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Orphan Number: 4858
Orphan: Henry SCULL
Mother:CAMPBELL, Mary Jane
Father:SCULL, Henry
Mother's ship:Blackfriar
Father's ship:William Jardine
Age when admitted:3yrs 2mths
Date admitted:16 Jun 1864
Date discharged:
Institution(s):Queens Orphan School
Discharged to:
Remarks: father prisoner, mother arrived free,insane
References: SWD26/7, 27, POL392/1

This orphan has been claimed by: Dianne Snowden

James Campbell Scull and Henry Scull

Mary Jane Campbell arrived as one of three free passengers on the Irish convict ship Blackfriar in 1851 According to the ship's list, Mary Jane was accompanied by a female child under the age of 14.[1]

Mary Jane Campbell married Henry Scull in Hobart on 12 December 1853.[2] Mary Jane was then 24 and Henry was 30. They had at least three sons, all born at Kingston: the eldest was born 25 February 1860 [John?]; the second 18 March 1861 [Henry?]; and William, born 21 March 1864.[3]

James Campbell Scull [b. c1855] was admitted to the Orphan School on 16 June 1864, aged 9.[4] His younger brother, Henry, aged 3 years 2 months, was admitted on the same date.[5]

When Mary Jane applied to have two of her sons admitted to the Orphan School on 16 June 1864, she was required to give details of her civil status and her ship of arrival. When she stated that that she had arrived on the Blackfriar, the authorities assumed that she had arrived as a convict; the admission application recorded that she was 'bond' and 'free by servitude'. Described as a cripple, of weak intellect, she was not believed when she stated that she had arrived free.[6] She was admitted to the 'Asylum for the Insane' at New Norfolk on 25 January 1865, aged 37. She died there on 23 July 1891 aged 63.[7]

John Scull, son of Henry and Mary Jane, died on 14 April 1863, at Kingston, aged three.[8]

James Scull, aged 26, possibly married Rosannah Stock, aged 27, on 28 November 1883.[9]

William Scull, aged 21, possibly married Laura Edith Ada Williams, aged 21, in Hobart, on15 August 1885.[10]


[1] The other free women on the Blackfriar were Jane Creery and Amelia Irwin: see AOT, MB2/39/1/13 p.275
[2] RGD 37 929/1853: Mary Jane Campbell & Henry Scull
[3] RGD 33 1338/1860 Kingston: male child [John?] ; RGD 33 1309/1861 Kingston: male child; RGD 33 1008/1864: William Scull]
[4] AOT, SWD26/7, 27, POL392/1
[5] AOT, SWD26/7, 27, POL392/1
[6] AOT, SWD 26/6 May 1864 (James Campbell Scull and Henry Scull)
[7] RGD 35 549.1891 New Norfolk: Mary Jane Campbell or Scull
[8] RGD 35 253/1863 Kingston: John Scull
[9] RGD 37 553/1883: Rosannah Stock & James Scull
[10] RGD 35 426/1885: Laura Edith Ada Williams & William Scull

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This orphan has been claimed by: Anne Wiltshire

I am descended from Orphan No: 4858 Maria Campbell daughter of Mary Jane Campbell. While researching the arrival of Mary Jane Campbell into Tasmania I gained access to the documentation that subsequently enabled her to embark as "free" aboard the convict ship "Black Friar". When applying to have two of her sons admitted to the Orphan School on 16 June 1864, three months after the birth of her youngest child, Mary was described as a cripple and of "weak intellect." When reading her transportation papers and reports of behaviour and conduct it is hard to equate these with a woman of "weak intellect" but thus the story stands. Her trials in Ireland prior to arrival were sad to read but these were overtaken by her admission details and confinement for 26 years in the Royal Derwent Hospital New Norfolk. Mary Jane was admitted to the Hospital, ten months after the birth of a son, with "Amentia", "cause unknown" and "duration of two months" and there she remained until her death in 1891. Would her medical diagnosis be different now? I hope so. Writings have occurred in modern times regarding histories of female insanity and resulting institutional confinement and I like to think her life and story would be different.

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 Site last updated February 2020