Constance Trudgett

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Constance Trudgett nee Couronne. Image courtesy National Library of Australia.

Constance Couronne was born c1824 in Port Louis, Mauritius. Constance and her mother Adele, were slaves of Dame Morel of Grand Port. In 1833 nine-year-old Constance was charged with attempting to poison her mistress. She was described at the time as being 4 feet 4 inches tall, with black skin, black hair and eyes, a pug nose, a Creole of the Mauritius.

She was tried in a public hearing in Port Louis, found guilty and sentenced to transportation for life. Constance and her cousin Elizabeth aged 13, arrived in New South Wales via the ship Dart and were sent to the Female Factory at Parramatta. Neither girl could speak English. They were subsequently assigned to the First Police Magistrate Henry Croasdaile Wilson.

Constance was granted a Ticket of Leave on 31 January 1835 and on 19 January 1841 Permission to Marry Robert Trudgett, a stockman. They were married at Nubrygyn on 3 March 1841. After Constance received a Conditional Pardon in 1847, they were able to occupy their own land at Gum Flat, near Euchareena. They raised 11 children and local lore has it that she was a midwife and smoked a pipe. Constance died on 18 November 1891 aged 67 and is buried in the Old Church of England Section, Orange Cemetery with her husband.

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