Highlights of Charlotte’s life:
- Defiance at a life of poverty as a convicted felon (transported to Australia)
- Enthusiastic participant in the hijacking of a fully provisioned ship which was then diverted to Rangihoua Bay in the Bay of Islands. Mutiny of the Venus
- Acquired reputation as Australia’s first femal pirate
- Settled down with locals (Maori) and known to be in Rangihoua in 1808
- Lots of gaps in her story leaving plenty of room for our imagination
About 1826 a ship’s record of a visit to Tonga reported an English woman with a girl (her daughter) had been living with the natives for over 10 years. One account of her life claims that she finally escaped to America, and the ship may have called at Tonga on the journey across the Pacific.
Or perhaps she returned to Sydney in 1810 or thereabouts. A Badger was recorded on the New South Wales muster. And Ms Badger married Thomas Humphries, a private in the Invalid Company, at St Phillips Church in Sydney. (She was recorded as Charlotte Badgery in the register.). Humphries had arrived in the colony as a soldier on the Recovery in July 1808 …
We would have enjoyed meeting her, independent, festy and definitely not cookie cutter 19th century womanhood.