Van Dieman's Land (I) [Laws L18]

DESCRIPTION: Three poachers are taken and sent to Van Dieman's Land. Sold to planters, they are used to drive plows and live miserable lives until (Susan Summers), a fellow prisoner now married to a planter, treats them somewhat better
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1830 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 25(1979))
KEYWORDS: transportation abuse help poaching
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South),Scotland(Aber)) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland Australia US(MW,Ro)
REFERENCES (33 citations):
Laws L18, "Van Dieman's Land"
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #33, p. 2, "The Gallant Poachers" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan2 252, "Van Dieman's Land" (5 texts, 2 tunes)
Williams-FolkSongsOfTheUpperThames, pp. 263-264, "Poor Tom Brown, of Nottingham Town" (2 texts) (also Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 258)
Palmer-EnglishCountrySongbook, #52, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-ThePainfulPlow, #11, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople 107, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text)
Broadwood-EnglishTraditionalSongsAndCarols, pp. 2-3, "Van Diemen's Land or The Gallant Poachers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roud/Bishop-NewPenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs #145, "Van Diemen's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Colcord-SongsOfAmericanSailormen, p. 172, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text)
Hugill-ShantiesFromTheSevenSeas, p. 412, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune) [AbEd, p. 314]
Dean-FlyingCloud, p. 95, "Vandiemens Land" (1 text)
Stout-FolkloreFromIowa 12, p. 21, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 fragment)
Beck-FolkloreOfMaine, pp. 92-93, "Van Diaman's Land" (1 text, with no source indicated)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #144, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 708-709, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text)
Creighton-SongsAndBalladsFromNovaScotia 63, "Van Diemen's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie-BalladsAndSeaSongsFromNovaScotia 122, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 262, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
OLochlainn-IrishStreetBallads 21, "Van Diemen's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fahey-Eureka-SongsThatMadeAustralia, pp. 20-21, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart-FaberBookOfBallads, p.224, "Van Diemen's Land" (1 text)
Ord-BothySongsAndBallads, pp. 384-285, "The Poachers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Anderson-StoryOfAustralianFolksong, pp. 17-18, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Anderson-FarewellToOldEngland, pp. 82-83, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Manifold-PenguinAustralianSongbook, pp. 14-15, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Paterson/Fahey/Seal-OldBushSongs-CentenaryEdition, pp. 55-58, "Van Diemen's Land" (1 text)
Ward-PenguinBookOfAustralianBallads, pp. 28-29, "Van Diemen's Land" (1 text)
Stewart/Keesing-FavoriteAustralianBallads,, pp4-5, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 93, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
MacColl-PersonalChoice, p. 14, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 334, "Van Dieman's Land" (1 text)

Roud #519
Robert Cinnamond, "Van Dieman's Land" (on IRRCinnamond01)
Jimmy MacBeath, "Van Diemen's Land" (on FSB7)
Cyril O'Brien, "Van Dieman's Land" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
Roisin White, "Van Dieman's Land" (on IRRWhite01)

Bodleian, Harding B 25(1979), "Van Dieman's Land," T. Birt (London), 1828-1829; also Firth b.34(147), Firth c.17(40), Firth c.17(41), Firth c.19(60), Harding B 11(1808), Harding B 11(1850), Harding B 11(2815), Harding B 11(3964), Harding B 17(325b), Harding B 20(177), Johnson Ballads 6, Firth b.34(119), "Van Dieman's Land"
Murray, Mu23-y4:034, "Van Dieman's Land," unknown, 19C

cf. "Van Dieman's Land (II - Young Henry's Downfall)" (plot)
cf. "Rounding the Horn" (tune)
cf. "Those Poor Convicts" (tune)
NOTES [319 words]: The "other" "Van Dieman's Land" has a plot so similar that I was not sure but that they should be classified as one. The tunes and texts are, however, distinct.
A typical stanza for this text would run
Poor Tommy Brown from Nenagh Town, Jack Murphy and poor Joe
We were three daring poachers as the gentry well do know.
One night we were trepanned by the keepers hid in sand,
Who for fourteen years transported us unto Van Dieman's Land.
Van Diemen's Land was named after Anthony Van Diemen of the Dutch East India Company; Van Diemen chartered the expedition which discovered the island. Said expedition was led by Abel Tasman, who found the island in 1642 (as well as sighting New Zealand and some lesser islands).
The reputation of Van Diemen's Land was so bad that the residents in the nineteenth century demanded a name change. It therefore was renamed Tasmania after its discoverer. (In an interesting footnote, Lady Jane Franklin, the wife of Sir John Franklin of Northwest Passage infamy, was the chief campaigner for this during the time Sir John was governor of the colony; see Ken McGoogan, Lady Franklin's Revenge: A True Story of Ambition, Obsession and the Remaking of Arctic History, Harper Perennial, 2005, p. 210).
The irony is that Van Diemen's Land was not really overburdened with "hard cases"; some were sent to the island, but most wound up on Norfolk Island or in settlements like Moreton Bay. But the settlers of Van Diemen's Land were perhaps the most destructive of all the colonists; the Tasmanian aborigines were systematically eradicated, as compared to simply being brushed aside in most of Australia.
The reference to convicts driving the plows is an exaggeration -- of the wrong sort. At many of the British colonies, the convicts were indeed used instead of draft animals (few of which were available). But they didn't normally use plows; they had to hoe their own furrows! - RBW
Last updated in version 6.1
File: LL18

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