Thursday, July 14, 2011

Charlotte Badger

♥ ♥ ♥ The Awesome Woman of the Day is Charlotte Badger (1778 - unknown) She is credited with being one of the first two European women to settle in New Zealand..and for being a pirate! Born in Worcestershire, England, she was imprisoned at 18 years old; her crime was housebreaking, her spoils – several guineas and a silk handkerchief. The offence was deemed a felony and as such she was sentenced to seven years transportation. After spending some time incarcerated within her own country, Charlotte boarded the convict vessel ‘Earl of Cornwallis’. The journey ahead lasted a gruelling 206 days before finally arriving at Port Jackson in New South Wales, Australia.

In 1881 she began to serve out her sentence at the Parramatta Female Factory, where she befriended a fellow inmate by the name of Catherine Hagerty. It was also during her time at Parramatta, that Charlotte became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter. This swayed authorities to reduce her incarceration and she, along with Catherine Hagerty, was reassigned as house servants to a settler in Hobart.

In April of 1806 she again sailed through Port Jackson, this time aboard the ‘Venus’ along with her child and a small group of male convicts. One account of the ship's captain, Captain Chase, says that he was a sadist who relished beating his female passengers for the entertainment of his crew. At Port Dalrymple, on the north coast of Tasmania, the convicts mutinied and took control of the ship. Accounts vary, but Charlotte and Catherine appear to have been willing participants. One version of events had Badger dressed as a man and flogging the Captain Chase.

The mutineers fled across the Tasman where the women, their partners and Charlotte's child were dropped off at Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands. Thus it is thought that Charlotte; her daughter and Catherine inadvertently became the first ever female white settlers in New Zealand. Haggerty died around April 1807, and it seems that their male companions left. Charlotte lived with a Nga Puhi chief and refused to be brought back to live in European society on at least two occasions before disappearing from the record. One account claims that she went to America with a whaling captain. A report from an Australian vessel that visited Tonga in 1816 tells of a ‘a large 'stout' English woman with a little girl of 'eight or nine' who had landed there some ten years earlier'.

As for the Venus mutineers, they carried on down the coast, kidnapping two Nga Puhi women who were sold to southern chiefs and subsequently eaten. The same fate befell the mutineers when the Venus finally ran out of luck.​t/charlotte-badger-felon-pirat​e-and-pioneer-a188705
Follow the twisting tale of the woman who would in turn become Australia's first female pirate and New Zealand's very first female settler.

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