Part III – Female Emigration

The Emigrant’s Guide to New South Wales, Van Dieman’s Land, Lower Canada, Upper Canada, and New Brunswick; Containing an Enumeration of the Advantages Which Each Colony Offers; With The Regulations Adopted by His Majesty’s Government, to Facilitate Male and Female Emigration; The Price of Passage, Certainty of Permanent Employment, and Rates of Wages; List of Tradesmen and Mechanics most Wanted, and the Amount of Pecuniary Assistance Offered to Married Men and Single Females, Towards Defraying the Expense of Their Passage…


The praiseworthy labours of the Emigration committee have not been confined to the relief of the superabundant Male population of the  United Kingdom. The representations which  have been received from various quarters, of the  evils resulting from the great disproportion of the  female to the male population of the Colonies of  New South Wales, and Van Diemen’s Land, have  led them seriously to consider what means might  be adopted, for supplying the deficiency of females which is so much complained of. 

There are in England, and especially in the Agricultural Countries, many young women, who having been brought up in such a manner as to qualify them to discharge the duties of Servants in the family of a Farmer, are unable In this Country to procure such situations or to gain an honest livelihood, and who would therefore gladly avail themselves of an opportunity of emigrating to a Colony in which they could rely upon finding the means of doing so. In New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, all accounts concur in stating, that such persons would without difficulty find eligible situations, and that their arrival would be very acceptable to the Settlers, who seem to be almost entirely unprovided with female Servants. To this end, and with a view to facilitate the accomplishment of this patriotic purpose, a capital has been appropriated from the funds, arising by the sale of Grown Lands at Sydney and Van Diemen’s Land, to defray a moiety of the expense of conveying a certain number of female Emigrants to those Colonies. 

The regulations under which the Emigration Committee have recommended that the intentions of His Majesty’s Government on this subject should be carried into effect, will be found in the following copy of a paper which has been circulated by the Committee.

Colonial Office, 10th October, 1831. 

His Majesty’s Government having resolved that the sums produced by the sale of land in new South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land should be appropriated to the encouragement of the emigration of females to those Colonies, the Commissioners for Emigration have been directed to publish the following account of the regulations under which this money will be applied. 

1st. — The Commissioners will contribute £8 (which it is supposed will be about one-half of the total expense) towards the passage of unmarried female Emigrants. 

2ndly. — When Emigrants of the above description, and between the ages of  fifteen and thirty, are members of families which are about to proceed to New South Wales or Van Diemen’s Land, they will, on applying to the Commissioners for Emigration, he furnished with orders, for the above-mentioned sum of £8., made payable in the Colony to the masters or agents of the vessels in which the Emigrants shall arrive. 


3dly. — Females desirous to emigrate to New South Wales or Van Diemen’s Land, and not forming part of any family proceeding to those Colonies, will be admitted as candidates for the bounty of £8., if they be between the ages of eighteen and thirty, and possess the funds which would be necessary, in addition to the sum allowed them by the Commissioners, to complete the price of their passage, and if a sufficient number of such persons shall signify their wish to emigrate they will be called upon to pay into the hands of an officer appointed for that purpose their share of the charge of the passage, and the Commissioners will then take up a vessel (into which no other passengers will be admitted) for the conveyance of these Emigrants to their destination; but should there not be as many applicants as would be requisite to defray the charge of so taking up a vessel, the Commissioners, will be unable to assist females who are emigrating without being accompanied by relatives or friends responsible for their protection.

4thly. — Should the number of applications to the Commissioners be greater than the funds at their disposal will enable them to comply with, the preference will be given, first, to females emigrating (as described in paragraph 2) in company with their families; and next, to those who are qualified to make themselves useful as servants in a farmer’s family. Females who may offer to pay a larger proportion than others of the cost of their passage, will also be considered entitled to a preference. In the absence of all other distinctions, priority of application will form the rule of selection. The applications may be made (with such adaptations as may be requisite in each particular case) on the same forms that hare been drawn up for the application of mechanics desirous of receiving advances. 

By order of the Commissioners,
(signed) T. Fredrick Elliot,
Secretary to the Commission.

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