have no servants 27 here to wait upon me; I had always two or three servants under me."' But she gave no hint that she found this extra work and less exalted posi-tion in any way humiliating. In Britain any middle-class woman forced to share i n as much common domestic drudgery as her colonial counterpart would instantly consider herself declassee, whereas i n Australia a common class origin with her equally industrious employers was usually suffic-ient to preserve her dignity. The roots of her alienation lay less in her hostility towards work than i n the social implications involved in that work, but this did not become clear until she removed to a more pri -mitive and egalitarian, albeit s t i l l socially stratified, society. This point is of special importance in view of developments towards the end of the century when the prospect of domestic work became the best means high; some of the least educated have not obtained more than £20 a year, as assistants in schools etc.," Feb. 13, 1835, Marshall to the Hon. Mrs. Caulfield, op. c i t . . p. 3 0 4 . 2 7Evidence before the Committee of the Legislative Council on Immigration, Sept. 30, 1841, PP. 1842, XXXI (301), p.365, QQ. 177-90. 117. of ensuring a steady flow of middle-class women—at least several hund-reds annually—to the colonies. Emigration then, could function as a valuable release from the complex influences of social isolation and alienation, but as Appendix B indicates, the emotional effects of emigration prevented some women from exploiting i t s advantages. It may be significant that out of 3,098 emi-grants sent out in the sixteen ships from 1832 to 1836 the only four re-ported cases of insanity should occur i n two women described as gover-nesses and two as nursery governesses. One of the governesses, Frances Haydon on the Strathfieldsay. was sponsored by the "Corporation of Sons of the Clergy." The destitute daughter of a deceased clergyman, she only consented to emigrate to Van Diemen's Land "after many trials and disappointments" in England. As the Registrar of the Corporation, Oliver Hargreave, put i t : She has considerable repugnance to the transplantation to so distant a possession of the British Crown, but I hope she may find reason to repent her resolution, as situations here are not to be obtained a l -ways by persons of the best character. But soon after departure the surgeon and superintendent noticed that "she was labouring under an aberration of mind, which continued more or less the whole voyage," and when admitted to hospital at Hobart Town showed such "considerable imbecility of mind" that Lt. Governor Arthur determined to send her back to England. Hargreave denied the colonial suspicion that Haydon had been persuaded to emigrate against her will asserting that her case 118. was one of pure compassion, calculated, as far as we could see, to extricate her from inevitable misery and destitution in this country, and enable her to earn an honest livelihood and independence i n a new colony.28 If the pressures of emigration drove these women insane, i t suggests that, i n many cases, the women most likely to be driven to consider emi-gration were those least capable, from family upbringing, of turning its advantages to their profit. The small numbers involved in this particu-lar sample do not allow for any statistical certainty, but common-sense suggests that emigration would be more of a traumatic wrench for impov-erished middle-class women than for women of the working-class, who seem to have adjusted to the experience more rapidly. The "distressed gentle-woman," at her most distressed, was unlikely to benefit from a genuinely promising last resort. After 1836 i t became Increasingly difficult for middle-class women to emigrate with the kind of financial assistance they obtained between 1832 and 1836. Under the new emigration procedures from 1837 the colonists exercised the greater amount of control, and were entitled to refuse to grant the Government bounty for any emigrants they considered ineligible. A few governesses and lady's maids continued to appear in 28arthur to Spring-Rice, Feb. 1*, 1835, with Hargreave's recom-mendation, April 28, 1831*, Ladies' Committee Report, Oct. 22, I83I*, Colonial Surgeon's Report, Sept. 26, 1831*, Ship's Surgeon's Report, Sept. 21*, 1831*, and Superintendent's Report, C.O. 280/55; Hay to Hargreave, July 7, 1835, C.O. 385/16; Hargreave to Hay, July 13, 1835, C.O. 381*/39; Glenelg to Arthur, Dec. 15, 1935, C.O. 1*08/12. 119. the returns of assisted immigrants from Australia, 2? but on the whole the colonists attempted strictly to exclude middle-class women from the Government scheme. In 181*2 the New South Wales authorities refused the bounty on Mary O'Connor, whose dress and appearance "showed her to be very much above the class of persons eligible for a free passage under the regulations now i n force." 3 0 Even nursery governesses were excluded from government assistance, 3 1 and Earl Grey, who as Colonial Secretary, vigorously prosecuted the assisted emigration of working-class women-predominant ly Irish orphans—from 181*8 to 1851, remained steadfastly op-posed to middle-class emigration.32 There is evidence that, despite the colonial attempts to exclude 29see the Report of J. D. Pinnock, the New South Wales Agent for Immigration, for 1838, Feb. 28, 1839; under the "bounty system," by which shipowners selected the emigrants and received payment, upon ap-proval, i n the colony, there were 9 governesses and 2 lady's maids out of 162 single women in I8385 in ships chartered by the Government in Britain there were 6 governesses and 3 lady's maids out of 1,096 women, both married and single, PP. 181*0, XXXIII (113), p. 25; see also the re-port of F. Merewether, the N.S.W. Immigration Agent, for 181*1, May l i * , 181*2, PP. 181*3, XXXIV (109), p. 1*8., and the Return of unmarried adult immigrants to N.S.W. for 181*8, PP. 1850, XL / l l ^ , p. 68. For a f u l l discussion of the various systems of assisted emigration to Australia see R. B. Madgwick, op. cit., pp. 131-95. 3°Merewether and Brown to N.S.W. Colonial Secretary, Feb. 8, 181*2, in Governor G. Gipps to Stanley, Feb. 21*, 181*2, PP. 181*3, XXXIV, (323), pp. 100-2. 3 1Return of trades of Bounty emigrants, July 1, 181*1 to June 30, 181*2, Aug. 22, 181*2, PP. 181*3, XXXIV, (109), p. 70. 3 2Grey to Fitzroy, June 16,181*9, PP. 181*9, XXXVIII (593), pp. II6-123. For details of the assisted female-emigration prior to 1851, which was largely composed of paupers, see R. B. Madgwick, op. cit., pp. 189-216. 120. middle-Glass women from subsidized emigration, some impoverished gentle-women continued to obtain the assisted passage, and their f i n a l resort to the degradation of an emigrant ship is a measure of their desperate plight. In some cases their genteel origins could easily provoke the enmity of working-class emigrants on the same ship. In 181+2 Roger Therry, a judge of the New South Wales Supreme Court, prosecuted the Captain and Surgeon of the Carthaginian for encouraging the persecution of Mary Ann Bolton during the voyage. Whenever "any disturbance arose, or impro-priety was committed by some of the vile women who f i l l e d the vessel, they attributed the blame to her," and she was frequently brought on deck i n her nightclothes to be doused with buckets of cold water. She died from consumption soon after the t r i a l in Sydney, but not before she had become a personal friend of Judge Therry, who soon detected her social background: I learned l i t t l e of her history beyond the fact that she had been a governess. She was certainly a highly educated person, and her language and sentiments were those of a lady who had seen happier days. 33 The loss of the helpful facility of the 'thirties in no way caused the pressures for the emigration of superfluous women to ease. In 181+9 some officials of the Governesses1 Benevolent Institution approached the Emigration Commissioners with a plan to organize an emigration scheme for 33R. Therry, Reminiscences of Thirty Years Residence in New South  Wales and Victoria. (Second edition, London, 1863), pp. 221-2. This episode i s also described in M. Kiddle, Caroline Chisholm, (Melbourne, 185>0), p. 52, but under the name of Margaret Ann Bolton. 121. governesses, and i n the same year Hyde Clarke laid plans for the "National Benevolent Emigration Fund for Widows and Orphan Daughters of Gentlemen, Clergymen, Professional Men, Officers, Bankers and Merchants."^ Both these schemes proved abortive for the simple reason that the Australian colonies could offer no prospect of an effective demand for educated women. The colonial reactions to i n i t i a l inquiries were generally neg-ative and at best lukewarm. Although these projects came to nothing, Clarke's intentions did show a thorough understanding that the problem of the distressed gentle-woman was primarily one of status, and that only emigration permitted the declassee young lady to take any form of work without loss of caste: A clergyman, or professional man leaves a widow, and two or three daughters, with no other endowment than their talents or education, and absolutely destitute of the means of changing their place of residence. A young lady engaged in tuition finds herself after sickness deprived of employment, and forced to struggle against the competition of an overstocked profession. A family brought up in competency, by some sudden stroke of misfortune are deprived of their property, obliged to seek a subsistences their delicacy would rather find i t among strangers than among neighbours. Widespread destitution of this kind in Britain, argued Clarke, was match-ed by the pressing wants "of a higher class of feminine society i n the colonies" and their need for a higher moral tone in society. But this combined relief and civilizing mission was obstructed so long as the women were "debarred by want of means, and want of friends, protectors ^Emigration Commissioners to H. Merivale (Permanent Under-Secre-tary). July 14, 1849, and H. Clarke to B. Hawes, June 23, 1849, PP. 1850, XL ^1637, pp. 98-101. The Colonial Land and Emigration Commission was 122. and advisers, to aid them in undertaking voyages to distant and strange lands.11 Clarke's society intended to provide this aid to well-recommend-ed women by means of loans in Britain and the superintendence and protect-ion of ecclesiastical authorities in the colonies, and he asked the Col-onial Office to request f u l l co-operation from each colony.3^ The Emigration Commissioners thought the project worthy of en-couragement "under proper restrictions," but felt that the greatest dif-ficulty, as with the G.B.I.'s scheme, was "the mode of affording ade-quate security and protection to the younger females who maybe sent out." They were, at least, sanguine enough to anticipate a sufficient demand for governesses i n Australia to justify the project.& But the Australian reaction was far less optimistic. From South Australia the Lieutenant Governor wrote that there were already "more respectable and educated females seeking employment in that capacity than there are families re-quiring their services," and few settlers were yet in a position to hire governesses or any kind of upper servants.3? In Van Diemen's Land Sir formed i n 181*2 as a sub-branch of the Colonial Office to administer af-fairs relating to Colonial lands and emigration; T. F. Elliot was the fi r s t Chief Commissioner j see F. H. Hitchins, The Colonial Land and Emi- gration Commission, (Philadelphia, 1931). 3^H. Clarke to B. Hawes, with Prospectus, June 23, 181*9, and H. Clarke to Grey, Aug. 10, 181*9. ibid., pp. 98-102. 36Emigration Commissioners to Merivale, July lU, 181*9, op. ci t . , pp. 100-1. 37Lt. Gov. Sir H. E. F. Young to Grey, Adelaide, Jan. 26, 1850, PP. 1851, XL, (347-n), p. 15s Elliot to Clarke, May 27, 1850, C.O. 3or5/2U. 123. ¥. Denison received only three interested replies to his advertisements on the Society's behalf, and while admitting that some well-paid open-ings existed for educated women, he insisted that no more than two or three should be sent at once, and that the Society should have facilities available for their support in case they could not obtain immediate em-ployment. 3 8 Francis Merewether, the New South Wales Immigration Agent, recognized the great moral and educational need for such women, and thought that before long the more prosperous settlers might recognize the potential benefit to their families, but for the present " i t would be positive cruelty to any person of that description in England, to encour-age her to come here, unless she has friends on whom she can depend for a home." The only certain prospects of employment were in regular dom-estic service, the same work performed by shiploads of assisted working-class immigrants.3? Hyde Clarke may possibly have had this contingency in mind when he assured Grey that "candidates w i l l be made fully aware the career open to them is one of industry; and i t is to be expected the ordinary household education, in town or country, w i l l f i t them to become useful members of society in the colonies."**0 But the prospect of menial 3°Lt. Gov. Sir W. Denison to Grey, July 18, 1850, and enclosures; not a l l the colonists agreed with Denison; Walter A. Bethune, who applied for one of the society's governesses, claimed that many families would willingly hire such women at double the salaries paid in Scotland, i.e. 30 to 1+0. PP. 1851, XL (31+7-H), pp. 11+0-2. 3?Fitzroy to Grey, April 23, 1850, with Merewether's report, April 23, 1850, PP. 1851, XL, (347), pp. 1+2-3. **°Clarke to Grey, Aug. 10, 181+9, op. cit., pp. 101-2. 12lw domestic service was obviously insufficient to entice distressed gentle-women away in sufficient numbers, for no more was heard of Clarke's Society after this discouraging reaction. This lack of colonial demand inhibited the development of any large-scale middle-class female emigration until much later in the cen-tury. The absence of a large urban middle-class which demanded private tutoring for i t s offspring afforded l i t t l e opportunity for educated women to pursue genteel occupations abroad, Wakefieldian publicity not-withstanding. But there can be no doubt that the colonies steadily ab-sorbed Britain's "redundant'' women up to the limits of their modest cap-acity. The very rejection of Hyde Clarke's project by the Australians was based on the fact that they already had more middle-class emigrants than they could employ. Pitzroy's own experience in Sydney confirms this interpretation. The numerous applications that have been made to my daughter since her arrival in this colony, by ladies who left England under the impression that they would obtain immediate employment as governess-es, and their statements of the l i t t l e encouragement that they have met with, convince me that ^perewether's report^ is well founded. He added that "the lady in whose favour your Lordship did me the honour to write to me" had received no better offer than a governess' situation in a large family at only twenty pounds, and had finally decided to re-turn home.^1 klpitzroy to Grey, April 23, 1850, op. cit., pp. U2-3. 125. Such certainty is less possible with respect to other British colonies and the United States. The evidence is almost wholly negative, but there are few grounds to suppose that educated women emigrated to North America in greater numbers than they did to Australasia in the f i r s t half of the century. The early-Victorian propaganda for multi-class emigration—largely Wakefieldian inspired—applied exclusively to Australasia, and especially to South Australia and New Zealand. Henry Samuel Chapman, an enthusiastic reviewer of Wakefield's England and  America, discerned a revolution in attitudes to middle-class emigration as early as 181*1. "Colonization,11 he maintained, has taken the place of mere emigration; the removal of society, that of mere masses; and men of refinement and education may now emigrate, without any material disturbance of their previous habits . . . As to the change itsel f , i t is impossible to go into intelligent soc-iety without meeting some evidence of i t . People to whom the idea of severing themselves from their native country was insuperably repugnant, now speak familiarly of emigration as a possible contin-gency, either not to be dreaded, or to be desired. Among the edu-cated portion of the middle-class, where families are numerous, i t is now not unusual to find some one or more of the sons seeking fortune in our distant possessions. Young women, too, of refined education, no longer object to emigrate i f circumstances favour that step.^2 But his comments applied exclusively to the new Wakefieldian colonies in South Australia and New Zealand, and had l i t t l e relevance for North America. The American immigration records provide no opportunity to de-tect the numbers and types of middle-class immigrants to the United k^H. S. Chapman, "Emigration: Comparitive Prospects of Our New Colonies," Westminster Review. Vol. XXXV, Jan., 181*1, p. 132. 126. States i n the nineteenth century. As Brinley Thomas pointed out, prior to 1903 the term "imsdgrant" applied only to steerage or third class passengers, so that aliens travelling f i r s t or second class—which would include most middle-class immigrants—-were not counted.^3 The best re-cord of United States immigration, official or unofficial, for the f i r s t half of the century leaves the great majority of female occupations "not stated," and those that are listed are almost entirely working-class.^ Common-sense suggests that in such a vast migration of population as that from Britain to America many individuals of a l l classes and condi-tions must have participated. But the distressed gentlewomen among them must remain largely an unknown quantity. Besides, single women generally required assurances of assistance and protection before they would emi-grate, and a l l the British agencies along these lines were oriented to-wards the colonies rather than the United States. At the turn of the nineteenth century, when British emigration to the United States was transformed from a predominantly working-class movement to a substantial-it "5 ly elite middle-class movement,^ the propaganda of the various feminist societies promoting female emigration within the Empire was at its height. There i s , then, a strong likelihood that the emigration of educated spin-sters was for the most part confined to the British Colonies. This being U3B. Thomas, op. cit., pp. 1*2-1*. J. Bromwell (of the Department of State). History of Immigra- tion to the United States, 1819-1855, (New York, 1856). U*B. Thomas, op. c i t . , p.l53. 127. the case the surviving records of that movement assume a more represen-tative and reliable nature as a model. For the colonies other than Australia the useful documentary sources i n the early Victorian period are extremely sparse. One of the rare surviving records of cabin passengers does seem to suggest that a small but steady stream of "independent adventurers" continued to flow out of Britain. This is a register of cabin passengers, plus the totals of steerage emigrants, on most of the ships sent to New Zealand by the New Zealand Company between 183° and 1850, the formative period of New Zealand settlement. The figures themselves are too small to warrant de-tailed analysis, but they do reveal a middle-class disposition to emi-grate quite apart from assisted emigration schemes. Although no occupa-tions are shown for female cabin passengers i t is a safe assumption that women who paid the price of a cabin passage to avoid steerage conditions were genuinely middle-class. Most of the male occupations, when listed, are either middle and upper-middle-class, such as gentleman, minister, banker, clerk, surgeon and farmerj or lower-middle-class, such as printer, hardwareman, bookseller, chemist and druggist. Most of the single women were in their early twenties and in some cases the circumstances of their travelling suggest a considerable degree of independence. Some of these women might have been travelling to join families who preceded them, but whatever their circumstances i t is unlikely that many of them would f i t the description of distressed gentlewomen. On the basis of this admit-tedly inadequate sample one might tentatively suggest that there was a 128. considerable movement of "independent adventurers" from Britain besides the steady trickle of "distressed gentlewomen."^ By 1850 some observers were beginning to notice the phenomenon of the genteel female emigrant. A writer in the Colonial Magazine and East  India Review described the hard-working successful lives of English gentlewomen in colonial kitchens, dairies and farms. "Such is the l i f e , " he wrote, led by hundreds of young ladies who once figured as belles i n crowd-ed ball-rooms, and are now the happy, industrious and prosperous wives of Colonists, and mothers of healthy children, but who, had they remained in England, would too probably have become, like thousands and thousands, jaded, listless, unhappy women, unable to marry, and i n many instances useless members of society. Me say such a state of things was not intended, i t i s contrary to a l l the beneficent ordinances of Heaven, and i t is only through the ignor-ance, the folly, the weak fears, the want of energy of society that i t exists.47 The pre-eminent obstacle, then, to middle-class female emigration in the early-Victorian period was the incompatibility of colonial labour needs and the skills and gentility of educated women. But despite this inhibition a steady trickle of educated women did emigrate, their numbers exceeding 5$ of a l l women during the assisted emigration project; their of 61*8 single women, in 78 of the Company's ships, 561 were steerage passengers, and 67, or 11.5$, were middle-class. More than two-thirds of these, however, were simply emigrating in company with their parents. This leaves only 21, or 3.2l*$ of the total, who emigrated i n -dependently, unaccompanied by any "natural protectors" in the contempor-ary sense. In fact, when the high cost of cabin passage and the primit-ive state of New Zealand society is taken into consideration, the figure of 3»2h% does not seem insignificant; New Zealand Company; Register of  Cabin Passengers by the Company's Ships, C.O. 208/269. 47vol. 2X1, April 1851, p. 3b4 129. persistent arrival in Australia intensified colonial opposition to the point where they refused to grant Government assistance to middle-class women. The most characteristic prototype of this emigration was the distressed gentlewoman who had previously exhausted a l l other alternat-ives, and chose to emigrate only as a desperate last resort. The occas-ional result was that those most likely to be driven to emigration were the same women whose social backgrounds least fitted them for success as emigrants, as demonstrated by the incidence of insanity. But those able to benefit from emigration frequently showed a willingness to per-form menial work they would never take i n England for fear of loss of caste. Their primary need, which was at the root of their alienation in Britain, was for a sense of class solidarity, which remained uncertain while they stayed in England. Finally, two types of educated female emi-grants are discernible from the available evidence: the "distressed gentlewoman" and the "independent adventurer." While both emigrated with varying degrees of hope there was a considerable element of despair present in the "distressed gentlewoman" which was totally lacking in the "independent adventurer." In this sense the less fortunate women may be said to have been "pushed" by adverse conditions at home while the "in-dependent adventurers" were "pulled" by the lure of greater freedom abroad. 130, Chapter IV A Case Study; Mary Taylor in New Zealand Although i t is clear that significant numbers of early Victorian distressed gentlewomen emigrated, there is no evidence to suggest that they were imbued with feminist sentiments. The fact that most of them emigrated as an utter last resort suggests that they had no concept of controlling their own destinies by means of resolute principled action, but rather were goaded on by the force of events. On the other hand the exceptional minority of ' strong-minded1 feminists clearly had very l i t t l e outlet for their ambitions and righteous indignation before the 1850s, and even then their opportunities remained strictly limited. 1 The late Victorian feminists had sufficient encouragement to fight their battles for equality in Britain, and successfully overcame, for example, the masculine defences of the medical profession. But in the earlier per-iod the uncommon spinster of sound education, talents and principles had establishment of the f i r s t important educational institutions for women at mid-century, notably Queen's College, Harley Street (181*8), Bedford College, London (181*9), the North London Collegiate School (1850) and The Ladies College, Cheltenham (1853), provided a few opportunities for serious female educationists; J. Kamm, Rapiers and Battleaxes, (London, 1966), pp. 1*6-51; ¥. J. Reader, Professional Men, (London, 1966), p. 171. 'Women did not overcome a l l official opposition to female medical practice until the 1880s, but i t is noteworthy that the pioneer woman doctor in Britain, Elizabeth Blackwell, had f i r s t emigrated, qualified and practised in the United States. Kamm, Rapiers . . . , pp. 65-68; Reader, op. cit., pp. 173-80. 131. few other outlets than anonymous authorship.3 Such a woman, i f she lack-ed the talent or financial resources to become a writer, and i f she did not marry, might languish in Britain for want of activity, or, more like-ly, seek the adventure of foreign travel or permanent emigration. When progressive-minded women did emigrate they were likely to place a high premium on their newly found independence. Their decision to emigrate was a symbolic act of freedom—or even rebellion—from the inhibiting social conventions of the Old World. For this reason they would be unlikely to solicit assistance from government or charitable emi-gration agencies but would be inclined to rely solely on their own i n i t i a -tive and the advice of friends or relatives who may have previously emi-grated. By the eighteen-forties a 'respectable1 single cabin passage, to New Zealand for example, could be procured without the aid of charit-able organizations for £30 to £50, well within the means of middle-class women who had not suffered a serious reversal of fortune.** Most of these independent emigrants left l i t t l e trace of their history, but i t is possi-ble to make some tentative generalizations on the basis of a fairly well-documented case study of Mary Taylor, a New Zealand emigrant in the -'To avoid popular prejudice female novelists invariably masqueraded under male pseudonyms, the Bronte sisters, for example, published their works as Currer, E l l i s and Acton Bell. **The New Zealand Company, which organized the f i r s t large-scale colonisation of New Zealand, initiated the reduction in cabin fares from seventy to eighty guineas down to thirty guineas in 181*2 by eliminating champagne, wine and other luxuries from the daily first-class menu. Their 132. eighteen-forties• The main virtue of Mary Taylor as an emigrant is the relative abun-dance of useful documentary sources pertaining to her emigration. Her close friendship from adolescence with Charlotte Bronte gave rise to a voluminous correspondence, much of which was destroyed, but of which the surviving letters provide a clear insight into her background, motivation and emigration experience. Charlotte Bronte's accurate characterization of her friend as Rose Yorke i n Shirley allows for a much closer examina-tion of family background and personality than is normally possible.^ The most obvious conclusion to emerge from this material is that Mary Taylor was not representative of any group of contemporary female emi-grants. In terms of personality she would have been an exceptional woman in any social class and any historical period. In actual wealth example was quickly followed by other shipping companies; New Zealand Journal (London), Oct. 1, 1842, p. 229; Oct. 1$, 1842, p. 241; Feb. 18, 181+3, p. 37. -*Most of the surviving Bronte correspondence, including that re-lating to Mary Taylor, has been published. The best collections are T. J. Wise and J. A. Symington, The Brontes; Their Lives, Friendships  and Correspondence, (Oxford, 1932), 4 Vols.; C. K. Shorter, Charlotte  Bronte and her Circle, (London, 1896). C. K. Shorter, The Bronte's? Life and Letters, (London, 1908), 2 Vols., Mary Taylor destroyed most of Charlotte Bronte's own letters to herself in New Zealand, but many of the Taylor letters from New Zealand were preserved; Mary Taylor to Ellen Nussey, Wellington, Jan. 8, 1857, Shorter, Brontes, H, 399-401. ^Mary herself testified to the general accuracy of the Taylor family portrayal in Shirley, and one of her brothers approved of the descriptions prior to publication; Mary Taylor to Charlotte Bronte, Wellington, Aug. 13, 1850, Shorter, Brontes, II, 152-3, E. M. Chadwick In the Footsteps of the Brontes, (London, 1914), P. 31; W. M. Heald to Ellen Nussey, Jan. 8, 18$0, Shorter, Brontes, II, pp. 104-5. 133. she remained well above the familiar class of distressed gentlewomen. Despite these differences her experiences do illustrate the forces which brought her class of women to contemplate emigration. In her social and political attitudes, however, she was undeniably exceptional, and her radical feminism provides a unique opportunity to examine the relation-ship between female emigration and feminism in the early-Victorian period. The Taylor family of Gomersal in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in wealth far removed from the "uneasy class," was, according to Charlotte Bronte's description in Shirley, "the f i r s t and oldest in the district." 7 The 'Red House,1 (the 'Briarmains' of Shirley), an imposing two-storey building of red brick, which stood out sharply against the usual grey Yorkshire stone, had formed the Taylor residence since 1660 when William Taylor built i t after prospering in the woollen cloth trade. His descen-dants rose to greater prominence as cloth manufacturers during the eight-eenth century. Mary's grandfather, John Taylor, built a large textile mill nearby at Hunsworth in 1785, and his specialisation in army cloth manufacture brought further prosperity during the Revolutionary wars. The Taylors also, played the classic role of the commercial middle-enen of the industrial Revolution by taking in the productions of most small manufacturers in the Spen Valley. John Taylor was sufficiently wealthy in 1803 to easily survive the destruction of his mill by fire. He prompt-ly built a new one in 1801* and bequeathed a going concern to his eldest C. Bronte, Shirley, (First published 181*9), Chap. 1*. 134. o son, Joshua, Mary's father and the 'Hiram Yorke1 of Shirley." Joshua Taylor enthusiastically expanded his inheritance. To sup-plement his province of cloth manufacturer and merchant he became a banker after building the 'Gomersal Bank' behind the 'Red House,' and issued his own notes under 'Joshua Taylor and Sons.1 Taylor suffered a major setback during the financial crisis of 1825-6, the same depression which reduced Harriet Martineau's family, when his bank failed in the general crash. This was not the total ruin of Taylor for he continued, as before, with the manufacture and trade in woollen cloth. He conducted his business, until his death in 1841, with the sole aim of repaying his creditors, and an interval of nearly thirty years elapsed before his eld-est son, Joshua, finally cleared the debt of several thousand pounds thus 9 incurred. For the Taylor household, which included Mrs. Taylor, four sons and two daughters, this long term debt involved constant parsimony and a grave reduction in their standard of living. Ellen Nussey, the third member of the group of friends with Mary Taylor and Charlotte Bronte at Roe Head school in 1831, noticed that Mary and her sister Martha 8H. A. Cadman, Gomersal Past and Present, (Leeds, 1930), pp. 55-7. ?Ibid., p. 59. Ellen Nussey's impressions of Mary Taylor, Wise and Symington, Brontes, II, 231*2. 1 3 5 . were not dressed as well as other pupils, for economy at that time was the rule of their household. The girls had to stitch a l l over their new gloves before wearing them, by order of their mother, to make them wear longer. Their dark blue cloth coats were worn when too short, and black beaver bonnets quite plainly trimmed, with the ease and contentment of a fashionable costume.10 Although their social decline was not on the scale of family disasters which produced so many Victorian distressed gentlewomen—the Taylors, after a l l , retained their property and were able to send their children to school—it was to make Mary, the eldest daughter, well aware of the value of money, and to reinforce her desire for economic independence. An infinitely greater influence on Mary's future was the long Taylor history of religious dissent and radicalism. The secluded posit-ion of Gomersal made i t a safe haven for persecuted nonconformists, and i t afforded a major birthplace for Yorkshire Moravianism and Wesleyanism in the eighteenth century. John Wesley, in fact, was a close acquain-tance of John Taylor, and lodged at the 'Red House' when he preached at Gomersal in 1776 and 1789.11 Despite this connection John Taylor held himself aloof from the Wesleyan sect and preached i n the family's own chapel, known as 'Taylor's Chapel,' near the 'Red House.' His indepen-dent following had more in common with the Quaker-like, quietist Moravians, who were most firmly established in the contiguous area between Leeds 12 and Halifax. In Charlotte Bronte's time, however, the character of lONussey impressions, ibid. •Madman, op. c i t . , pp. 58, 6 l , 185. ^The Moravian leader, Count Zinzendorf, preached his f i r s t English 136. the services had apparently changed, for the scene she described at the •Briar Chapel' in Shirley approximated more closely to the emotional spontaneity of Primitive Methodism. Mary's father, who Charlotte Bronte described as "not irreligious but a member of no sect," apparently lost interest in the chapel, for sometime shortly before or immediately after his death in 1841 i t was converted into cottages, and his widow subse-quently held religious services in the Taylor kitchen, conducted by men from Bradford. 1 3 Mary Taylor inherited her father's penchant for a personal relig-ion and contempt for a l l forms of ecclesiastical organization.1^- She also inherited those common bedfellows of religious dissent: political and social radicalism, and, in her case, a forthright and militant fem-inism. Joshua Taylor combined a l l the qualities of the laconic, straight-forward and iconoclastic Yorkshireman with those of the cultivated and well-travelled English gentleman. He would vary his speech from a broad sermon in Gomersal, ibid., p. l 8 l j 'The Red House, Gomersal,' Cleckheaton  Guardian, June 15, 1894, p. 6j On the Moravians and Methodists in York-shire see E. Langton, History of the Moravian Church, (London, 1956), pp. 98-129. 1 3Bronte, Shirley, Chaps. 4, 9j Cadman, op. c i t . , p. 6 l ; see also J. A. E. Stuart, The Bronte Country, Its Topographies, Antiquities and  History, (London, 1888), pp. 144-5. Chadwick, op. ci t . , pp. 30-1. ^See her comment to Elizabeth Gaskell, (n.d., c. 1856) who was preparing a biography of Charlotte Bronte, Shorter, Brontes, I, p. 118. She shocked her devout sister-in-law in New Zealand by telling her that she (Mary) only went to chapel "for amusement;" M. Taylor to C. Bronte, Wellington, July 24, 1848, ibid., I, pp. 431-5. 137. Yorkshire dialect to the purest educated English as the mood or company dictated. 1* The result of this combination was a truculent but i n t e l l i -gent radicalism which Mary inherited whole. Commenting on the descript-ion of her family in Shirley, she approved of Charlotte's characterizat-ion of a l l but one member, complaining: But my father is not like. He hates well enough and perhaps loves too, but he is not honest enough. It was from my father I learnt not to marry for money nor to tolerate anyone who did, and he never would advise anyone to do so, or f a i l to speak with contempt of those who did. 1 6 When a schoolgirl, Charlotte Bronte, the clergyman's daughter and loyal Tory, frequently clashed with Mary and Martha Taylor on subjects of religion and politics. Her visits to the 'Red House' invariably re-sulted in indignant lectures on the virtues of republicanism and the evils of the monarchy and the established church. The timid conservat-ive was, Mary told Elizabeth Gaskell, always a minority of one in our house of violent Dissent and Radical-ism. She used to hear over again, delivered with authority, a l l the lectures I had been used to give her at school on despotic aristo-cracy, mercenary priesthood etc. For Mary this popular radicalism did not mellow but intensified with age. x*Taylor spoke French and Italian, and took pride in his collection of Continental paintingsj even allowing for Mary's qualification, the best description of him is in Shirley, chaps. 3, k, 9. See also E. C. Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Bronte (first published 1857), (London, Dent, 1958), pp. 100-1. 15M. Taylor to C. Bronte, Wellington, Aug. 13, 1850, Shorter, Brontes. II, 152-3. Quoted, Gaskell, op. cit . , pp. 100-1, 138. She wrote from New Zealand to berate Elizabeth Gaskell for presenting too mild a picture of the Yorkshire gentry in her biography of Charlotte Bronte: You give much too favourable an account of the black-coated and Tory savages that kept the people down, and provoked excesses in those days. Old Roberson said he 'would wade to the knees in blood rather than the then state of things should be altered, *— a state including Corn law, Test law, and a host of other oppressions.x° The most important result of Mary's radical background was her ardent desire for independence and a firm determination not to be bound by conventional restrictions on female conduct. To her closest friends, Charlotte Bronte and Ellen Nussey, she frequently adopted the role of mentor, encouraging them to join her in her most recent adventure of in-dependence. Neither, however, shared her contempt for social convention. Charlotte ignored Mary's suggestion that she teach in a German boy's school, and Ellen, always conscious of her family "duties," failed to re-spond to Mary's call to join her in rewarding work and freedom in New Zealand.1? Mary's rebelliousness contrasted with Charlotte's patient l0M. Taylor to E. Gaskell, Wellington, July 30, 1857, Shorter, Brontes, I, pp. 16-7. ^C. Bronte to E. Nussey, Brussels, Oct. 13, 181+3, M. Spark, The  Bronte' Letters, (London, 195U), pp. 108-9. M. Taylor to E. Nussey, Wellington, Feb. 9, 181+9 and Aug. 15, 1850, Shorter, Brontes, II, 25-7, 155-7. On other occasions she urged Charlotte to look upon her writing as a means to financial success and "influence and powerj" M. Taylor to C. Bronte, Wellington, April 5, 1850, Wise and Symington, op. c i t . , m , pp. 91+-7. Charlotte admitted that Mary's persuasion influenced her decision to go to Brussels in 181+2$ C. Bronte to E. Nussey, Rawdon, Nov. 2, 181+1, Shorter, Brontgs, I, pp. 222-3; see also M. Taylor to E. Gaskell, Wellington, n.d. (c. 1856), Shorter, Bronte's, I, pp. 2 1 + 7 - 8 . 139 submission during their early schooldays; both top pupils who had learnt a l l that their instructors could teach them, they were each given Blair's Belles Lettres to memorize; only Mary stubbornly refused to degrade her-self with such seemingly useless activity, and preferred to accept punish-ment.20 In later years this difference expressed itself in two contrast-ing attitudes on the feminist issue. Mary took Charlotte to task for her mild position on the need for female employment: I have seen some extracts from Shirley in which you talk of women working. And this f i r s t duty, this great necessity, you seem to think that some women may indulge in, i f they give up marriage, and don't make themselves too disagreeable to the other sex. You are a coward and a traitor. A woman who works is by that alone better than one who does not; and a woman who does not happen to be rich and who s t i l l earns no money and does not wish to do so, is guilty of a great fault, almost a crime—a dereliction of duty which leads rapidly and almost certainly to a l l manner of degradation. It is very wrong of you to plead for toleration for workers on the ground of their being in pec-uliar circumstances, and few in number, or singular i n disposition. Work or degradation i s the lot of a l l except the very small number born to wealth.21 Charlotte Bronte was no anti-feminist, but her moderate stand for women's work, at one with the sentiments of mid-Victorian feminists, illuminated the more advanced and aggressive opinion of Mary Taylor. 2°Nussey impressions, Wise and Symington, op. cit., II, 231-2. _ 21M. Taylor to C. Bronte, Wellington, April 29, 1850, Shorter, Brontes, II, pp. 131-4. For the relevant passages in Shirley, see chap. 22; for similar comments on Jane Eyre see M. Taylor to C. Bronte, Well-ington, July 2ii, 181*8, ibid., I, pp. 1*31-5. Also contrast Mary's sar-castic advice to Ellen Nussey with that of Charlotte on the offer of a lady's companion post; M. Taylor to E. Nussey, Wellington, July 21, 1853, C. Bronte to E. Nussey, Haworth, Oct. 31, 1852, ibid., II, pp. 369-71, 285. mo. Not until her father 1s death in l 8 U l did Mary begin to practice her philosophy. With Joshua Taylor gone there was l i t t l e to hold the family together, since none of the children could long tolerate their 22 cantankerous mother. Immediately after Taylor's death Charlotte Bronte accurately predicted the break-up and dispersal of the family. She was convinced that they were a l l "restless, active spirits, and will not be restrained." But Mary especially, she maintained, "has more energy and power in her nature than any ten men you can pick out in the united parishes of Birstall and Haworth. It is vain to limit a character like hers within ordinary boundaries—she wil l overstep them."23 Within three months of her father's death Mary had decided that the boundaries of England itself were too limiting and she resolved to emigrate to New Zealand. Charlotte Bronte most succinctly summarized her reasons. Mary had made up her mind, Charlotte told her sister Emily, that "she cannot and will not be a governess, a teacher, a milliner, a bonnet "maker nor housemaid. She sees no means of obtaining employment she would like in England j so she is leaving i t . " 2 * * 22The best account of Mrs. Taylor i s given in Shirley as Mrs. lorke, chaps. 9, 23. Her hostile reaction to the characterization sug-gests that i t was not far wrong; M. Taylor to E. Nussey, Wellington, March 11, l8£l, Shorter, Brontes, II, pp. 198-200. Bronte to E. Nussey, Jan. 3, 18U1, Shorter, Brontes, I, pp. 198-9. With hindsight, Charlotte gave a similar prediction of Mary's ultimate irrevocable rebellion in Shirley, chap. 9. 2**C. Bronte to E. J. Bronte, April 2, l8Ul, ibid., I. p. 208; see also W. Gerin, Charlotte Bronte, The Evolution of Genius, (Oxford, 1967), p. 174. mi. Unfortunately little further direct evidence exists about the exact nature of Mary's decision. Charlotte Bronte in Shirley describes her decision more as the outcome of impatient wanderlust, although Rose Torke's proviso that "I shall have an object in view" precludes any not-ion of aimless drifting. 2^ Her resolve, a startling one in her time and social milieu, as shown by Charlotte's astonishment, was clearly the out-come of her intense desire for independence which she saw as unattainable in England. But the drastic nature of her action was softened by the fact that her younger brother, Waring Taylor, also decided to emigrate. This would give her one of those "natural protectors," so essential in the minds of the organizers of female emigration. In fact Waring emi-grated in 181*1 while Mary did not follow until 181*5, but the presence of a brother in Wellington to meet her upon arrival considerably eased the usual complications of emigration for single women, and added the neces-sary aura of respectability to her adventure. The absence of this con-venience would hardly have deterred Mary Taylor from emigrating, but i t eliminated many obstacles and significantly reduced the rebellious nature of her act.26 °Chap. 23. The only reference to the original decision of Mary and Waring is in Charlotte's letter to Emily of April 2, 181*1, loc. cit. ^^ Wise and Symington, op. cit., IT, pp. 231*-!? and Shorter, Bronte's, I, 1*31, maintain, in error, that Mary and Waring emigrated together in 181*5 j I am indebted to Dr. Joan Stevens, Dept. of English, Victoria Uni-versity of Wellington, who is engaged in local research in New Zealand, for drawing this fact to my attention. 142. The particular choice of Wellington, New Zealand is not much eas-ier to explain. Charlotte's original discussion suggests that Mary and her brother had considered alternative settlements, "Their destination unless they change," she told Emily "is Port Nicholson /i.e. Wellington/ in the northern island of New Zealand i l l . . . I cannot sufficiently comprehend what her views and those of her brother's may be on the sub-ject, or what is the extent of their information regarding Port Nicholson, to say whether this is a rational enterprise or absolute madness.n^ No doubt their decision to go to New Zealand at this particular time reflect-ed the considerable publicity which accompanied the organization of the New Zealand Association (later the New Zealand Company) and the initial settlement at Wellington from 1839. Not a l l the publicity was good. The Evangelical-missionaries, who opposed New Zealand colonisation, found a powerful ally in The Times, whose editors were consistently hostile to emigration schemes, but acrimonious differences like those between the Wakefieldian Spectator and The Times usually enhanced the popularity of schemes to promote emigration. Since the publication of Wakefield's England and America in 1833 the Colonial Reformers had laid constant stress on the need for middle-class emigration, and this was a persis-tent theme in the New Zealand publicity. Furthermore, all the excitement and controversy of a new colony—the first ship for Wellington, the Tory, had only sailed in May, 1839, without Government approval and before British annexation of New Zealand—would be especially attractive to the C. Bronte to E. Bronte, April 2, 18U1, Shorter, Bronte's, I, 208. 143. 28 adventurous Taylors. Although Mary waited four years before following her brother to Wellington, she did not in the interim languish in England. She did, ap-parently, consider the possibility of f i l l i n g a governess' position in Ireland, but, as Charlotte Bronte put i t , she was "so circumstanced that she cannot accept it** since her brothers had "a feeling of pride that revolts at the thought of their sister 'going out'**. She added, "I hard-ly knew that i t was such a degradation t i l l lately. n 2? It was exactly this kind of restriction which made l i f e in England so unbearable for Mary Taylor, and in escaping from i t she managed to combine her desire for foreign travel with some useful preparation for an independent fut-ure. She made several trips to Brussels, sometimes in company with her sister Martha, her brothers John and Joseph, and on one occasion with Charlotte Bronte. Again, these visits were facilitated by the presence in Brussels of her cousins from Birmingham, the Dixons, who currently "'On the founding of Wellington and accompanying publicity see P. Bloomfield, Edward Gibbon Wakefield, (London, 196l), pp. 144-71, 204-37j see also The Times, April 25, 1840. p. 4; May 4, 1840, p. 4. Monthly  Review, Nov. 1839, p. 365; Dec. 1839, 521-36; Dec. 1841, pp. 543-557 which consistently pressed for the annexation and colonisation of New Zealand, and preferred i t to other settlement colonies; The Dublin  University Magazine, Sept. 1839, Vol. XIV, pp. 298-311, Tpart of a series of articles on Australasia which particularly favoured New Zealand colon-isation); H. S. Chapman, 'Emigration: Comparitive Prospects of our New Colonies,' Westminster Review, Vol. XXXV, Jan. 1841, 131-87; Chapman, himw self an ardent Wakefieldian, emigrated in 1844 to Wellington to become the f i r s t judge; A. Drummond (Ed.), Married and Gone to New Zealand, (London, i960), pp. 66-7. On Wakefield's England and America see s.upra chap. 1. 29c. Bronte to E. Nussey, June 10, 1841, Shorter, Brontes, I, p. 212. 11*1*. lived there; as a result of this connection both Mary and Martha in 181*2 attended a boarding school i n the Brussels suburb of Koekelberg, where Mary conveniently improved her French, German and music, qualifications which later proved useful during her early years in New Zealand. Her sister 1s sudden death from cholera i n October disrupted these arrange-ments, and in her ardent desire to quit Brussels she turned, not back to England, but farther afield to Germany. Now, for the f i r s t time, she went alone, and after a period of further instruction in German she be-gan to teach at a school i n Iserlohn. This was conventional enough, but what startled her contemporaries was that she took a position in a boys school. 3 0 Characteristically Charlotte Bronte took alarm at her friend's "resolute and intrepid proceedings." She recognized, as she told Ellen Nussey, that such a step proved "an energetic and active mind" as well as courage, independence and talent, but she condemned i t on grounds of imprudence. Perhaps, she added, genius like Mary's might surmount every obstacle without the aid of prudence, but opinion and custom run strongly against what she does, that I see there is danger of her having much uneasiness to suffer. If her pupils had been girls i t would a l l be well; the fact of their being boys, or rather young men, is the stumbling block.31 30Gerin, op. cit., pp. 171;, 181, 211-3;. C. Bronte to E. Nussey, Aug. 7, 181*1 j joint letters from Mary and Martha Taylor and C. Bronte to E. Nussey, Koekelberg, March, April 1* and 5, 181*2; M. Taylor to E. Nussey, Brussels, Oct. 30, 181*2, Shorter, Brontes, I, pp. 218-9, 23U-6, 21*3-1*. Bronte to E. Nussey, Brussels, April 1, 181*3, and November, 181*3, Shorter, Brontes, I, pp. 263-5, 273-1*. 145. But Mary Taylor was willing to risk any amount of social disapproval to meet her need for constructive activity. Immediately after Martha's death she told Ellen Nussey that she was torn between a desire to return to Yorkshire and another to go to Germany. She finally chose Germany, ••activity being in my opinion the most desirable state of existence both for my spirits, health, and advantage." A few months later she wrote from Germany to confirm that she actually was "cheerful and active."32 For her these two states were synonymous, and if she could have found them together in England she would never have emigrated to New Zealand, By April, 181+4 Mary was back in England, and in a few months re-vived her plan to emigrate. The reaction of Charlotte, to whom i t was "something as i f a great planet fell out of the sky," suggests that she had permitted the idea to lapse since Waring's departure. Indeed, al-though Charlotte frankly admitted that Mary would be "in her element" in New Zealand with "a toilsome task to perform, an important improvement to effect, a weak vessel to strengthen," her general reaction was understand-ably one of regret.33 For this reason her comments to Ellen Nussey do not always accurately reflect Mary's true situation in New Zealand. She was quick, for example, to interpret Mary's momentary expressions of J M. Taylor to E. Nussey, Brussels, Oct. 30, 1842, Germany, Feb. 16 and 18, ibid., I, pp. 243-4, 261-2. 33c. Bronte to E. Nussey, April 7, 1844, Wise and Symington, op. cit., II, p. 5; C. Bronte to E. Nussey, Sept. 1844, Shorter, Bronte's, I, P . 284. " : 146. depression as sure signs that she was "more homesick than she w i l l con-fess." But in fact, Mary, who finally sailed i n March, 1845, adjusted to the primitive environment of the infant Wellington colony with unusual rapidity. Her own letters, frequently f i l l e d with details of her business dealings and plans, are ample demonstration of this fact.3** Mary spent her f i r s t four years i n New Zealand at a variety of oc-cupations without becoming fully committed to any single one. Unquest-ionably her situation was eased by the presence of her brother, with whom she lived at fi r s t . She was not wealthy, nor was she one of the leisured ladies of the administrative class of New Zealand like Charlotte Godley of Canterbury or Mrs. H. S. Chapman of Wellington, but unlike many 'dis-tressed gentlewomen,' who necessarily took any available employment, she could afford to experiment.3* Consequently she was not confined to the traditional outlet of teaching. She did, however, teach, during the first four years, and even here she managed to astonish Wellington soc-iety by teaching a widower's daughter at his own home without any inten-tion of marrying him. She also combined this with other less orthodox female activities. Most important of these was her dealing in cattle, which she purchased with money borrowed at five per cent interest from 3**C. Bronte to E. Nussey, June 5, 1847, Shorter, ibid., I. p. 352 j On Mary's departure see Wise and Symington, op. cit., II, pp. 234-5, but note also footnote 26 supra, 3^0n Charlotte Godley see J. R. Godley (Ed.), Letters from Early  New Zealand by Charlotte Godleyt (Christchurch, l°5l)j On Mrs. Chapman see Drummond, op. cit., pp. 66-7. 11*7. her brothers, John and Joseph in England. By July, 181*8, she had spent f100 i n this way and anticipated a total expenditure of £500, with an eventual profit as high as f i f t y per cent. She also bought land and built a house, which she rented at twelve shillings a week. In addition she began to write, something she had never been inspired to do in England. Her New Zealand letters contain innumerable references to her "novel," which in the event was not published until 1890. She wrote one article for Chambers's magazine on a New Zealand earthquake, and talked of writing more.^ These diverse occupations made for "an active, happy and joyous l i f e " from which Mary was moved to express pity for Charlotte Bronte's "comparatively dull, uneventful, and unoccupied existence."37 Yet she had a more grandiose ambition: to establish an independent business or school of her own. And i t is probably indicative of her ambition that 36c. Bronte to Miss Margaret Wooler, Aug. 28, 181*8, Wise and Symington, op. cit., II, pp. 21*8-9; M. Taylor to C. Bronte, Wellington, July 21*, 181*8, Shorter, Bronte's. I, pp. 1*31-5j Shorter printed an incom-plete version of this letter, incorrectly dated July 21*, 181*9, in his earlier publication Charlotte Bronte and her Circle, pp. 21*5-7. Mary's optimistic estimates of her profits were not ful f i l l e d ; two years later she wrote to say that she would only just escape loss on her cattle, but she escaped hardship when her brothers converted their loan into a gift, Wise and Symington, op. ci t . , III, pp. 9l*-7. For the reference to the Chambers's article see M. Taylor to C. Bronte, Wellington, April 10, 181*9, Shorter,.Brontes, II, pp. 1*1-2; Chambers's did not print her article and "three or four articles" sent to Tait's Edinburgh Magazine were not ack-nowledged, Shorter, Brontes, I, pp. 1*31-5. 37c. Bronte to M. Wooler, Aug. 28, 181*8, Wise and Symington, II, pp. 21*8-9. 148. she did not feel disposed to put i t into practice until she could do so in partnership with her younger cousin, Ellen Taylor, who joined her in 18,49. In fact her letters give no indication that she had any specific occupation in mind either before or for at least three years after she emigrated. Her only certainty had been that she would find i t easier to earn her living independently and without degradation in the colonies than i n England. Now, with the prospect of a partner, she began to form more concrete plans, and after Ellen's arrival the pair decided to est-ablish a woman's clothing and drapery shop. By 1849 Mary had become intimately acquainted with many potential customers and business associ-ates among the tiny but growing Wellington population—in 1845 when Mary arrived the population totalled only 2,667, of whom 1,145 were children under 14—and with the local retailing experience of her brother and no prospect of serious competition she could be assured of reasonable 38 success. The surviving evidence on Mary's cousin, Ellen Taylor is meagre. The existing references do suggest that her short l i f e approximated much more closely to the familiar distressed gentlewoman pattern than did that 38M. Taylor to C. Bronte", Wellington, April 10, 1849, Shorter, Bronte's, II, pp. 4l"*2, contains the fi r s t reference to a scheme to establ«* ish a school or shop with Ellen Taylor. Mary discussed the prospects of the shop in her letter to C. Bronte of April 5, 1850, Wise and Symington, op. cit., ITI, p. 94-7j see also Ellen Taylor to C. Bronte, Wellington, n.d. (approx. mid-1850), ibid., III, pp. 133-5; the Wellington census dated August 31, 1845 was published in the New Zealand Journal, May 9, 1846; the total for Wellington and surrounding districts was 4897. 1 4 9 . of Mary Taylor. Ten years younger than Mary,39 i t is probable that she lost her parents at an early age, since a l l the efforts to assist her education and employment appear to have been made by her cousins. In 1843 Abraham Dixon, who frequently accommodated Mary in Brussels, wrote that a recent business setback had forced him to abandon the idea of help-ing to finance Ellen at Madame Heger's school (the same institution at-tended by Charlotte Bronte, both as a pupil and English teacher, in 1842 and 1843). Even as late as June, 1848 Mary's brother, Joseph, and Ellen's brother, Henry, made further enquiries about the same school on Ellen's account, although i t is unclear whether they wished her to go as a pupil or teacher.'4'0 The latter fact suggests that Ellen's future had become something of a problem, for only seven months later she emigrated to New Zealand with her brother. Their decision, however rational, was not planned far in advance like Mary's, and was probably due to the absence of reasonable alternatives in England.4l Ellen's action did not have 39M. Taylor to C. Bronte, Aug. 13, 1850, Shorter, Brontes. H, pp. 152-3. The only precise reference to Mary Taylor's age is in her obituary, from which i t can be reckoned that she was born on February 26, I8l8. She would therefore have been 28 when she emigrated in 1845» in 1849 when Ellen arrived their ages would have been 32 and 22j Bradford  Daily Telegraph. Mar. 2, 1893, p. 2. ^Abraham Dixon to his daughter Mary Dixon, Brussels, July 24, 1843, Dixon Letters. Leeds City Museumj C. Bronte to E. Nussey, June 26, 1848, Shorter, Brontes. I. pp. 426-7. ^•C. Bronte to E. Nussey, Feb. 16, 1849, ibid., II, p. 28, mentions the imminent departure of Ellen arid Henry Taylor from London. Ellen's disappointed resignation to her fate is suggested in Mary's subsequent remark that "She thought she was coming woefully down in the world when she came out, and finds herself better received than ever she was in her i5o. the strong overtones of feminist ideology so characteristic of Mary's. She did, as Mary put i t , emigrate "with just the same wish to earn her own living as I have, and just the same objection to sedentary employ-ment," but, unlike Mary, she would not have emigrated without a large net-work of relatives to accompany, welcome and assist her. Her disregard for convention largely resulted from the influence of Mary's company and a more egalitarian colonial environment. She observed to Charlotte Bronte that most Wellingtonians laughed at her shopkeeping, and added "Before I left home I used to be afraid of being laughed at, but now i t has very l i t t l e effect on me." Her experience in New Zealand was a short one-she died in December 1851 after only two and a half years—but i t was long enough to illustrate the liberating effects of a colonial environment on women who had been slaves to rigid conventions in England.**2 By a l l accounts the Taylors' shop prospered from the beginning. As with Mary's cattle, dealing this was largely due to the substantial help provided by her brothers in England. They lent her £100, gave her a further £300, and assisted Ellen on a slightly smaller scale so that they began "with as large a capital as probably any in Wellington." Their shop occupied an advantageous site, and being among the f i r s t in town was free from the threat of competition. They also benefitted from the sales l i f e before;" M. Taylor.to C. Bronte, Wellington, April 5, 1850, Wise and Symington, op. c i t . . III. pp. 9U-7. k^Ibid.. Ellen Taylor to C. Bronte, Wellington, n.d. (approx. mid-1850) ibid., IH, pp. 133-5; on Ellen's death see ibid.. II, p. 23U. 151. experience of Waring Taylor, who taught them book-keeping and assisted in wholesale purchasing. There is no record of their actual profits, but in 1850 they anticipated returns as high as £400 a year. By 1854, over two years after Ellen's death, Mary had prospered sufficiently well to add a twenty foot extension to her shop. By 1857 she found wholesale purchasing "not near such an anxious piece of business now that I under-stand my trade and have, moreover, a good 'credit" 1, and could afford to hire an assistant, who eventually purchased the business when Mary re-turned to England. Such a career, i t must be emphasized, was radically different from that of most middle-class female emigrants; in the first place few women who could command so much capital without working would ever bother to emigrate. But the Taylors' experience does suggest how much greater scope for female ambitions could exist in the colonies than in Britain. They appear to have encountered virtually no social prejud-ice, and their relative boldness apparently caused more amusement than disapproval in Wellington.^3 This is an important point, for although Mary Taylor was by no means a typical female emigrant, her attitude towards work in New Zealand was characteristic of that adopted by many others when exposed to a 43M. Taylor to C. Bronte, Wellington, April 5, 1850, Ibid.. I l l , pp. 94-7; E. Taylor to C. Bronte, n.d., ibid, III, pp. 133-5; M. Taylor to E. Nussey, Wellington, Aug. 15, 1850; Feb. 24, 1854, Shorter, Brontes. II, pp. 155-7., 347-9. In her letter to Charlotte Bronte Ellen Taylor said that their shop-keeping project "astonishes everybody here" and that many thought i t only a temporary whim, but also noticed that when Mary went to buy merchandise "the people are always c i v i l to her." 152. colonial environment. For her i t was simply a matter of behaving as she had always wished to do; for the majority—including Ellen Taylor—it was a matter of adjusting to a social environment in which i t was no longer considered a degradation to perform many kinds of ungenteel work and to tolerate primitive living conditions. The gulf between the two states of mind in England and abroad was expressed in Charlotte Bronte's astonish-ment to hear that "Mary Taylor sits on a wooden stool without a back, in a log house, without a carpet, and neither is degraded nor thinks herself degraded by such poor accommodation."^ Mary Taylor was fully aware that she was neither a typical middle-class woman nor a "typical emigrant; even the New Zealanders raised their eyebrows at her eccentricities. "To be sure," she said, "I pass here for a monkey who has seen the world, and people receive me well on that account." But she was no less certain that emigration would provide the same escape for others from frustration, worry and genteel poverty. She tried, un-successfully, to persuade Ellen Nussey, a thoroughly conventional and submissive woman, to join her in New Zealand. A woman could only earn her living in England by teaching, sewing or washing, she argued. The last is the best. The best paid, the least unhealthy, and the most free. But i t is not paid well enough to live by. Moreover i t is impossible for anyone not bom to this position to take i t up afterwards. I don't know why but i t i s . This state of things she described as a "nightmare" from which one could only escape by making a "desperate plunge, and you w i l l come up in hkc. Bronte to E. Nussey, Sept. 2 8 , l 8 i | 6 , Shorter, Brontes. I, pp. 3 3 8 - 9 . 153. another world." The new world will be no Paradise, but s t i l l much better than the nightmare. Am I not right in a l l this? and don't you know i t very wellJ Or am I shooting in the dark? I must say I judge rather by my own history than from any actual knowledge of yours. S t i l l you yourself must judge, for no one else can. What in the world keeps you? • . • You could get your living here at any of the trades I have mentioned, which you would only die of in England. As to 'society' position in the world, you must have found out by this time i t is a l l my eye seeking society, without the means to enjoy i t . Why not come here then and be happy?^3 Mary and Ellen's letters are f i l l e d with enthusiastic descriptions of their endless jobs, from the building of their shop to the division of domestic chores which in England had been performed by servants. The result, far from being degradation, was genuine satisfaction and freedom from the familiar frustrations of the respectable English social routine, as illustrated by Mary's revealing statement: "We have been moving, cleaning, shop-keeping, until I was tired every night—a wonder for me. It does me good, and I had much rather be tired than ennuyee."^ The Taylors' attitude to work was an essential part of their inte-gration into a more homogeneous society. Class distinctions certainly existed—the great majority of early New Zealanders of a l l classes were, Taylor to E. Nussey, Wellington, Feb. 9, 181*9, ibid., II. pp. 25-7. it6M. Taylor to C. BrontS, Wellington, April 29, 1850, Ibid.. II, pp. 131-U. In her letter to C. Bronte Ellen Taylor described their rou-tine thus: "We take i t in turns to serve in the shop, and keep the ac-counts, and do the housework—I mean Mary takes the shop for the week and I the kitchen, and then we change"; Wise and Symington, op. ext.. I l l , pp. 133-5; cf. M. Taylor to C. Bronte", Wellington, April 5, 1850, ibid.. I l l , pp. 94-7; M. Taylor to E. Nussey, Wellington, March 11, 1851, Shorter, Brontes. I l l , pp. 198-200. 154. after a l l , only recently transplanted from Britain—but in such small, closely knit communities as existed in New Zealand the predominant soc-i a l forces fostered the development of egalitarianism. Most important of these was the frequent necessity for men to marry "beneath their station" because of the lack of single women, and this induced a large degree of social mixing.^7 In these conditions, while the Taylors were clearly distinguished from the administrative class, the Wellington aris-tocracy, Mary could rejoice i n the fact that their company was better than i t would have been in the same circumstances in England. Her own analysis was shrewd: "Classes are forced to mix more here, or there would be no society at a l l . This circumstance is much to our advantage, for there are not many educated people of our standing." For Ellen Taylor, a decade younger and apparently more attractive than Mary, i t was "quite new to be of such importance by the mere fact of her femininity." Her popularity also involved Mary in a succession of dances and other social events at the new Mechanic's Institute. The class of people in-volved in their own circle were, as she described them, not in education inferior though they are in money. They are decent well-to-do people. One grocer, one draper, two parsons, two clerks, two lawyers, and three or four nondescripts. A l l these but one have families to 'take tea with' and there are a lot more single men to f l i r t with. . Such an unlikely mixture of occupations would have been rare in Britain, 4'In I8I4.7 there were 528 bachelors and 248 spinsters in Wellington, J. Miller, Early Victorian New Zealand, (London, 1958), pp. 162-3. Miller tends to underrate the pressures for egalitarianism and overrate the im-ported class distinctions and social rituals. and the implications for middle-class women could be profound. The maj-ority, like Ellen Taylor, regarded the very need for emigration as a confession of social decline, but instead of "coming woefully down in the world" their education alone earned them new status, causing Ellen, for example, to find herself "better received than ever she was in her l i f e before."48 The social value to the colonies of single women, and more especially of educated women, was too great f or them to lose caste by the mere performance of menial work. A more tolerant attitude to the performance of menial work extend-ed in large measure to a l l classes in a l l the settlement colonies during most of the nineteenth century. The shortage of women, common to a l l the colonies, implied not only a dearth of prospective wives, but a chronic scarcity of domestic servants for the highest classes. Conse-quently even women of the administrative class in New Zealand were in-variably exposed at an early stage to unfamiliar domestic chores. Catherine Chapman, wife of the Wellington judge, was initiated into such tasks during the voyage when her only maid was disabled by seasickness.^? Those fortunate enough to find well-trained and efficient servants in-variably lost them on short notice to new husbands. Until replacements ii8M. Taylor to C. Bronte, Wellington, April 5, 1850, Wise and Symington, op cit . . I l l , pp. 94-7; M. Taylor to E. Nussey, Wellington, March 11, 1851, Shorter, Brontes, H, pp. 198-200. Mary found that young middle-class women of New Zealand were no different from those i n England, except that "they have certainly more energy," Loc. c i t . k?Drummond, op. cit., pp. 66-7. 156. could be found there was no alternative but to s o i l one's fingers. After one such interlude Lady Barker, on a sheep run in Canterbury with her husband in the 1860s, wrote "in the meantime we had to do everything for ourselves, and on the whole we found this picnic l i f e great fun."->° Com-ments such as these abound in the memoirs of well-to-do middle-class women. Sarah Greenwood, whose husband later became headmaster at Nelson College, wrote that she had become expert in household work and cooking, and, far from feeling degradation, "I never was happier or better in my l i f e . " Shortly afterwards she cheerfully remarked "I am now complete maid-of-all-work, and very very fully my time is occupied; a l l I regret is the want of more time for the education of my children." This was a common experience of colonial women, whether they settled in the towns or country.^ Lady Barker's observation was apt. The mothers are thoroughly domestic and devoted to their home duties, far more so than the generality of the same class at home. An English lady, with even an extremely moderate income, would look upon her colonial sister as very hard-worked indeed. 5* In such circumstances the middle-class spinster had no cause to fear loss ^°Lady M. A. Barker, Station Life in New Zealand, (Originally pub-lished 1870), (Christchurch, N.Z., 1950), p. 67, see also pp. 35, U0-3, 67-9, 10U-7, and Barker, Station Amusements in New Zealand, (Originally published 1873), (Christchurch, N.Z., 1953), pp. 15U-6U, 169-73. -^Letters of Sarah Greenwood, Nelson, August, I81i3; Motueka, March 31, 1814;, in Drummond, op. cit . , pp. 73-7. Jessie Campbell, the wife of a settler at Wanganui, had similar experiences, and implied that the greater activity of colonial women made childbirth a much easier ordeal than in England, ibid., p. 63. "Barker, Station Life . . . , p. 57. 157. of caste by stooping to work which had been considered ungenteel i n England. Mary Taylor, who could proudly exclaim "How we work J and l i f t , and carry, and knock boxes open as i f we were carpenters by trade; and sit down in the midst of the mess when we are quite tired," was perfect-ly at home in this environment.*3 In 1859, at the age of 1*1, Mary Taylor returned to England after almost fifteen years in New Zealand. Her letters give the impression that she had never intended to stay permanently, although her friends in England remained uncertain. In 1844 Charlotte Bronte predicted that Mary would not stay away for long unless she married, yet was unconvinced enough in 1849 when she wrote Shirley to conclude her description with 54 the question "Will she ever come back?"-"^ Mary's literary ambitions and her unusual tenacity for the intellectual l i f e she had known in England prevented her from ever entirely integrating into Wellington society. In a sense she lived a double l i f e , and could never have been at home in either country. I can hardly explain to you the queer feeling of living, as I do, in two places at once. One world containing books, England, and a l l the people with whom I can exchange an idea; the other a l l that I actually see and hear and speak to. The separation is as complete as between the things in a picture and the things in a room. The puzzle i s that both move and act, and /l_7must say my say as one of each. The result i s that one world at least must think me crazy. ^ 3 M . Taylor to E. Nussey, Wellington, March 11, 1851, Shorter, Brontes. II, pp. 198-200. *^C. Bronte to E. Nussey, Sept. 16, 1844, Shorter, Brontes. I, p. 284; Shirley. Chap. 9. 158. . Her yearning for intellectual companionship, which she rarely found in Wellington, was partly satisfied when Ellen j oined her, hut even then the two of them talked of returning to England when they had earned enough money. They planned at one time to send wholesale goods to New 55 Zealand after gaining four or five years' experience in shop-keeping.^ The fact is that apart from an unfettered opportunity to combine mean-ingful activity with earning her own living, the advantage of New Zealand to Mary Taylor was that i t offered the only method in which she might provide for an independent and prosperous future i n England. Exactly how prosperous she became cannot be determined. But after selling her shop to her assistant, Miss Smith, she was wealthy enough to return to England, build a secluded house of her own—High Royd at Gomersal—and live a l i f e of cultured leisure devoted to writing and travel. ^%ary frequently expressed contempt for the intellectual capa-cities of New Zealanders; after discussing Charlotte's novel, Jane Eyre, she said of them "They are not literary enough to give an opinion;" M. Taylor to C, Bronte, Wellington, July 21+, 181+8, Shorter, Brontes, I, pp. 1+31-5: M. Taylor to E. Nussey, Wellington, Aug. 15, 1850 . ibid., II, pp. 155-7. -^ Qn Mary's final arrangements in New Zealand see her letters to E. Nussey, Jan. 2 8 , 1858 and June k, 1858 , E. Nussey, The Story of the  Brontes, with MSS notes, (Bradford, 1885-9, British Museum, suppressed before publication). Shorter, Bronte's, II, pp. 1+03-1+; cf. Shorter, Charlotte Bronte .,. . , p. 2 5 9 ; C. M. Edgerley, in an unannotated a r t i -cle, 'Mary Taylor—The Friend of Charlotte Bronte,' Transactions, The Bronte Society, Pt. . 1 1 7 , Vol. X , No. 5 , 19UU, p. 2 2 0 , maintains that Mary traded i n timber in New Zealand and made a "small fortune," but there is no evidence of this in the English sources,,nor, accordinglto Dr. Joan Stevens, Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. Mary's shop, known as Te Aro House, was eventually purchased by a James Smith,,who expanded his business substantially. James Smith's is now the largest department store in Wellington; L. E. Ward, Early - Wellington, (London, 159 Mary Taylor stands out from other contemporary female emigrants in several ways, not least in her access to substantial funds from her relatives. But her greatest difference was her radical feminism, her ideological commitment to the principle of female independence. On this characteristic her emigration experience had l i t t l e effect, for she felt as strongly after her return as she did before. She found that most middle-class women were hopelessly under-educated and "generally 57 too ignorant to talk to" in New Zealand just as they were in England. But as already suggested she was also distinguished from her feminist contemporaries by a more comprehensive radicalism with its roots in the nonconformist tradition. From 1865 to 1870 she published a series of articles in the Victoria Magazine, a feminist journal, with the avowed object, "to inculcate the duty of earning money" for women. These a r t i -cles, collected and republished as The First Duty of Women in 1870, say, in effect, that women must learn to be selfish. Unlike the moderate feminists of her generation she contemptuously dismissed the notion of woman's civilizing mission as a sham to deprive women of their rights. It is an offer that those who make i t would not take were the case their own, and the frequent repetition of i t when women are in question, suggests the suspicion, that those who urge i t are not thinking of the woman's interests but of their own; and more than that, that they do not believe the two to be identical.58 1928), pp. 218, 302-3; The Evening Post. Wellington, Aug. 14, 1967, James Smith's advertisement, pp. 21-4. 5?M. Taylor to C. Bronte, Wellington, July 24, 1848, Shorter, Brontes, pp. 431-5. *8M. Taylor, TheFirst Duty of Women. (London, 1870), pp. i i i - i v , 13-4, 158-84. 160. At times the gulf between herself and the moderate feminists was wide. She was not content, as were most of them, to fight simply for the right of middle-class spinsters to work. Married women, even mothers, she argued, had a duty to earn money and contribute to the well-being of their families, especially when their time was left idle by an army of to servants. Her novel, finally published in 1890, is packed with such sentiments, but i t also indicates that her radicalism was not simply confined to feminist issues; i t was the radicalism of Hiram Yorke in Shirley, and unmistakeably sympathized with virtuous working-class Dis-senters against a callous ruling-class. Arrogant insinuations of mob violence during an economic depression prompt such statements from Yorkshire workers as "If we had not more respect for law than them that says we've none, we could raise fire through one end 0 ' t' country to 6 0 t' other." Had Mary Taylor lived during the Edwardian years of mili-tant feminism she probably would have shared the socialistic outlook of Sylvia Pankhurst rather than the conservative feminism of Sylvia's mother and sister. Her only inconsistency was to share the weakness of other feminists in defining their needs solely as those of one sex, and hence locating the enemy in the other. Like a l l her principles she ex-pressed this one with extreme vehemence. Her concept ofthe feminist struggle i s summarized in an imaginary dialogue between a man and a 5°jbid.. pp. 86-110. 60M. Taylor. Miss Miles, or a Tale of Yorkshire Life Sixty Years  Ago. (London, I89O), pp. 168-9. l 6 l # woman which concludes as follows! Gentleman; I mean that our guidance i s due to our inferiors. Lady; Then don't give i t to women. Gentleman; Just to them we should give i t . Lady; Then i f by guidance you mean the right of the strongest, you deserve to be cheated and made use of. Gentleman: We are s t i l l the strongest. Lady: And we are strong enough to hate you for your tyranny. Gentleman: The folly was in telling her so. 1 It was sentiments of this kind which led to the Edwardian anti-tfiale cru-sade and irrevocably set feminism apart from other progressive social movements. This was a contradiction in Mary Taylor's thought, which in other respects was exceptionally progressive for her time. An important example of her general attitude, where her views coincided with those of the feminists, was on the subject of emigration. Despite her successful experience as an emigrant, she implacably opposed female emigration if intended as a means simply to find husbands. In his article of 1862, 'Why are Women Redundant?', William R. Greg had pro-posed a massive scheme of middle-class female emigration in order that redundant women in England would be able to marry in the colonies. 6 2 Mary replied indignantly. The men who emigrate without wives, do so because in their opinion, they cannot afford to marry. The curious idea that the women, whom they would not ask in England should run after them to persuade them would be laughable i f i t were not mischievous. Those who adopt i t must dispense with that cultivated forethought that makes both sides wish for some provision for the future before enter-ing into matrimony. It is true there is a certain number who have 6 lTaylor, First Duty . . ..p. 262 6 2Greg, op. cit., pp. U3U-60. 162. attained their object, and have the means to marry, but the greater number are intentionally single, as are the corresponding class in England.63 Although she did not discuss i t , Mary Taylor would, as her advice to Ellen Nussey indicated, recommend emigration as a means to female inde-pendence and employment, but as husband-hunting she saw that i t must work against the cause of female independence. In this she differed from the late-Victorian emigration societies, which never hesitated to hold up mar-riage as a praiseworthy motive for emigration. Mary Taylor was sufficient-ly sophisticated in her thinking to be able to make this distinction. Mary Taylor was highly untypical of middle-class female emigrants in the early Victorian period. Her financial resources, her personality and, above a l l , her radical feminism set her apart from more characteris-tic "distressed gentlewomen" and even "independent adventurers." But despite these differences her history is s t i l l instructive. As Ellen Taylor's experience suggests, the very attraction of New Zealand for Mary Taylor, principally a marked tolerance towards the performance of ungen-teel work by middle-class women, was the most crucial factor in enabling less exceptional emigrants to adjust to a colonial environment and over-come their experience of alienation so common in England. The study there-fore supports the previous hypothesis that middle-class women could safely accept menial work in the colonies without experiencing degradation and social exclusion from the colonial middle-class. Furthermore, despite 6 3Taylor, First Duty . . p. 1*3 1 6 3 . Mary Taylor's salutary emigration experience, she steadfastly opposed any notion of female emigration as a device to find husbands. In this re-spect she foreshadowed the feminist run emigration society of the 'sixties and 'seventies which consistently worked against any form of "matrimonial colonization." Her feminism differed from that of most contemporary fem-inists, however, i n that i t was only one integral aspect of her more com-prehensive radical outlook. 164. Chapter V The Early 'Fifties? Voluntary Effort and the New Image of Emigration During the first half of the nineteenth century public attitudes in Britain towards Australian emigration were extremely slow to change. Des-pite the founding, under Wakefieldian auspices, of new, convict-free col-onies in South Australia in 1836 and New Zealand in 1840, the old associ-ation of Australian emigration with the disgrace of convict transportat-ion persisted throughout the 'forties. Similarly, the old view of emigra-tion as a cure for pauperism died hard. When Thomas Carlyle pleaded, in 1843, for a "free bridge for emigrants'' he had in mind not the uneasy middle-class but the most depressed section of the labouring-class, the paupers and "Physical-Force Chartists" who posed such a threat to domestic tranquillity. x Until these attitudes changed, and female emigration was seen to be safe and respectable, the departure of any significant number of middle-class women would be inhibited. These entrenched attitudes underwent a profound change during the early eighteen-fifties. No single event, but a conjuncture of develop-ments which upheld public interest in Australia and emigration at a sus-tained high pitch, operated to transform the image of emigration for the middle-classes. The impetus given to emigration by the Irish famine in ^T. Carlyle, Past and Present, (London, 1897, orig. published 1843), pp. 266-8. 165. the late 'forties, the Wakefieldian Canterbury Settlement in New Zealand in 1850, the proliferation of philanthropic emigration societies at mid-century arid discussion of the Australian gold-rush in 1852 a l l played an important part in this minor revolution. Significantly, in each of these developments female emigration assumed a unique importance and prompted a serious discussion on the role of women in the founding of new societies. Consequently the issue of female emigration was itself instrumental in revolutionizing the appeal of emigration for the middle-classes, but more important, the changes of these years laid the groundwork for more endur-ing projects to assist educated women to emigrate. At this point, therefore, i t is necessary to digress slightly from the precise subject of middle-class female emigration in order to establish that the early 'fifties formed a watershed in the evolution of attitudes towards Australia and female emigration. The catalyst to this transforma-tion was the energetic activity of private and philanthropic emigration promoters. To indicate the contrast between their work and the unpopular activities of the Colonial Office i t w i l l be useful to examine f i r s t the progress of the State-assisted emigration to Australia during the 'forties. The contrast should become clear in the subsequent investigation of Edward Gibbon Wakefield's Canterbury Settlement project, which, although not ob-viously related to female emigration, affords the first and most apparent indication of a fundamental change in attitudes towards Australasian emi-gration. The subsequent discussion of the philanthropic work of Caroline Chisholm and Sidney Herbert, and of the role of middle-class women in the 166. Australian gold-rush, should demonstrate the significance of these attitude changes for the future of female emigration. During the decade prior to 1850 a l l organized female emigration was in the hands of the Colonial Office. The of f i c i a l scheme consisted solely of the assisted working-class emigration to Australia, financed out of the colonial land fund and administered, for the most part, by the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners. The Colonial Office was at fi r s t re-luctant to conduct any large scale project but pressures from both Australia and Britain eventually forced them to send out regular shiploads of single women. The greatest stimulus to their change of policy was the Irish famine, **iich threw a large surplus of young female orphans into Irish workhouses. After I8I4.8 Irish orphans formed the majority of assist-ed female emigrants, and the results of the project gave rise to much criticism and adverse publicity in Australia and Britain. The apparent bungling of the State system stimulated humanitarians to form a multitude of voluntary emigration organizations, which, in contrast, earned enthus-iastic support in Britain. The Irish orphan system therefore provides a convenient background against which to study voluntary activity. The Colonial Office emigration system underwent a series of admini-strative changes during the eighteen-forties. From 1835 to 18U5 the "bounty system" co-existed -with the system of direct control by the Com-missioners as a means of introducing emigrants to Australia at colonial expense. Private settlers or their agents,under the bounty system, were 167. reimbursed with a "bounty11 for introducing eligible emigrants to the col-ony. As the colonial authorities thereby exercised a final control over the acceptance of assisted emigrants the system was much preferred in Australia. The growing volume of emigration caused emigrant selection, by means of bounty permits issued by the colonial Governor, to be handed over to English ship-owners. When the bounties were substantially in-creased in 181+0 many ship-owners sent out overcrowded vessels with in-eligible and "abandoned11 emigrants who were frequently selected indis-criminately from workhouses. Familiar abuses, such as the introduction into the colony of prostitutes and cases of immorality and disorders during the voyage, ensued, and after 181+5 the Colonial Office discontinued the bounty system, and the Emigration Commissioners assumed f u l l control over the machinery of assisted emigration.2 After the experience of the female emigration scheme from 1832 to 1836 officials in both London and Australia remained hostile to the ship-ping out of any single women without the close protection of their immed-iate families or other near relatives. It was the departure from this re-quirement by shipowners which caused hostility to the bounty system in Australia. Governor Gipps of New South Wales, like his predecessors, was convinced that "the evil of sending women of bad character is one which 2Reports of New South Wales Committee on Immigration, Aug. 22, 181+2, Appendix, PP., 181+3, XXXIV, (109), pp. 59-67. For a f u l l discussion of the progress of the bounty system cf. Madgwick, op. cit., pp. 151-91. 168. w i l l never be entirely got rid of, so long as single xromen are allowed to emigrate."3 The Emigration Commissioners were quick to reject any proposals to assist the collective emigration of large numbers of unat-tached women. In 1840 they refused a proposal of the Poor Law Board to assist 124 young workhouse women with a stern reminder of their invariable rule "which is never to take unmarried females unless they are under the protection of their families and near married relatives, or unless they go as servants to cabin passengers by the same ship. Experience has shown that a contrary course is attended with the worst consequences."^ For several years, therefore, assisted emigration to Australia was l i t t l e more than a system of rigidly controlled family emigration, and afforded small opportunity for the emigration of unattached spinsters of any class. In response to the colonial shortage of women the assisted emigra-tion of the eighteen-forties gradually reverted from this inflexible form of family emigration to a system, like that begun in 1832, which provided for large shipments of unattached single women. Proponents of exclusive family emigration tended to overlook the fact that an important object of the fi r s t assisted female emigration scheme had been to correct the serious disproportion between the sexes in Australia. Only a steady sur-plus of female emigrants could cure the disproportion, and the progressive 3 S i r . G. Gipps, Memo, on Immigration to N.S.W., with his despatch to Stanley, May 14, 1842, PP., 1843, XXXIV (323), pp. 108-11. ^Commissioners to R. Vernon Smith, Nov. 23, 1840, PP., 1842, XXXI, D®i/9 PP. 528-32. 169. relaxation of the rules which required "natural protectors" was a response to this need. The Colonial Office took the fir s t step in 181+3 when i t re-laxed its insistence on immediate relatives and required that any woman over eighteen "be placed under the bona fide protection of a married couple, who may be willing to undertake that she shall form part of their family during the voyage, and at least a fortnight after its termination."£ In effect they exchanged real protection for the appearance of protection. This modified system was,not surprisingly, short-lived. Although i t enabled more women to emigrate, i t soon led to some predictable abuses. Mrs. Caroline Chisholm, who rescued many of the women consequently left helpless on the streets of Sydney, complained that in most cases the girls were unacquainted with each other until they met at the emigrant depot or even on board shipj "the consequence is indifference, and but too of-ten total neglectj and which, in many cases, has proved fatal to numbers of poor emigrant girls." Although married couples gave a signed under-taking to protect specified young women, they were in no way accountable for their responsibility. Even the conscientious often found i t d i f f i -cult to f u l f i l this extra duty on a crowded ship and at the same time care for their own families. 6 Reviewing the system in 181+8 the Emigra-tion Commissioners concluded not only that the intended protection was in ^Commissioners to J. Stephen (Permanent Undersecretary), Sept. 2, 181+3, and Stephen to Commissioners, Sept. 5, 181+3, PP., 181+1+, XXXV, (626-1) pp. 8-10. ^C. Chisholm to B. Hawes (Parliamentary Undersecretary), Feb. 28, 181+7, PP., 181+7-8, XLVII (50-II), pp. 12-3 170. practice illusory, but that i t s t i l l worked so as to limit the numbers of female emigrants. With the Colonial Office committed to a policy which would introduce no more single men than single women to Australia, this meant that the emigration of single male labourers, those most w i l l -ing to emigrate, was also a r t i f i c i a l l y restricted. A more efficient means of female emigration was therefore urgently required to properly 7 expedite the necessary emigration of single men.' The obvious solution was a cautious return to the system pursued from 1832 to I836. The Colonial Office was at f i r s t unwilling to risk sending ships with upwards of 200 women as in the earlier scheme, but in 1846 they sent, experimentally, 269 single women, under the charge of matrons and carefully segregated from other passengers, in seven separ-ate ships to South Australia. In such manageable proportions collective female emigration answered well. But in 1848 Earl Grey, then Colonial Secretary, decided to extend the system to the other Australian colonies in larger numbers, and, more important, yielded to domestic pressure to use the scheme as a means to r i d Irish workhouses of large numbers of a female orphans. The depopulating effects of the Irish famine were clear-ly at work here, and as the Commissioners constantly reiterated in reply 7Eighth General Report of Emigration Commissioners, May 17, 1848, PP., 1847-8, XXXVI, / 9 6 l / , p. 8. "Ibid., p. 8j Commissioners to H. Merivale (Permanent Undersecret-ary from 1847;, Jan. 14, 1848; Grey to Fitzroy (Governor of N.S.W), Jan. 31, 1848j Commissioners to Merivale, Feb. 17, 1848, and Grey to Fitzroy, Feb. 28, 1848, PP., 1847-8, XLVTI, J9§§]s pp. 83-^ 4, 88-90; cf. Madgwick, op. cit., pp. 193-9. 171. to colonial complaints, there was no great unemployment of domestic ser-vants in Britain by the late 'forties, and young Irish orphans were fre-quently the only class of uncorrupted women who could be induced to emi-grate in significant numbers. The Australians, rarely able to attract the best emigrants, invariably had to be satisfied with the "best avail-able." 9 The orphan emigration, which lasted until 1852, has been condemn-ed as a piece of high-handed imperial domination.10 It was, indeed, a flagrant example of how Imperial interests could over-ride those of the colonists, who in fact financed the entire operation. But i t was d i f f i -cult to reconcile complaints by the colonists with their equally persis-tent and urgent requests to send large numbers of female servants, especi-ally since the Commissioners had made i t amply clear that respectable female emigrants could only be procured in sufficient quantity from Irish institutions. 1 1 When the colonial complaints are placed in their proper ^Eleventh General Report of Emigration Commissioners, May 2 , 1851, PP., 1851, XXH (1383), pp. 4-5$ Commissioners to Merivale, July 26, 1852, in Pakington to Young (Governor of South Australia) Aug. 3, 1852, PP., 1852-3, LXVIII / I 6 2 7 / , pp. 231-2; Madgwick, op. cit., passim. 1 0Ibid., pp. 193-8. ^See, for example, Lt. Governor Robe (of South Australia) to Grey, April 12, 1848, PP., 1849, XXXVIII, (593), pp. l6o-3 j Robe argued that female servants could "scarcely be sent out in sufficient numbers to sat-isfy the wants of householders" and reported that many of the recent female immigrants had rapidly married and were already seeking female servants themselves; see also Lt. Governor C. J. Latrobe (of Victoria) to Grey, Dec. 20, 1851 and March 23, 1852, PP., 1852-3, LXVIII, /E627/ pp. 108, 127-8. 172. perspective i t becomes apparent that the scheme's benefits far outweighed its abuses. Apart from raising the old spectre of popery and religious prejudice in Australia, its main disadvantage was the incapacity of many 12 of the young untrained orphans for domestic service. Practical exper-ience in the colony rapidly corrected this fault, and Australia gained a large number of useful women of unblemished character since most of the Irish orphans were too young to have experienced corruption or 'ruin' at home. Indeed, the colonists later asked for more Irish orphan girls to counteract the massive influx of single and restless male gold 13 diggers. This revised judgement is necessary to understand the orphan scheme correctly, but i t is true that sensational abuses did occur and received equally sensational treatment. The first large shipment to South Australia of 221 Irish orphans on the Roman Emperor provoked harsh ^Fitzroy to Grey, June 16, 181*9, and enclosures, PP., 1850, XL /El63j7, pp. 1*8-50; R. Therry, Reminiscences of Thirty Years Residence in  New South Wales and Victoria. (London, 1863), pp. 1*12-3. A frequent complaint was that the Irish orphan emigration introduced a dispropor-tionate number of Roman Catholics to the colonies and that some colonists refused to hire them because of their religion. Lt. Governor Young (of South Australia) to Grey, Sept. 10, 181*8, PP., 181*9 XXXVIII, (593), pp. 178-9; Sixteenth General Report of Emigration Commissioners, April 7, 1856, PP., 1856, XXIV (2089), pp. 18-9j J. F. Hogan, The Irish in  Australia. (London, 1887), pp. 11*2-5. 13Young to Newcastle, Oct. 27, 1853, and enclosures. PP., 185U, XLVI, (1*36-1), pp. 21-2. Herman Merivale, who was Permanent Undersecre-tary from 181*7 to 1859, later wrote in praise of this phase of female emigration; because of i t , he asserted, "Victoria has been free from the worst features of the turbulence, vice, and insecurity, which attended the height of the gold fever in California," Lectures on Colonization and  the Colonies. (London, l86l edition), pp. 1*72-3. 173. criticism of some immoral women: the second mate was "convicted under very demoralizing circumstances, of a liaison with one of the female emi-grants." Similar abuses occurred in subsequent ships despite the extreme caution of the Emigration Commissioners. Governor Fitzroy of New South Wales asserted that 56 out of 195 Irish orphans on board the Earl Grey in 181+8 had "mixed with the lowest grade of society," many of them being common prostitutes from Belfast, and had set a "pernicious example" to the other well-behaved emigrants. In the same year Fitzroy condemned the captain, officers and surgeon-superintendent of the Subraon for al-lowing and encouraging "unrestrained freedom of intercourse" and immoral-ity between the women and crew. On the Thomas Arbuthnot in 181+9 "The usual gratuity was withheld from the Chief Officer, in consequence of his having been found in bed with one of the single females, for which he was disrated by the master.m14 The Emigration Commissioners in London, anxious to exonerate their own selection procedure and the general chara-cter of the emigrants, were inclined, after investigation, to attribute a l l responsibility for such abuses to laxity and indiscipline on the part 15 of the ship's officers. But their reaction indicates an extreme pre-occupation with these events and the unfavourable publicity thus provoked. ^Young to Grey, Oct. 2l+, 181+8, and enclosures, PP., 181+9, XXXVIII, , PP. 208-9: Fitzroy to Grey, Dec. 19, 181+8, and enclosures, PP., 1850, XL, /L16J7» PP. 1-1+5 Fitzroy to Grey, Nov. 11+, 181+8, and enclosures, PP., 181+9, XXXVHI (593) PP. 25-95 Fitzroy to Grey, June 18, 181+9, and enclosures, PP., 1850 XL /ll637, pp. 50-1+. •^Commissioners to Merivale, May 25, 181+9, in Grey to Fitzroy, June 7, 181+9, PP., 181+9, XXXVHI, (593), pp. 111-1+. 17U. When Mr. Brooks King, the surgeon of the ship James Gibb^ wrote a letter to The Times from Sydney criticizing the "coarse indecency" of the female emigrants, the Commissioners remarked that his statements are calculated to excite so much repugnance, and, i f unfounded, so much mischievous repugnance, to emigration in this country, that we hope we may be allowed to point out the grounds, on which we feel justified in pronouncing them incorrect and exaggerated.!" In I836 i t was exactly this kind of "repugnance," based on adverse pub-l i c i t y , which had prematurely arrested the f i r s t female emigration scheme, and the Commissioners rightly saw that on such a potentially sen-sational issue a few well publicized colonial grievances might have a similar effect. The assisted emigration schemes run directly by the Colonial Of-fice never enjoyed a favourable press. Such direct participation in a controversial activity provided a vulnerable target for attack on the government of the day. In 1850 Lord Mountcashell indignantly questioned Earl Grey about a report of assaults by drunken crew members on female emigrants on board the Indian. The Illustrated London News discussed the same report on the following day, remarking that without guarantees against such treatment " i t were idle to expect virtuous females, or in-deed any persons, to leave their native land." 1 7 Although The Times was favourable to well-organized emigration by mid-century, i t rebuked •^Commissioners to Merivale, Jan. 5 , 1850, and Grey to Fitzroy, Jan. 12, 1850, PP., 1850, XL, /Tl63/9 pp. l 6 l - 5 . 17pebates, 3rd Ser., Vol. CVUI, Lords, Feb. 15, 1800, cc. 809-13; Illustrated London News, Feb. 16, 1850, p. 115. 175. the Government for sending out "the refuse of our great towns and vii-. lages," Robert Rintoul's Wakefieldian journal, the Spectator, which favoured more complete government participation in emigration, never failed to attack the ineffectual half-measures of its current involve-ment.18 Even an Australian emigrants' guide, designed to encourage pot-ential emigrants, repeated Caroline Chisholm's warning to young women. •Who has not been shocked' writes Mrs. Chisholm, 'by the frightful details we have read in the public papers, how orphan after orphan has been victimised on board emigrant ships, by men calling them-selves Christians; how modest maidens have been brutalized over and insulted by those whose peculiar duty i t was to protect them.'1? It was not unusual to stigmatize the Government's emigration activities, but i n the middle of the nineteenth century the expansion of these acti-vities caused the consequent public criticism and controversy to heighten in intensity. It was in this highly unfavourable setting for the popularity of middle-class emigration that private and philanthropic exertions began to influence the image of emigration in the late eighteen-forties. Largely a haphazard development, the voluntary impulse was stimulated by the sheer weight of hungry and dispossessed Irish and the accompanying l 8The Times, Sept., 24, 1851, p. k; Spectator, Dec. 8 and Dec. 29, 1849, pp. 1158-9, 1232; another journal which lobbied for colonial inter-ests, the Australian and New Zealand Gazette, published in London, argued that the Irish orphans ''have done nothing but to spread vice, together with the hellish doctrines of popery, which sanctify vice—as a means to an end." Feb. 5, 1853, pp. 130-1. •^E. Mackenzie, Mackenzie's Australian Emigrant's Guide, (London, 1852), p. 2. 176. controversy and public interest in emigration. The misfortunes of the Colonial Office system enhanced the popularity of voluntary efforts, which were, in any case, far more in tune with the prevailing ethos of self-help. The superior propaganda value of independent emigration schemes gave them a unique opportunity to promote a new image of middle-class emigration, and the fortuitous episode of the Australian gold rush bolstered the trend to respectable emigration. The most determined and self-conscious agent in the movement to-ward respectable emigration was the old colonial reformer, Edward Gibbon Wakefield. His last major work, A View of The Art of Colonization, pub-lished in 18I|9, resurrected a l l his old arguments of the 'thirties in favour of respectable middle-class, and especially female, emigration, and included an attack on Earl Grey for his emigration policy. Wakefield blamed Grey for fostering a situation in which "contempt for the colonies, a sense of their inferiority or lowness, pervades society here," so that the "gentry class," by which he meant the middle-class, came unconsciously to associate emigration with shame and failure, with hardened convicts, wretched paupers and black sheep who had forfeited their good names at home. The key to successful colonization was the emigration of the re-spectable and well educated, who lead and govern the emigration of the other classes. These are the emigrants whose presence in a colony most beneficially affects its standard of morals and manners, and would supply the most beneficial element of colonial government. If you can induce many of this class to settle in a colony, the other classes, whether capitalists or labourers, are sure to settle there in abundance . . . This, there-fore, is the class, the impediments to whose emigration the thoughtful 177. statesman would be most anxious to remove, whilst he further endea- „ OA voured to attract them to the colony by a l l the means in his power. u As in his England and America in 1833, Wakefield deplored the plight of women of the "uneasy" or "anxious" classes, the very women most needed in the colonies. Great Britain was "the greatest and the saddest convent the world has seen" with thousands of educated women condemned to a reluctant barren spinsterhood. But in 181+9 Wakefield gave his usual argument a novel twist. A vita l element in any civilized colony, he argued, was religion; without i t , whatever its cast, any society must de-cline into barbarism, as had a l l British colonies with the exception of that of the devout French Canadians. Now, the essential and natural transmitters of religion were women. They were a vital element in every phase of colonization, but were indispensable to the building of a c i v i l -ized religious community. There were more religious women than religious men, and in every class the best female colonists were those to whom re-ligion was "a rule, a guide, a stay, and a comfort." A colony founded with religious men might in time degenerate i n morals and manners, "but i f you persuade religious women to emigrate, the whole country w i l l be comparatively virtuous and polite." This was the Victorian civilizing mission carried to its natural conclusion.21 But the Victorian c i v i l i -zing mission was a concept born of feminine leisure at the bourgeois dom-estic hearth, and Wakefield tried to impose i t on a society where women 2 0 E . G. Wakefield, A View of the Art of Colonization, (London, 181+9), pp. 135-6, 11+0-7. 2 1Ibid., pp. 72-5, 152-8. 178. of a l l classes were of necessity active and hard-working pioneers. Wakefield's sudden interest in religion stemmed from deliberate calculation. He was never noted for his piety. He showed few religious scruples when abducting an heiress in 1826 and he had not undergone a sudden religious conversion. His plea in 181+9 for new sectarian colonies "with the strong attraction for superior emigrants of a particular creed in each colony" 2 2 he based on far more practical considerations. Wake-field was planning a new colony in New Zealand and required influential support and patronage. Traditionally at odds with most members of the establishment, he now courted them with a blueprint for an exclusively Church of England, Tory settlement in Canterbury. To enhance the colony's prestige, Wakefield even intended to have a Bishop. His attempt was emin* ently successful. 2 3 The Archbishop of Canterbury accepted the presidency of the Canterbury Association, and the committee included such notables as Archbishop Whately of Dublin, Bishop Blomfield of London, Lord Ashley (later Lord Shaftesbury), Sidney Herbert, the Earl of Lincoln and Lord John Manners, altogether encompassing eighteen eminent clerics, sixteen titled aristocrats and eleven members of Parliament.2*1, As Wakefield's "Ibid., pp. l$8-6l. 2 3For details of the founding of the Canterbury Settlement see P. Bloomfield, Edward Gibbon Wakefield. Builder of the British Commonwealth, (London, 196 l ) , pp. 292-321+, and C. E. Carrington, John Robert Godley of  Canterbury, (London, 1950), pp. 1+7-9U. 2 % d s t of Committee and Officers, November, 181+9, Bloomfield, op.  cit., Appendix G, pp. 352-3. 179. biographer has described i t , the Canterbury Settlement in the South Is-land of New Zealand was "according to the book: pure Wakefield theory translated into practice with almost pedantic exactness."2^ For once Wakefield achieved his ideal of transplanting an exact cross-section of society, an extension of the English class hierarchy. The f i r s t of four ships for Christchurch, which sailed in September 1850, carried 127 cab-in passengers at £42 a berth, 8$ intermediate passengers at £25 a berth, and 534 steerage passengers at £l5 a berth.26 Gentry, women and children a l l formed their due proportion in a model example of patrician emigra-tion which put the Government's "pauper-shovel 1 i.ng" to shame. Certainly this was the impression presented in the Canterbury publicity. The press universally welcomed the prospect of a truly re-spectable colony and took every opportunity to stress the hierarchical character of the new community, often making odious contrasts with the Government's own activity. For The Times the new scheme was a piece of heroic patriotism, for by transplanting a complete "slice of England" i t ensured that the colony would remain British; i t was therefore es-sential that the mass of emigrants "should not be mere heaps of pauperism shovelled from our shores, but fairly selected portions of British society. 25jbid., p. 292. 2 6Carrington, op. c i t . , pp. 94-5. Up to February l85l, 363 pas-sengers out of 1512 to Canterbury took cabin passages; Eleventh Report of Emigration Commissioners, May 2, l85l, PP., l85l, XXH, (1383), p. 16. 27-rhe Times. April 18, 1850, pp. 4, 8; July 5, 1851, p. 8. A fashionable shipboard public banquet for the Canterbury gentry on July 30, l8f>0 received widespread coverage, and the bishop-designate, the Rev. Thomas Jackson, somewhat pretentiously set the tone by proclaiming that Canterbury would not be a colony "where men drink and do not dress for dinner.'*^ This sustained and ubiquitous publicity had a rapid impact on the image of emigration. Fraser's comment only a month after the fi r s t departures may have been as much a self-fulfilling prophecy as a true estimate of events, but i t undoubtedly reflected a genuine shift of attitude: In ecclesiastical, then, as well as c i v i l institutions, Canterbury bids fair for the revival of the colonizing art. She seems by her f i r s t appeal to have struck a chord of sympathy in the heart of this nation; and we can scarcely yet accustom ourselves to the novelty she has already realized in her speedy conquest of what Mr. Wakefield almost despondingly laments over, as the indisposition of respectable people to emigrate.29 The Canterbury project overshadowed a host of minor schemes to foster emigration. It was a major colonization scheme, sanctioned by the Government, which captured the imagination of the British public. In fashionable news value i t often competed favourably during l8£l with the Great Exhibition. At the same time other influences were at work trans-forming the image of emigration. Each of them was less grandiose than the Canterbury scheme, but they exerted a powerful collective impact. From 1814-9 the sudden interest in emigration gave rise to a multitude of 28carrington, op. cit., p. 87 ^'Canterbury, New Zealand,' Fraser's Magazine, Vol. XLII, 18^0, p. 468. - . ! ~ " 181. charitable and commercial emigration societies, some regional, some occu-pational, some comprehensive, but a l l actively competing for public sup-port. The author of a guide to London charities in 1850 observed that emigration was so universally recognized "as the panacea for destitution and distress" that "no opportunity is lost of advertising into notoriety various schemes of private interest, and advocating peculiar measures," 30 not a l l of them wholly charitable in origin. In Scotland alone the Society for Assisting Emigration from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, patronized by Prince Albert, and the Shetland Female Emigration Fund both curried popular supportj the St, Andrews Society in South Australia encouraged them to promote Scottish emigration, 3 1 Hyde Clarke's abortive emigration scheme for orphaned gentlewomen in 181+9 was a product of this general enthusiasm and appropriately reflected the temper of mid-century opinion, 3 2 The British Ladies Female Emigrant Society, also form-ed in 181+9, regretted the necessity for female emigration, but attempted to render i t more safe and palatable for the emigrants. Its members, which included the philanthropist Mary Jane Kinnaird, recruited matrons to superintend single women, visited emigrants on board ship before de-parture to distribute bibles, tracts and work materials, and organized 3 0S. Low, The Charities of London, (London, 1850), p. 152. 31Household Words, Vol. V., June 19, 1852, pp. 321+-5; W.H.G. Kingston, How to Emigrate, (London, 1850), pp. 285-7j Young to Grey, Dec. 3, 1850, PP., 1851, XL (31+7-II), pp. 58-61 3^0n Hyde Clarke's society see supra, chap. 3, 182. colonial committees to assist female emigrants after their arrival. Less spectacular than most other contemporary projects, i t endured longest .„. until 1888 when i t became the basis for a more ambitious scheme to assist 33 middle-class women. The mid-century "rage for emigration" encompassed every sector of society,3** but the organizations which attracted the most sustained inter-est in Britain were either exclusively devoted to unmarried women or were substantially preoccupied with female emigration. The British Ladies Female Emigrant Society came under this head to some extent, although the two societies with the greatest influence on public opinion were Mrs. Caroline Chisholm's 'Family Colonization Loan Society' and Sidney Herbert's 33Low, op. cit., pp. 160-1; D, Fraser, Mary Jane Kinnaird, (London, 1890), p. 65. Emigrant's Penny Magazine, Plymouth, Vol. I, No. 2 June 1850, pp. 25-9, Vol. II, No. 11, March 1851, pp. 71-1*: The Times, April 17, l850 , p. 6, April 2i+, 1852, p. 7; Australian and New Zealand Gazette, Aug. 23, 1851, pp. 37 3-1+> Ellen Layton,'On the Superintendence of female Emi-grants', N. A. P. S.S., Transactions,"I863, pp. 616-8. Other charitable societies not expressly designed to assist emigration, such as the 'Gover-nesses Benevolent Institution' and the 'Jewish Ladies Benevolent Loan and Visiting Society,' looked to emigration as a means of relief for women during this period; Report of Commissioners^ July lit, 181+9, in Grey to, Fitzroy, July 30, 181+9, PP., 1850, XL, / 1 1 6 J 7 , PP. 100-1* M. 5. Oppenheim (Hon. sec. of Jewish Ladies Society) to Newcastle and Commissioners, June 10, 1853, C. 0 . 38I+/91. 3i+The large number of letters on emigration received by Chambers' s Edinburgh Journal prompted one writer to claim that i t was currently the subject with the strongest hold on the public mind. 'A New Emigration Field,' Vol. XII, Oct. 20, 181+9, p. 21+9. In the same, journal only five months later another article began "Never was there a period at which the public mind was more deeply-stirred, by the question of emigration than at the present moment," 'Mrs. Chisholm,' Vol. XIII, March 30, 1850, p. 201. An emigrants guide as late as 1855 considered that emigration "rages as a national epidemic," E. Mackenzie, The Emigrant's Guide to Australia, (London, 1855), p. 3. 183. •Fund for Promoting Female Emigration.1 Both these societies, which overlapped in aims and management, achieved a fashionable popularity in Britain for about four years, and publicized the notion of female emi-gration to an unprecedented extent. Caroline Chisholm, who has finally achieved heroic stature in Australian history, had a lifetime interest in the welfare of female emi-grants.^ The wife of an officer in the Indian army, she already had some experience of philanthropic work when she moved with her husband to Sydney in 1838, having organized and run a school for the footloose daughters of Indian soldiers in Madras. Her early years i n Australia coincided with the period, in 1841 and 1842, when shipowners flouted the bounty system regulations and crowds of ineligible emigrants landed in Sydney. Among these were hundreds of friendless single women who had no protectors on the voyage and no one to receive them on arrival. As this influx unhappily coincided with an economic depression in Sydney, follow-ing a boom in land speculation, there was no ready employment for these women, and in any case no organization to suit employer to employee. The result was that helpless women wandered the Sydney streets and beaches, a procuror's paradisej Caroline Chisholm estimated that at one time there were 600 women so abandoned in the town. Initially without material help or even off i c i a l support, she gathered these women together, set up a ^Despite her contemporary reputation Caroline Chisholm«s impor-tance was neglected until the recent publication of a biography by Margaret Kiddle, Caroline Chisholm, (Melbourne, 1950). 181*. female emigrants' 'Home' in Sydney, established an employment registry and saw to i t that the women reached their new employers. Her legendary trips into the bush with bullock-drays f u l l of young women delighted settlers who sought servants for their wives and wives for their sons; Roger Therry, a Supreme Court judge in New South Wales, once met her with a company of forty women, a l l with pre-arranged employment, heading for the interior. In 1841and 1842 the "emigrants' friend," as she became known, placed about 2,000 emigrants in this way. Among these were some complete families, but she devoted her major efforts to the interests of single women.36 Mrs. Chisholm returned to England in 1846 after successfully pion-eering a whole series of improvements in emigrant reception, but her de-parture did not end her mission. At home she besieged the Colonial Office with proposals for more efficient and humane methods of female and family emigration, and she herself was besieged with anxious enquiries from i n -tending emigrants. During 1847 and 1848 she conceived a plan to form her own emigration society, and with the active support and membership of Lord Ashley and Sidney Herbert, organized her Family Colonisation Loan Society. As its name implies, the Society was neither wholly eleemosynary nor -*°Ibid.. pp. 21-62; Therry, op. c i t . . pp. 418-22; C. Chisholm, The  A.B.C. of Colonization. (London, 1850), p. 22; E. Mackenzie. Memoirs of Mrs. Caroline Chisholm. (London, 1852), pp. 43-68; 'Better Ties than Red Tape Ties,' Household Words. Vol. IV, Feb. 28, 1852, pp.-532-3$ see also the tribute to Mrs. Chisholm by the N.S.W. Immigration Agent, Francis Merewether, in his report for 1841, May 14, 1842, PP. 1843, XXXIV, (109), pp. 42-3. 18$. designed expressly for single women. Mrs. Chisholm was convinced that the best method of emigration was that of complete family units. She organized groups of families in England before their departure, allowing them to become acquainted at regular meetings at her Islington home. Each family contributed the maximum possible amount to the cost of its emigration, and the Society provided the balance as a loan to be repaid in the colony, thus satisfying the self-help enthusiasts. Numbers of single women without relatives were introduced and assigned to family groups for protection; shipboard accomodation, a l l of a single class and divided into small cabins of families, single women and single men, was scrupulously designed to provide the maximum possible protection and sup-erintendence . 3 7 The Family Colonisation Loan Society was thoroughly successful. It enabled several thousands with lower middle-class or skilled working-class backgrounds to emigrate, and these were for the most part appreci-ated and welcomed in Australia. 3 8 The New South Wales Legislative Council was sufficiently convinced of the Society's value in 1853 to vote 3 7Kiddle, op. cit . , pp. 130-6lj Anon., What has Mrs. Caroline  Chisholm done for New South Wales?, (Sydney, 1852), pp. 5-12j Mackenzie, The Emigrant's Guide . . . , pp. 27-8. Lord Ashley was president of the society. 3 8The total numbers of emigrants assisted by the Society remains obscure; Kiddle's reasonable estimate of 5,000 must be placed against Mrs. Chisholm's comment more than twelve years later—and unsubstantiated elsewhere—that the scheme had "provided . . . for upwards of 20,000 persons." Kiddle, op. cit., pp..189-90. 186. £10,000 for its exclusive use.3? What i s more the Society received un-qualified praise in Britain. The press used the Society to show up the glaring deficiencies in Government emigration. In the Westminster Review the Manchester School, eager to demonstrate the virtues of laissez-faire, saw in the Society "lessons for the lovers of legislation . . . . The State beaten by a woman An article in Household Words stressed Mrs. Chisholm's great improvement over the Government's standard of shipboard conditions, especially her scrupulous care to avoid indelicate sleeping arrangementsj The Times drew the same distinction, noticing that her scheme was unique in catering to the feelings, and especially the modesty, of the working class. A Times correspondent, stressing the bureacratic obstruct-ions in the Government's procedures, thought Caroline Chisholm, in e