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Anna Josepha King

In their own words

Anna Josepha King
Audio: 2 minutes

December 26th. A fine breeze and dreadfully hot. My former opinion with respect to the behaviour of our females is very much differed now. What hardened depraved creatures the greater part of them are. The Captain had reason to punish one of the boys, for a guilt occasioned by a woman of the name of Ward – for which she was also to be punished by being pumped on.

This woman has often been heard to say that if ever she was pumped on, that she would jump overboard the next moment, and sure enough she did. And was it not for the very great expeditious manner with which the captain ordered the boat down, she must have been lost. Her clothes kept her up. When the boat got to her, she was sinking but the mate was very quick and got her up. It pleased God that she should not be drowned. She was fortunately placed into the boat, with her head hanging downwards, the water ran out of her mouth, nose, and ears. When she was taken into the ship I really thought she was dead. The doctor used every means for her recovery – he gave her three teaspoonfuls of ground pepper in a glass of red wine, a most powerful medicine but wonderful quick in the effect for immediately as it was put down her throat the salt water came off her stomach.

It has given one such a turn against them, her conduct as well as all the rest, that I shall be happy to get to the end of our voyage, as soon as possible.

December the 27th. The woman recovers fast. She appears to be very sorry for her past conduct, and she is determined to lead a better life.

December the 28th. One of the poor women that was so ill has just drawn her last breath. She has left a very young child about seven months old. Captain Questead has appointed a very good sort of an elderly woman to take care of it and should it live to reach our destined port I shall feel happy to protect a poor little orphan.

Acknowledgements

King, Anna Josepha (1799) Journal of a voyage from England to Australia in the ship 'Speedy', 19 November 1799-15 April 1800, State Library of New South Wales

Attribution

Voiced by Natasha Vickery

Related people

Anna J. King

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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