ORPHAN SCHOOL The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 5 August 1820, page 2article2179652-3-001

I have my suspicions about the FEMALE ORPHAN SCHOOL, so I do. And about Melinda’s fate as a little girl  aged between 5 and 9 when her father Patrick was tossed into the County Gaol on a pig stealing charge and Rev Fulton withheld payment for the fencing contract for his Glebe at Castlereagh. We know from records that the food situation for the McNallys was dire and involved Mr John Harris, settler. It was in this period 1822-23 that Melinda found herself as a servant girl in Hill’s household. I wonder why . Why were all the other children left in the family home? Why was Melinda the only child to go to the Hills? Could it have involved the Female Orphan School and the age requirements for entry ? Could Judith have found herself in great difficulty with Patrick in Gaol ?


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