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Women's contribution to the colonial economy has been increasingly documented over the last few decades, although most studies have focused either on the early convict era or on the period afterwhen factory and office work opened up for women, educational opportunities expanded for them, and, in the s, Australasian women were the first in the world to obtain the vote. However, recent work has started to question this idea of a domesticated female population, unemployed other than as domestic servants, [3] with studies uncovering teachers, publicans, farm workers [4] and postmistresses.

Until the last few years, available sources meant that tracking individual women over long periods was difficult, if not impossible. What once would have required months of painstakingly scrolling through s and s of microfilmed newspapers searching for names, now takes far less time and is far more foolproof. As a result, it is now possible to argue more strongly that many women were engaged in productive labour in Sydney in the mid-nineteenth century, even though women were legally, politically, educationally and economically disadvantaged, and the Victorian ideal of domesticity was rampant in the colonies, dictating that women should be in the 'private sphere'.

This ideal of domesticity was both middle-class and an ideal — for many women from lower down the social scale it was neither relevant nor practical.

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For the majority of urban colonial women, attitudes towards women's work tended to reflect working-class pragmatism rather than middle-class domesticity. Women worked as employees or as small businesswomen, alongside family members or independently, usually from necessity and within a distinct range of occupations. Although these women have become almost invisible in the historical record and although contemporary diaries and letters generally fail to mention them, they were nevertheless present and visible to their fellow settlers.

By taking a 'virtual walk' along seven blocks of Pitt Street in Sydney init is possible to get a real impression of how many women were present as property owners, independent householders, employers and employees, and to illuminate the activities in which they were engaged. Pitt Street was and still is a main street in Sydney, and is a year well-served by sources.

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It is also, unfortunately, the year that the street s in Pitt Street were reversed, making the task of establishing continuity of residence somewhat more convoluted, although not impossible. This 'virtual walk' also shows the ways in which women's lives are obscured in the sources.

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Investigations into each woman with a connection to a Pitt Street property in involved taking names found in the trade directories and rates assessment books and following each name though newspapers and births, deaths and marriages records, passenger lists, probate and insolvency records as well as similar British sources. Sometimes it is impossible even to find these women's first names, or to positively identify them among others with the same name. A glance at the trade directories for and produces 34 women listed in and only 23 in This is in addition to listings for men in and men in In the rates assessment book, there are 30 female householders listed and men.

Some of the difference here is the result of the reing and also the inclusion, or not, of properties 'off Pitt Street'. None of these figures would inspire confidence when looking for a female presence in Pitt Street. However, taking this 'virtual walk' down the street inand peeking in the windows of the shops and houses to investigate more closely, highlights a far larger presence of women in one of Sydney's principal streets.

It also provides a snapshot of the variety of experiences of colonial Single female hutchington Derry fort. Although concentrated in a small range of types of employment, there are widows, wives and spinsters, some working alone, some with husbands, and others in partnerships with other women. Some women have reinvented themselves upon emigration or out of necessity after being widowed, while others had experience running businesses in England. The ificance of family support is evident, as is the way in which families became interconnected with other families in the same line of business. Publicans' daughters married publicans and became publicans themselves, for example.

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A poulterer, Elizabeth Knight, who lived next door after her husband died in Januaryleaving her pregnant with three young children, has moved on since her remarriage late last year. She is now in George Street since the very public split last year between her and the French teacher, Emile de Lolle, who went so far as to advertise that he would no longer be responsible for the debts of the person 'calling herself Madame de Lolle which name she is not entitled to bear'. On the other side of Brougham Place, Susan Glue and her husband, John, are busy at their labour registry and coffee house.

After the birth of her fourth child, she will open in Ashfield an 'Establishment for Health', essentially a boarding house, while her husband supervises the now a grocery shop in Pitt Street. She will die in Her husband will quickly employ Miss Mary Bourne to oversee the boarding house, marrying her within a few weeks. Recently the Glues have had some new competition for their registry office; Marianne Pawsey has just moved her own Servants' Registry Office almost next door.

Pawsey has been running her business on her own since her husband's death inand the business has been in existence sincewhen James Pawsey married the newly widowed Marianne Watson. Mrs Pawsey will remain in business in Pitt Street until when she will pass the registry office to another woman, Charlotte Wilson, proprietress, with her husband, of Robinson's Ladies Baths at the Domain.

Pawsey's landlady in is Rosetta Terry, who owns 37 of the 86 properties in this block. She is the widow of the very wealthy Samuel Terry, but these properties were hers before she married him, as she was a successful businesswoman in her own right. Terry herself lives on the west side of the street and another of her tenants is Madame Laroche, a milliner.

Laroche has only just arrived in Pitt Street and will lose everything in a fire in She will business in the Market Buildings in George Street, where she will remain, variously and somewhat confusingly known as Jane, Annie and Victorine Laroche, for the next eight years. Matilda Cox also lives in this first block of Pitt Street, selling the 'finest and best fruit' in Sydney. For the nine years before George Hudson's death in and even after his death, in the Directory, this business was in his name, but Single female hutchington Derry fort has always had a main role.

When the Hudsons were in partnership with John Gibbs, another Sydney musician init was not George's but Eliza's name on the partnership agreement. Rosetta Terry owns the pub on the corner and the shop next to it, Miss Plowright owns the pub at the other end of the street, while Mrs Roberts owns three shops in between. One might stop for a drink on the western corner of King and Pitt streets in the Liverpool Arms, where Emma Palmer is interviewing prospective barmaids, assisting her husband, Benjamin, the e, while caring for her three small daughters and heavily pregnant with a son.

When she remarries at the end of the year she will transfer the to her new husband, William Camb, as is expected, but it is likely that she will continue to take an active part in the hotel. Or one could buy an apple from Mrs White's fruit shop. Although the shop is listed as Charles White's business in the directory, Mrs White has a role to play, advertising for female shop assistants, [25] a role that has increased since Charley White has recently extended his business to include an oyster saloon around the corner in King Street.

Just down the street, one of Mrs Roberts's tenants is the infamous Caroline Pope. Her business is not listed in any trade directory but her profession is well-known. She was recently up before the courts for assaulting one of her neighbours.

Julia Stevens, the wife of a sailor, also living somewhere in Pitt Street, had either been innocently fetching her daughter from the street or had been verbally attacking Pope, calling her a 'street-walking faggot', when Pope assaulted her with a decanter and possibly also bit her. This will not improve her situation. She will attempt suicide in August and Richard Cochrane will be imprisoned for three months for beating her in October of the same year. By the couple will have separated, each declaring themselves not responsible for the other's debts.

Passing by Timothie Cheval's confectioner's shop, one might be reminded of the case in Julywhen his manager, Miss Bohen, successfully sued him for her outstanding wages. The proprietor, Thomas Jones, died in July last year, leaving his widow, Jane, with five children.

She carried on the business successfully for several months, in spite of being assaulted by her Single female hutchington Derry fort servant in October[31] before marrying Robert Horne in Februaryfrom which time his name has appeared in the trade directories. He will be insolvent inand again in after his wife's death in The business will be popularly known as 'Mother Horne's' during the s and s, which acknowledges to whom it really belonged. On the other side of the street is the Royal Victoria Theatre, where several actresses and singers are preparing for their performances.

Just last year there was great excitement when Anna Bishop performed, [33] although at present it is just the regular company on stage, including Theodosia Guerin, who has been performing on Australian stages since the s and will continue to do so for several years. Her life epitomises that of women involved in the theatre, full of transnational mobility and on the edge of respectability. She first appeared on stage as part of the company of theatrical entrepreneur, Mrs Anna Clarke, in Hobart incalling herself Mrs Stirling.

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She arrived in Sydney in Julywith, it would appear, a daughter. She married her fellow actor, James Guerin inusing the surname Macintosh, had three children and then, after Guerin's death inmarried Richard Stewart in The register recorded his name as Gzech, and when their daughter is born in her surname will be recorded as Towsey. In spite of her last marriage, Theodosia will continue to use the name Guerin on stage well into the s. Nevertheless, after her death in at the age of 90, she will be remembered primarily for her reproductive qualities, rather than for her work, as the mother of the much more famous Nellie Stewart.

Eighteen of the businesses in this block are drapery and clothing stores, predominantly owned by men, but all reliant on female labour. Mrs William Robson, the real milliner of 'William Robson's' millinery business, will be busy as usual superintending the improvers and apprentices. Closer inspection of the drapery business listed merely as 'Doak and Kerr' in the Directory reveals that it is run by Margaret Doak and her sister, Rebecca Kerr.

It has been in existence since when Doak and her husband went into partnership with Kerr, shortly after they arrived in New South Wales. In fact the business is older than that, as Margaret Doak had her own millinery and dressmaking shop alongside her husband's carpentry workshop in Londonderry, Ireland, in the s. Doak will continue alone until, aged nearly 70, she will be ed by her married daughter, Minnie Beattie, in the s. Across Single female hutchington Derry fort street from Doak and Kerr is Webb and Co, a millinery establishment run by Mary Webb, who has recently moved here from King Street, where she ran her business with another Mrs Webb.

Mary Webb has been in business since at least and will still be in Pitt Street upon her death inwhen her death notice will record that she is 'late of Oxford Street, London'. It even caused confusion at the time. After Mary Webb's death inher store will be absorbed into the neighbouring business of Emily Way, who is at this time still in Essex, England.

She will emigrate in with her parents, marrying Ebenezer Way in and opening her business the year after. In a [media] similar story, Caroline Farmer started a millinery business inwhich has by become Farmer, Williams and Giles, on the same side of Pitt Street as Mary Webb's millinery shop.

Her pivotal Single female hutchington Derry fort will be glossed over in the Sydney Morning Herald 's article about the 'Romance of Farmer's' upon its 'centenary' in It will note only that Farmer's wife had 'helped behind the counter'. He arrived in Sydney in with his second wife and five children under ten. His new wife is year-old Mary Farmer, sister-in-law of Caroline, and in spite of her many stepchildren, she is also active in the family business, advertising for milliners and superintending the female staff, which also includes saleswomen.

Having reached the other end of the block, on the west corner of Pitt Street is the Bull and Mouth, owned by Miss Plowright. It is run by Joseph Wakely, whose wife, Ann, is standing outside.

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She is well-used to the hotel business: her first husband was a publican and her mother, Mary Aiton, runs a hotel at Balmain. Her husband is still paying 10 shillings a week to Bridget Torpy, their ex-servant, as child support for her illegitimate son, James, after an 'incident' when his wife was away for the weekend. Originally Torpy had been awarded 15 shillings but this had been reduced on appeal. Torpy's predicament was not unusual.

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The birth of her son would have prevented her finding work, making application to the courts imperative. Wakely has not learned his lesson and will face court again inwhen he will be fortunate to be acquitted of raping Bridget Kennedy, who, with her husband, James, will be working in the hotel. There is less of a female presence in the next block.

Widowed inshe also owns property in the Hunter region and has taken an active part in managing it. Ritchie will continue to live in Pitt Street for several years until her death inwhen she will be remembered as 'an old and respected colonist'. He also lends space to Louise Dutruc and her husband, Pierre, who advertise French classes at the same address.

The Dutrucs have been in Sydney for several years, having spent 12 years before that teaching French in Glasgow. Pierre Dutruc also has a wine and spirit business in Sydney and is the author of a French grammar book. In addition to their own private lessons, both the Dutrucs teach French at various local private academies. Pierre Dutruc will Single female hutchington Derry fort a city councillor for Randwick between andwill act briefly as the French Consul, and Dutruc Avenue in Randwick will be named after him. Louise Dutruc will continue to operate her own schools for at least the next 20 years, and her second name, Eulalie, will be given to another Randwick street.

Mrs Bynon is a woman who has been forced to rely upon her own skills to survive because she has had bad luck in the colony.

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Born in Middlesex, the daughter of artist Ben Baldwin, Augusta Baldwin worked as a milliner in some of the 'first London establishments' before emigrating. She married Walter Fayers in and together they established Suffolk House, a drapery store in George Street, with the new Mrs Fayers taking charge of the millinery department, as well as giving birth to a son and a daughter in quick succession.

Augusta Fayers's first bad luck arrived when Walter Fayers died of consumption in Mrs Bynon was active in the business, and also added another daughter to her family. William Bynon went back to England in January and the business struck trouble in April, with auctioneers advertising the selling off of 'the entire stock in trade of Mrs Bynon'. This was when Augusta Bynon and her three young children moved to a new Suffolk House in Pitt Street, where she continues her millinery and dressmaking business.

In Augusta Bynon will finally have some good luck when she marries her third husband, John Walker, a watch and clock manufacturer. In about they will return to London, where John Walker will his father's established watchmaking business in Regent Street. The couple will have three more daughters, born in New South Wales, France and England, and by Augusta Walker will be living in Kensington in London, with her husband and three of her daughters, as well as two Single female hutchington Derry fort servants, having managed to make her way both back to England and up in society.

Continuing down the street past Brandon's millinery warehouse, where several cap milliners are employed, there is the upholstery business of Joseph Sly, who employs several needlewomen. This used to be known as Dick's Yard, when owned by Alexander Dick, but was presumably renamed by his widow, Charlotte, when she inherited it. Tunk successfully sued her neighbour and was awarded 10 shillings. Further down the block in Pitt Street are the more genteel Mrs Lees and Miss Cotton, whose straw bonnet-making business is nicely non-gender specific in the —9 trade directory; like 'Doak and Kerr' inthey are listed as 'Lees and Cotton'.

Jane Lees and Ann Cotton are sisters who emigrated together from Staffordshire, with Jane's husband and daughter and their older sister and mother in Ann, Emma and Sarah Cotton were all described as domestic servants on the passenger list, but in fact 'Cotton and Lees' had a straw-hat business in Staffordshire in England. Five years later, Ann and Jane still have a good business. Jane Lees will die in but Cotton will continue in partnership with her brother-in-law until his marriage in to Eliza Dickie, a rival dressmaker. However, the next advertised lecture is to be given by Mrs Foster in just a few weeks, about establishing a home for respectable female emigrants.

Caroline Dexter spoke there in and Madame Cramer gave a concert there in July At the end ofthe soon-to-be-notorious Cora Ann Weekes will make her debut. They will be last heard of en route to Calcutta in the 'very superior and fast sailing' Glen Isla under false names in On the [media] corner of Pitt and Park streets is the photographer, William Blackwood, setting up to take a picture of one of another two buildings owned Single female hutchington Derry fort Rosetta Terry.

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Women of Pitt Street