The Women of the Culloden – Sidney Herbert’s Needlewomen

I thought it was time I shared the research I found while doing my thesis submitted at the end of 2011 at Monash University on the emigrant women on board the Culloden – known as Sidney Herbert’s needlewomen from London.  I’ve always wanted to turn this into a book and perhaps I still shall.  The stories of all the women are so interesting and deserve to be told.  If anyone is descended from any of these women I’d love to hear from you.

My interest in this project stemmed from my great great grandparents, Matilda Sarah Ann Read and Charles Servante who were both on board the Culloden when she arrived at Port Phillip on July 8, 1850.  At the Public Record Office of Victoria (PROV) I’d only ever found a passenger list that mentioned the women but no other passengers.  As there weren’t too many on this it was intriguing.  I eventually found a passenger list on the Port Phillip Herald that mentioned Charles Servante as a steerage passenger.  The more I looked into it the more I found from such sources as the State Library of Victoria (SLV), National Library of Australia, the Mitchell library in Sydney, the Wiltshire and Swindon record office, the Times newspaper archive, British Newspapers Online, Trove and the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) to mention a few.

Women who were part of the scheme (in some capacity):

Eliza, Esther and Margaret Burney

Ellen S Broughton

Eliza K Cornwall

Anne and Eliza Coates

Rachel E Cox

Caroline Dennis

Lucy Edwards

Ellen Ellis

Alice and Elizabeth Fenwick

Ann Ferguson

Emma Fletcher

Lucretia Seymour Flinn

Elizabeth Henwood

Fanny Amelia Hickmott

Jane Holland

Bertha, Jessie and Marion Hughan

Jane Hunt

Elizabeth Ireland

Margaret Landels

Jane Leavitt

Emma Ann Midgely

Catherine Ann Pain

Caroline Parsons

Elizabeth Randall

Matilda Sarah Ann Read

Charlotte Savage

Jane Servante

Rosanna Stone

Margaret Thompson

Elizabeth Tuck

Christina Tisdall

Jane White

Ellen and Matilda G Walker

Mrs Hughan – matron in charge of the women on board

This is a work in progress and I will be adding to it.

2 thoughts on “The Women of the Culloden – Sidney Herbert’s Needlewomen”

  1. Have you seen any information about a Jane Mullins a needlewoman who landed at either Port Adelaide or Port Phillip in August 1850? May have travelled from Adelaide to Melbourne on the ‘Culloden’. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks cheers Rob

    1. Hi Rob,
      Her name isn’t among those of the needlewomen on board the Culloden. There was a Jane Munn or Nunn traveling on the Culloden who wasn’t part of the needlewomen’s group. She was traveling with Adelaide Munn or Nunn. This information is taken from a handwritten transcription of a shipping list so may not be accurate.
      Is it possible she went by other names? I have Jane Holland who is unaccounted for in any records. People did change or assume other names for various reasons, as they do today.


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