As Elizabeth hung another shirt on the line she contemplated her life and that of her daughters. It was no arguing that it was tough and she cursed her husband who had put her on this path. Life in Shepton Mallet hadn’t quite turned out like she thought it would.
After marrying her childhood sweetheart and having the four girls life was grand, yes it was tough and work was hard to find in the country for a builder but she still envisaged a peaceful life with Charles, a cottage and perhaps a bit of land. The girls could go to school and hopefully marry a good man too.
When work got even harder to find they had hatched a plan. After seeing the advertisements in the paper asking for builders under the Bounty Scheme they decided to apply, it seemed like an answer from heaven.
Charles left in 1841 for Van Diemen’s Land, the plan had been for him to go ahead and once settled she and the girls would follow. She made excuses for him when the money and letters stopped a year later and resigned herself to the fact that he was dead. In 1852 her sister in laws husband was sent out for life and wrote that he had run across Charles, with one of his sons.
With one daughter dead, Elizabeth felt trapped, trapped in a cycle of hard work, poverty and illness all at the hand of that heartless bastard.