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Margaret Catchpole entry: Overview screen.
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Margaret Catchpole was a late eighteenth-century labouring-class woman whose extraordinary experience as a transported felon propelled her (through the influence of Elizabeth Cobbold, her employer and an active woman writer) to express herself in letters, of which eleven are extant. A copy of her confession also survives. These writings, as well as her life-story, have been thoroughly appropriated by a nineteenth-century novelistic version. Even recent and sophisticated commentators have found it hard to separate her voice from still-continuing ventriloquism.
Milestones
14 March 1762 MC was born, probably at Hoo in Suffolk. Bibliographic Citation link.
6 July 1797 According to Richard Cobbold's semi-historical novel, MC wrote her first letter to her former employer, Elizabeth Cobbold, from jail. Bibliographic Citation link.
13 May 1819 MC died from influenza at Richmond in New South Wales. Bibliographic Citation link.
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