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Therapeutic Relations Redefined

Jane Torr (c. 1808-1852)

Jane Torr, dressmaker and milliner, was transported in 1830 for the theft of ‘wearing apparel’. She was assigned to the Superintendent of Convicts, but within a year the servant-girl faced a charge of prostitution.
Evidence emerged that the Colonial Surgeon Dr Spence tolerated the Hospital being used as a brothel. Hospital Overseer John Ayton doubled as a ‘bawdy house’ pimp, sleeping in the women’s ward, providing alcohol, and inviting strangers onto the ward.
Jane did time at Female Factory where she birthed a child, daughter Margaret. At age five Margaret’s muslin dress caught alight and the child was tragically burnt to death. The following year a bereft Jane Torr returned to England. On the voyage, she met Captain William Garner. Together they returned to Van Diemen’s Land, married, settled in northwest Tasmania, and raised a family of three sons.

Addressing Inquiry, the Superintendent Ronald Campbell Gunn said he concluded that Torr went to Dr Spence’s house.  ‘My further reasons for supposing that she went to some respectable individual was that she had always a great deal of money, and was continually getting new clothes.’
Addressing Inquiry, the Superintendent Ronald Campbell Gunn said he concluded that Torr went to Dr Spence’s house. ‘My further reasons for supposing that she went to some respectable individual was that she had always a great deal of money, and was continually getting new clothes.’

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