First Female Factory

Reverend Samuel Marsden, Elizabeth Fry and the Parramatta factory women, were the factory staff members whose work it was to implement the ideas and be the eyes of the state. The Parramatta Female Factory spanned 43 years,  plans developed by the authorities themselves indicate the government’s attitudes.

The 1st Parramatta Factory focused on manufacturing of goods, rather than crime and punishment,the design of the building was unable to house the women.  

Samuel Marsden in a letter to Governor Macquarie says of Parramatta:            

"The number of women employed in the factory under Mr Oakes the superintendent is one hundred and fifty,–they have seventy children. There is not any room in the factory that can be called a bed-room for these women and children. There are only 2 rooms and they are both occupied as workshops, over the gaol, almost 80 feet long and 20 wide. In these rooms there are forty six women daily employed, 24 spinning wheels on the common wheel and twenty two carding. There are also in them the warping machine & belonging to the factory.   These rooms are crowded all day and at night such women sleep in there as confined for recent offenses, among the wheel, wool and cards The average number of women who sleep in the factory are about 30 in the whole. Many of these women have little bedding and some no bedding–they sleep on the floor."

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