There once was an old man of Lyme
Who married three wives at a time,
When asked, "Why a third?"
He replied, "One's absurd!
And bigamy, sir, is a crime.
William Cosmo Monkhouse (1840-1901)
Libby Prescott trained in archaeology, law and materials conservation.
She has worked as an Interviewer and Researcher for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian National University, the Australian War Memorial, the University of Tasmania, the Centre for Research and Learning in Regional Australia and the Menzies Centre for Population Health Research while raising four children and other livestock on a self-sufficient farm in NW Tasmania.
Now that she has retired, she has time to indulge her love for historical research. This paper is a product of that passion. In it, Libby presents case studies of the few women sentenced to transportation for that “rare and comical” crime, bigamy, both in England and in the Australian Colonies between 1788 and 1853.