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Frontier Of Dreams

Sundays 6.40am | TV ONE

Charlotte Badger

One of the first European women to settle in New Zealand was Charlotte Badger, a convict turned pirate. In Britain Charlotte's crime was house breaking, she stole a few guineas and a silk handkerchief.

Angela Thomas, a descendent of Charlotte Badger recalls, "She had stolen this money to get her sister's warm winter dress out of pawn and help her family who were virtually starving, I should imagine, because this was the heart of the Industrial Revolution."

Charlotte had been sentenced in an English courtroom to seven year penal servitude in New South Wales. There, she had a child whilst serving at the Parramatta female factory.

Then, while travelling to Hobart in 1806 to become a servant, she was involved in a mutiny aboard a ship called the Venus.

Angela Thomas explains, "the reason, really, for the mutiny was the flogging of the women, which is very rare, and they were only flogged on the whim of Captain Chase."

The mutineers fled across the Tasman. Charlotte and her child left the ship to settle at the pa at Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands. Most of the other mutineers were caught and hanged but Charlotte survived.

Her ultimate fate isn't known but it is said that she went to America with a whaling captain. Whatever happened to her, Charlotte Badger was on of the few European women to experience the early New Zealand frontier.