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Is the first Memorial to all women sentenced to transportation as convicts to Australia (1788-1853). 25,566 cloth bonnets (taken from an 1860s servants bonnet) symbolises the women whose lives have been shrouded by a veil of amnesia for far too long.


    Christina Henri is thrilled to have received a shirt from Professor Bruce Robinson AM, donated to be used in the artist’s ‘Cherished Babies’ Memorial.
Prof Robinson was awarded WA, Australian of the Year 2014. He is a world leader in the study of asbestos related cancers.  
 Bruce is a vocal advocate for fathering (he has produced a number of books and DVDs, and directs the Fathering Project at the University of Western Australia which aims to connect children with father figures).

    Christina Henri is thrilled to have received a shirt from Professor Bruce Robinson AM, donated to be used in the artist’s ‘Cherished Babies’ Memorial.

    Prof Robinson was awarded WA, Australian of the Year 2014. He is a world leader in the study of asbestos related cancers.  

    Bruce is a vocal advocate for fathering (he has produced a number of books and DVDs, and directs the Fathering Project at the University of Western Australia which aims to connect children with father figures).


    — 5 days ago

    Last year Charlotte visited Tasmania and heard about the Roses from the Heart memorial. On her return to Canada she made contact with Tasmanian artist Christina Henri asking if she and her sister Belinda could take part in the Memorial. 

    Charlotte and Belinda’s are descendants of Captain Richard Brooks through his daughter Maria Brooks who married Captain Henry Zouch in 1836. Maria inherited ‘Ashby’ ,part of the ‘Bungendaw’ estate. The house, built from local stone in 1836/7, still exists. 


    Richard Brooks career began as a sailor with the East India Company and he visited most of the trading ports in the East.  His first voyage to Australia was in July 1802 from Cork as captain of the convict ship Atlas, when 64* convicts died.  He returned in 1806 with the chartered transport Alexandra.  Afterwards he made several trading voyages to New South Wales in the ships Rose (1808), Argo (1811) and Spring (1814).

    Charlotte describes her ancestor Captain Richard Brooks as being:

    "not a nice man’.

    She and her sister Belinda wanted to make a bonnet each for a lass transported on the Atlas (1802) and the Alexandra (1806) as an atonement for the harsh treatment metered out to the convicts aboard those two ships by their ancestor.

    Charlotte and Belinda have sewn their bonnets with respect and empathy in atonement of their ancestor Captain Richard Brooks’ ill treatment to those whose lives he was responsibility for. They have even sewn ribbon roses on the inside of the bonnet brims to add to the beauty of their tributes.
    Thanks Charlotte and Belinda.

    *[1] Robert Hughes in ‘A Fatal Shire’ states that “sixty-five died on the voyage, largely because they had to make way for 2,166 gallons of rum, which her master, Captain Brooks, planned to sell in Sydney. Governor King…refused to let him land it, but Brooks was never punished”.  Graeme Barrow in ‘Magnificent Lake George’states “A surgeon Thomas Jamison brought a civil action for assault against him and he was threatened with prosecution by transport commissioners but escaped punishment.”

    — 1 week ago

    Heike Baier-Lück from Germany has gathered together with a number of her friends to create some gorgeous bonnet tributes for Hon Artist-in-Residence at the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, Hobart, Tasmania -

    Dr Christina Henri’s Roses from the Heart memorial.

    After appearing with 8000 bonnets from the Roses from the Heart Memorial at the ‘Festival of Quilts’ in Birmingham in 2010 Tasmanian artist Christina Henri received strong publicity across Europe. In Germany on 30 July, 2011 German TV featured Roses from the Heart during prime TIME Saturday night news segment:  



    Christina is extremely appreciative of all the bonnets that have arrived from around the world, including Germany. The bonnets that arrived yesterday organised by Heike Baier-Lück have been created with masses of affection for the women they remember. Names of all who have made the bonnets have been included along with the words, ‘Made with love and compassion’.

    Christina wishes to thank Heike, Daniel, Helen, Keistin, Regina, Susanne & Sue, Uli, Rebecca and Augi.

    — 1 week ago with 1 note

    Lyn Ryan has made a bonnet tribute for her husband Ken’s great, great grandmother Elizabeth Ryan and her baby son Samuel - Ken’s great grandfather.

    Samuel’s descendants had a get-together in Colac in 2011 and Lyn shares how many sewed small blue heart-shaped buttons to the back portion of the bonnet made for Elizabeth. Those who sewed included men in their 70’s, their children and grand-children including very young children, plus experienced and novice sewers. One button was unexpectedly sewn on the inside of the bonnet and it is still there as a reminder that even with best intentions sometimes things turn out in unexpected ways.

    Lyn and Ken think Samuel was Elizabeth’s only child. They sometimes reflect on whether Elizabeth would have ever wondered about how many descendants would follow.Today a number of Elizabeth’s descendants live in Victoria, some in other states and a few are overseas; they have been keen sports people, good parents, justice-of-the -peace and police, people employed in service, retail, manufacturing and trade sectors. 

    Ken’s second cousin Lyn Keilar cut out and sewed the bonnet for Elizabeth and then Lyn Ryan embellished the bonnet. The buttons were sewn on by several other descendants of Samuel Ryan. 

    Lyn and Ken presented Christina Henri with Elizabeth’s bonnet to be incorporated in the ‘Crossing the Line’ installation of bonnets, part of the  CrossXpollination Exhibition in Colac in June 2014.

    The bonnet is exhibited in a glass case along with 25 other bonnet tributes created by people living in Coal and surrounding districts.

    This bonnet is amongst the thousands included in the Roses from the Heart Memorial.

    — 2 weeks ago

    The Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, Yard One opened in 1828 as a repository for female convicts and their babies and young children. The conditions in which those incarcerated were held resulted in many babies and children dying, condemned to marginalization, ostracization, inhumane practices and community prejudice.

    Female convicts also died at the site.

    Children who survived the heartless regime were transferred to the Queens Orphan Asylum (opened under the name of the King’s Orphan Asylum in 1831).

    Up until 1844 deaths of protestant convicts who died within the Hobart precinct were listed on the St David’s Anglican Church Burial Register. 

    Children and convict women were buried in the Trinity Cemetery. Today the Campbell Street Primary School exists on that burial ground site. Remains of those buried there were eventually moved to the main public cemetery at Cornelian Bay after 1902.

    Boys and girls who died at the Queens Orphan Asylum were also buried on site. Those of protestant religion were buried separately to those of Roman Catholic - their bodies entombed in a smaller cemetery.

    Details exist of a burial ground close to the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site where babies were buried.

    Residents living near the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site have spoken of body parts being uncovered after exceptionally heavy storms leading to the theory that not all the bodies were relocated. 

    Convict women lived during a time when giving birth as an unmarried mother was a crime. The shame felt by single mothers was reinforced by the social mores of the day. Community pressures enforced these customs borne by mothers and their children and even future generations who until recently were stigmatised.

    Sadly it does not come as a surprise that subsequent generations of communities have perpetuated this prejudice. The narrow-minded intolerance, the condemnation, the marginalisation, the neglect, the shunning of the problem and the callous inhumane treatment metered out to the mothers and their children in places such as Ireland.

    A committee of local Irish historians had the vision to show respect to children who had died at a ’home’ in Galway Ireland. One of the historians, Catherine Corless, recently obtained the records of 796 children - newborns up to nine years old -  born at the St Mary’s Home in Tuam (run by the Bon Secours Sisters from 1925-1961) who died in circumstances impossible to fathom. A full disclosure of the state of affairs leading to these children’s deaths may never come to light. 

    The cause of death for some appears very similar to those who died within the convict system including: Emancipation - Marasmus.

    What became of the mothers? How can society ever compensate for this brutal treatment.

    I have had conversations with descendants of convict women who are grieving for the distress their ancestors faced at the loss of a child whilst they were under colonial sentence. These descendants feel emotional pain for their forebears. Some have taken part in my ‘Departures and Arrivals’ memorial and through the creating of a tiny christening bonnet they have found some strength and peace. They feel a connection to the one they are sewing for.

    I hope the Tuam community are able to find a way to pay respect to the mothers and children and to give some value to their lives.

    Let’s hope in the airing of these tragedies society changes entrenched attitudes. When I think about these babies and children whose lives ended so abruptly I wonder about the gems that society missed out on. 

    Dr Christina Henri


    Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, Yard One. 2014

    'Departures and Arrivals' Memorial: Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney, 2006


    Further details can be found on the Female Convict Research Group Site: Death Under sentence http://femaleconvicts.org.au/…/DiedUnde…


    Thanks to historian Joyce Purtscher

    Children in Queen’s Orphanage, Hobart Town, 1828-1863


    Journalist Christine Bohan


    — 1 month ago

    'A SEA OF BONNETS' Artist: Christina Henri 2011

    Visual and Performing Arts, UTAS, Launceston

    Photographer: Robert Boldkald

    3000 cloth bonnets representing convict women exiled to Australia 1788-1853. Bonnet tributes have been made by participants from around the world.

    Within her art Christina Henri uses both bonnets and boats to signify the lives of Australia’s 25,566 convict women and the ships they were transported in. Within many of her exhibitions and ceremonies wooden dinghies have been incorported. The exhibition ‘Sea of Bonnets’ held at the UTAS Visual and Performing Arts, Academy of the Arts, Launceston consisted of 3000 bonnets displayed spilling out of a superbly crafted Huon pine bosun dinghy owned by the 1st Tamar Sea Scouts. The bosun design was born out of a desire by the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy Sailing Association to replace their fourteen foot training and recreational dinghy with a new design. Ian Proctor of Bossoms Boatyard won the tender and began manufacturing the bosun for the Royal Admiralty in 1963. This connection to the British Royal Navy influenced Christina’s choice of boat.

    Christina Henri chooses to use heritage material wherever possible. The muslin draped over the boat is heritage as were the sheets the bonnets rested upon. 


    — 1 month ago

    Photos showing bonnets on display at the Festival of Quilts, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. England 2010.

    Margaret Dunbar’s bonnet tribute created by Irish Smith of Western Australia and the 101 bonnets all remembering the women aboard the Amphitrite sewn by Jean Rolls of Tasmania.

    These bonnets belong to the Roses from the Heart Memorial collection. Tasmanian artist Christina Henri plans to invite women in France to make bonnets for the shipwrecked Amphitrite women and their children to be permanently displayed in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

    To contact Christina for more information:


    Photographs per kind favour: Robyn Murray.

    Robyn and Graham Murray (Western Australia) accompanied Christina to Birmingham and assisted her during the Festival of Quilts exhibition. A memorable experience.

    — 1 month ago
    List of convict women aboard the ill-fated Amphitrite. The first shipwrecked convict transportation disaster (1833). Thanks to Gerald Stone: Beautiful Bodies

    Agnes McKissock

    Agnus McMillan

    Amelia Gray

    Ann Allison

    Ann Brown

    Ann Holdenby

    Ann Johnson

    Ann Kitchen

    Ann Lewis

    Ann Rogers

    Ann Smith

    Ann Tolly

    Ann Thompson

    Augusta Rainsley

    Barbara Harper

    Bridget Glynn

    Bridgett Farrell

    Caroline Bevington

    Caroline Ellis

    Catherine Cuthwaite

    Catherine Quigly

    Catherine Rice

    Catherine Showers

    Catherine Wynne

    Charlotte Rogers

    Charlotte Smith

    Eliza Smith

    Elizabeth Bridges

    Elizabeth Clarke

    Elizabeth Campbell

    Elizabeth Cobley

    Elizabeth Houston

    Elizabeth James

    Elizabeth Jackson

    Elizabeth Manley

    Elizabeth Mynor

    Ellen Bingham

    Ellen Hyde

    Ellen Smith

    Elspeth Fraser

    Frances Carroll

    Hannah Brophy

    Hannah Murphy

    Hannah Tart

    Helen Bryce

    Helen Conolly

    Helen Fraser

    Isobel McDonald

    Jane Cox

    Jane Huptain

    Jane walleye

    Jane Young

    Janet Becket

    Janet Crerar

    Janet Kennedy

    Janet Struthers

    Janet Turnbull

    Julia Murphy

    Louisa Turner

    Margaret Arthur

    Margaret Dunbar

    Margaret Canovan

    Margaret Johnston

    Margaret Knight

    Margaret Lynch

    Margaret Robertson

    Margaret Robertson

    Margaret Thompson

    Margaret Williams

    Maria Hoskins

    Marie Lochie

    Martha Gates

    Mary Brown

    Mary Brown

    Mary Clark

    Mary Constable

    Mary Hamilton

    Mary Harvey

    Mary Hendrie

    Mary Howard

    Mary James

    Mary Keefe

    Mary Pittingale

    Mary Smith

    Mary Stirling

    Mary Stuart

    Mary Thornton 

    Mary Tolworthy

    Mary Tomkin

    Mary Ann Bland

    Mary Ann James

    Mary Ann Smith

    Matilda Buckley

    Rosanna McCready

    Rose O’Neil

    Rosetta Laker

    Sarah Poole

    Sarah Pugh

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah Wormwood

    Sophia Gough

    Susan Tindall

    12 children and two unborn babies 

    All of the 130 aboard except three crew perished when the Amphitrite sank off the coast of Boulogne-sur-Mer on Saturday 31 August 1833

    — 1 month ago with 2 notes

    Convict woman story from Christina Henri:

    Susannah Holmes:    Born: March 1, 1764   Died:  November 8, 1826

     The State of Queensland was named after Queen Victoria on June 6, 1859. This date officially marks the newly formed British Crown Colony’s separation from the State of New South Wales.

    The land that currently forms Queensland’s State Capital, Brisbane, was originally the Moreton Bay penal colony, intended as a place for convicts who had offended while serving out their sentences in New South Wales.

    At the Moreton Bay Female Factory in Queen Street, Brisbane convict women were employed at tasks such as sewing, washing and picking oakum, (unraveling of old rope to produce loose fibres that were used in the caulking of the seems of wooden boats.)

    Libby Connors notes that convict women at the Eagle Farm female factory worked as labourers, some in irons, during the day whilst at night they were incarcerated in the stockade.  Female convict labour was used to cut the road to Hamilton and convict women prepared and maintained the Eagle Farm holding that by January 1832 had 653 acres under maize and 28 acres under potatoes.

    Later free settlers were encouraged to move north and amongst those who chose to make Queensland their home were families with convict backgrounds relocating from Tasmania and New South Wales wanting to escape the ‘convict stain’.

    In the last few years I have been invited to hold Roses from the Heart® events in Queensland and I have been intrigued by the number of people who appear to know little or nothing about their State’s convict story.

    I have met an extraordinary lady in Brisbane named Dolly Olsson. Dolly traces her convict ancestry back to Richard Morgan whose second wife was Catherine Clark (Lady Juliana).  Dolly was keen to share the story of Susannah Holmes with me. Susannah is the ancestor of Dolly’s late husband Fred.

    Dolly and Fred were married on February 10, 1943. Fred Olsson was the great, great, great, great, great grandson directly descended from Henry Kable and Susannah Holmes via his mother Freeda Olsson (nee Teale. Lieutenant John Teale being the direct descendant.)

    Susannah Holmes was gaoled for stealing some linen and on a similar charge was nineteen-year-old Henry Kable who, along with his father and another person, was alleged to have stolen linen.

    Henry met Susannah in Castle Hill Gaol, Norfolk, England.  Lack of segregation amongst the prisoners provided the opportunity for the couple to be together.  Susannah became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy whom she named Henry. Five months after baby Henry’s birth the couple faced separation. Henry Kable was to be transported to Botany Bay aboard the Charlotte whilst Susannah faced travelling without her baby because relevant documentation had not been issued.

    Prompted by an outcry at this injustice Lord Sydney signed the necessary papers and Henry accompanied his mother on the Friendship.

    In Cape Town five hundred head of livestock were acquired and convicts on the Charlotte were re-allocated to the Friendship so Henry Kable and Susannah Holmes and their baby were reunited.

    On arriving in Sydney Harbour four convicts were designated to take the longboat ashore and Henry Kable was amongst those chosen. It was Henry who carried Governor Phillips ashore for the flag raising ceremony on behalf of the British Government.

    Susannah and Henry were married along with four other couples in the first open air marriage outside Rev. Johnston’s tent near the Tank Stream. Both signed with their mark, X. Their second child, their daughter Diana, was the first white child to reach maturity in the colony.

    In the domestic field Susannah struggled with such things as sewing needles and hairpins.

    Henry Kable was made an overseer and then a constable and quickly earned a Free Pardon.

    He and Susannah were given grants of land and Henry added to this by buying more land from other grantees. He planted wheat and maize on approximately one hundred and seventy acres. He continued to acquire farms in the Hawkesbury area.

    Meanwhile Susannah had a number of children, giving birth to eleven in all. One child, their little son, died at the age of two and another child died in his teens.

    Henry became an entrepreneur investing in a variety of businesses. He acquired one of the first hotel licences with ‘The Rampant Horse’ and he also ran a stagecoach from Sydney to Parramatta. He owned a store in George Street and a flour mill and bakery.

    Henry became involved with sailing ships hunting seals for their skins in Bass Strait and he also carried spirits and other cargo from England. He became involved in the conflict of the Rum Rebellion. 

    A settler writing home to England stated that ‘Henry Kable is now a great merchant and owner of twenty five ships’.

    As was the custom of the day attention was focused on Henry’s commercial abilities and less so on Susannah’s qualities and contribution in raising the family. Conflict between partners in the Shipping Empire caused arguments but Henry and Susannah survived and continued to prosper.

    Susannah’s death was recorded as November 8, 1826. Henry outlived his wife by twenty years. He lived in Windsor in his retirement dying on March 16, 1846. He was buried with his wife Susannah in the Kable Vault.

    Both Henry and Susannah would have seen their children and grandchildren grow up around them in comfort and respectability.

    Susannah has many descendants who include Dolly Olsson’s four children. One is a brilliant scientist who has two children. Both these children are University graduates.

    Another child has also excelled in Science. He and his wife have become world travelers. They have two sons who are both IT experts.

    Another son has two daughters and Dolly’s youngest daughter is multi disciplinary with considerable musical and artistic talents. She has just completed writing a song about an Irish convict woman, Eliza Davis, who spent time in the County Wicklow Gaol, Ireland prior to transportation to Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania).

    The lives of Susannah Holmes and Henry Kable have been remembered in an extraordinary balled opera, The Transports, written by Peter Bellamy.

    Dolly has written a poem to express her feelings about Australia’s exiled colonial women and her enthusiasm for the Roses from the Heart memorial.

    I count it a real honour to have met Dolly and I am very fortunate to have both her and her daughter Vicky Macdonald as friends.

    Builders of Our Land       Dolly Olsson : Descendant of Susannah Holmes

    A celebration,

    Convict women arrived here

    After months at sea

    With meager bundles,

    They step ashore at the cove

    To start a new life.

    Many wild flowers

    Mid the sandstone rockeries

    Welcome the women

    Who enjoy the scent

    A pathway of Boronia,

    Sparkling flannel flowers

    The community,

    So nourished by the sights and sound

    Of Australian bush.

    Forgotten the ship

    The foul stinking conditions

    In that dark dankness.

    Yet, no riches await,

    Instead they wear the bonnet

    Sentenced in service

    We acknowledge them;

    Our ancestors now honoured

    Named on these bonnets.








    — 1 month ago
    Bonnet tribute for Margaret Dunbar created by Iris Smith, part of the ‘Roses from the Heart’ Memorial Collection. Margaret Dunbar was shipwrecked in the Amphitrite disaster in 1833. This bonnet is created out of black fabric in memory of Margaret’s ‘lucky black bonnet’.

    Bonnet tribute for Margaret Dunbar created by Iris Smith, part of the ‘Roses from the Heart’ Memorial Collection. Margaret Dunbar was shipwrecked in the Amphitrite disaster in 1833. This bonnet is created out of black fabric in memory of Margaret’s ‘lucky black bonnet’.

    — 1 month ago