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To The Pongo

Eliza Ward (1827–?)

Eliza Ward, 22-year-old housemaid and cook, was convicted of ‘setting fire to an outhouse, the property of William Carter’. Arson was more commonly a female crime. The record does not show whether it was accidental or intentional. Its seriousness meant she was given 15 years.
She arrived in 1847, and spent her six-months’ probation on the Anson, in the Derwent River. Next she was assigned to a master in Launceston. There is only one mention on her convict record, the birth of an ‘illegitimate’ child (Susanna) at the Launceston House of Corrections in 1850. It’s a curious entry because Eliza and William Eltham had been married for more than a year.
For a time the family lived next to Hobart’s Theatre Royal. After the birth of their sixth child in 1860, Eliza and William Eltham disappear from the public record.

The Launceston Female Factory operated from 1834 to 1855. Eliza Ward returned here to give birth to her daughter Susanna 
									in 1850 despite being already married to William Eltham.
The Launceston Female Factory operated from 1834 to 1855. Eliza Ward returned here to give birth to her daughter Susanna in 1850 despite being already married to William Eltham.

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