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"There are so many sly whores now it is impossible for a public whore to get her living," exclaimed prostitute and soon-to-be First Fleet convict Charlotte Springmore as she stood "at the usual place" near this twisting, narrow alley known as "Catherine Wheel Alley" in Bishopsgate, London, on 30 September 1785. She then followed the woman she accused of being a "sly whore" down the alley, assaulted her and threw caustic liquid on her dress, earning herself a place on the Lady Penrhyn (1788). Charlotte is one of the convicts who feature in historian Caitlin Adams's essay "Lives Left Behind: The Forsaken Families of First Fleeters" for St John's Cemetery Project's "Old Parramattans" collection. I have to say, I'd love to visit this alley one day!

You can read more about Charlotte and other First Fleet convicts in Caitlin's essay here:…

"Old Parramattans" is a collection of 51 brand new Create NSW-funded biographical essays on people buried at St John's Cemetery, Parramatta: Australia's oldest surviving European cemetery (1790). From 2019 to January 2021, the funds from the Create NSW "Arts and Cultural Grant" will allow a number of historians to apply their expertise to tell these diverse stories from Old Parramatta. The resulting open access public history project will illuminate the significance of the cemetery itself as well as highlight the many incredible heritage sites within walking distance of the historic cemetery, making St. John's the true "Gateway to Old Parramatta."

CAITLIN ADAMS is an historian of nineteenth-century histories of poverty and the family. She completed her Master of Research in the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University in 2018. Her thesis, “’Under my own Care’: Poverty and Motherhood in New South Wales and Gloucestershire between 1820 and 1834,” explored the attitudes and experience of mothers living in poverty in Australia and England in the early nineteenth century. Her PhD thesis, which she will commence in 2019 at the University of Cambridge, builds on this research.

The St John's Cemetery Project is supported by the New South Wales Government through Create NSW.

In 2016, the St John's Cemetery Project was also previously assisted with funding from the Royal Australian Historical Society and City of Parramatta.

IMAGE CREDIT: David Holt, “Catherine Wheel Alley, Bishopsgate, London,” (21 June 2019). CC BY 2.0. Courtesy of David Holt via Flickr.

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2 weeks ago

Had the pleasure of seeing this bronze replica of the HMS Sirius during my visit to England. It is permanently on show on the waterfront in Portsmouth. I felt a real connection with this artwork!
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