Lydia Hines

Lydia arrived on the convict ship 'Providence'. She spent just six months at South Arm as domestic servant to William Gellibrand before her exasperated master returned her to the Female Factory for ‘insolence’. Lydia was continually in trouble for drunkenness, lewd behaviour and ‘gross immorality’. She was murdered by her husband in 1858, aged 53.

Transported at the young age of 17 as a notorious little firebrand from Nottingham, Lydia was tried in London in April 1821 and sentenced to 14 years for felony. Her Gaol report describes her as being impudent, which seems to reflect her cheeky, insolent nature very well. Lydia stood 4 feet 11 and ¼ inches in height, had brown hair and grey eyes. Lydia’s life in and out of service reads like a character in a television drama, she did it all. She was assigned to Mr Gellibrand Esquire in 1825 but was sent back to the Female Factory after another bout of insolence to her mistress.
Lydia was often at large without leave or remaining absent until apprehended and on one occasion on 8 October 1825 she escaped from the female factory by means of a hole in the wall. An instant £2 reward was placed. Apprehended at Coal River in April 1826 she was sentenced to seven days in a cell on bread and water, had her hair cut off and had to wear an iron collar for those seven days. This cruel practice would have been incredibly uncomfortable and would have made it almost impossible to get any rest or sleep. She did not become any more subdued and continued a career of riotous and disorderly behaviour. In 1827 her offences stated insolence, gross immorality of conduct and pilfering. She was most often drunk and disorderly. This resulted in plenty of gaol confinement and having her head shaved. None of the humiliation administered to her altered her behaviour in a positive manner; in fact, she became worse. She was disobedient, used abusive language and in one instance her master had beaten and ill-treated her.

Lydia married Andrew James Gooding/Goodwin, a tall, middle-aged mild looking man on March 3rd 1834 at Campbell town. They had at least seven children. Andrew must have found her completely unmanageable and been driven to madness by her insolence and drunkenness. In May 1858 when she was 53 he murdered her in an outburst of anger. Andrew came home from a day at work to find Lydia intoxicated and had to get his own tea while she raved at him. His patience wore thin and he struck her on the side of the face, she fell to the floor dead. He received a manslaughter charge as he claimed it was unintended and accidental.

Tasmanian Archives & Heritage Office, CON40-1-5
Female Convicts Research Group (Tasmania): Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land Database
Hobart Town Gazette 22 October 1825, page 1, 2
The Hobart Town Courier 5 June 1830, page 2, 3
Launceston Examiner 3 July 1858, page 2
The Courier 1 July 1858, page 2, 3
The Hobart Town Courier 5 June 1830, page 2, 3
Hobart Town Gazette 22 October 1825.p1,2
The Courier 1 July 1858, p.2.