Alice Ball

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Alice Ball is associated with Melbourne, Victoria, Australia located at these coordinates -37.814107, 144.96328

Date of Birth: 1834
Date of Death: 23 April 1850
Also known as: allice ball
Related Resource URL:
User Tags: irish famine orphan, diadem, earl grey scheme

Alice Ball arrived on the "Diadem" on 18th January,1850. She had been a Nursemaid prior to leaving her native place; she was Episcopalian; . (Nominal Passenger List - VPRS 14/P0000/000)

Alice was received into the Immigration Depot on 12th January 1850 and left there on 26th January. She was engaged as an Apprentice by John Brown, Sailmaker, of Richmond for 12 months at £66 £
450 £approx2009
912 $AUDapprox2009
120 shillings
1,440 pence
per annum. (Disposal List - VPRS 14/P0000/0006)

Three short months later, being in “the family way”, she committed suicide by throwing herself in the Yarra River on 23rd April, and despite efforts to rescue and revive her, she was dead at the tender age of sixteen. According to the eye-witness account of James Craig, approximately an hour before Alice’s drowning, he “heard Alice’s employer, Mr Brown and his wife at high words” as they passed his house. Reporting his conversation with Mrs. Brown, Alice had attempted to throw herself in the river the previous week and was “in the family way” to Mr. Brown – although of course, it wasn’t Mr. Brown’s fault as Alice was a “strumpet” and “everything that was bad.” This same witness gives testimony that portrays Mr. Brown as being “unconcerned” about the death and explains that there “was jealousy on the part of his wife towards the girl”. Also, amongst the witness depositions included in the inquest, is a short statement by a fellow shipmate of Alice’s on the Diadem – Catherine McCarroll – recalling that Alice “was a quiet orderly girl on board ship.” The Inquest into her death (which can be viewed in Records relating to Alice Ball) gives the witnesses’ account, an explanation for her actions and the finding of the Coroner that “Alice Ball whilst in a state of great mental excitement did throw herself into the River Yarra and was suffocated and drowned in its waters.”

Alice Ball has been tagged on these pages:

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  2. Records relating to Alice Ball
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