Who is Charlotte Badger?
She changed the direction of her future one dark night. In this quiet mutiny she was a pirate, an adventurer, a woman treading her own path. In 1806, Charlotte Badger became Australia's first female pirate while being transported to Van Diemens land aboard the convict ship Venus the captain stepped ashore at Port Dalrymple (George Town, Tasmania). It was then that Charlotte had her quiet mutiny and convinced the crew to mutiny and sail to New Zealand. Her final fate was never known. Charlotte badger’s bold actions inspired our own embarquement of quiet mutiny in this fabled land.
But who is Charlotte Badger?
There are not many official records of Charlotte's journey but this is what we can piece together.
Charlotte was born in 1778 near Bromsgrove in England. Charlotte came from a poor family and at the age of 18 she stole several guineas and a silk handkerchief in an attempt to support them, she was caught, arrested, convicted and was sentenced to seven years deportation. She boarded the convict vessel Earl of Cornwallis with the journey lasted a gruelling 206 days before she arrived in the New South Wales colony.
In 1806 Charlotte had served five years and she only had two years left of her sentence. At this time she was an inmate at the old Parramatta Female Factory and Charlotte had given birth to a child. In April she and her friend, Catherine Hagerty who she had met at the Parramatta Female Factory were assigned as servants to a settler in Hobart,in late April 1806 they sailed from Port Jackson on the Venus with the child and a group of male convicts.
Samuel Chase the captain of the ship, was in the habit of flogging the women for entertainment. On 17 June while at Port Dalrymple (now called Low Head, here: https://w3w.co/blistering.crusaders.breakouts) on the north coast of Tasmania the convicts mutinied and took control of the ship with the help of the first mate, Benjamin Kelly.
With cargo and supplies intended for the settlement of Hobart the mutineers were able to sail across the Tasman. Charlotte Badger with her child, Catherine Hagerty and their two partners were set down with a supply of stores at Rangihoua Bay in the Bay of Islands New Zealand. Charlotte Badger and her child stayed on once her shipmates had left and the supplies were exhausted, she must have been accepted by the local Maori community or treated at the very least with tolerance as on two occasions she was offered a passage back to Port Jackson which she refused and in 1808 said she would prefer to die among the Maori.
Charlotte's exact history from here is a little sketchy...
In 1826, twenty years after the Venus had cleared Sydney Heads, the American ship Lafayette called at Vavau, in the Tongan Islands, during a voyage to Sydney. On her arrival in Sydney, the Lafayette brought the last news of Charlotte Badger. It appeared that in 1818 an American whaler had called at Vavau on her homeward voyage, and onboard was a woman who must have been our own pirate lady. Speaking a Polynesian dialect fluently - as well she might after living with Maoris tor twelve years - Charlotte had related her experiences in New Zealand to the Tongans.
Nothing more was heard of Charlotte Badger.