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'Who'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me?' Stock theft and colonial relations in Van Diemen's Land.


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Febey, K 2002 , ''Who'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me?' Stock theft and colonial relations in Van Diemen's Land.', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Between 1787 and 1852, 16,280 men and 920 women were transported from
Britain to Australia for the crime of stock theft.The majority of the men, 10,280 were
from England, aged in their early twenties and were single.100 women and 6,240 men
were sentenced to transportation for life for these crimes. It is somewhat ironic that they
should become the founding fathers and mothers of a nation, which should celebrate
stock theft as one of its key iconic symbols. The words of 'Waltzmg Matilda' describe in
verse the complex and often ambivalent role that stock and stock theft played in forging
colonial social relations. All of these are themes which are central to this thesis. It focuses
on these issues, in a more broader sense and argues that sheep, cattle and horses were a
form of property around which many social, economical and political relations were
based. Furthermore, it explores the fact that stock was an especially important delineator
of social relations on the colonial frontier. It is a story that transcends the usual
boundaries of class and race, but it does not preclude them either.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Febey, K
Keywords: Tasmania, history, cattle stealing, 1803-1851, social conditions
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