Example Narration of Margaret Catchpole
This term one of Miss 11’s books was Margaret Catchpole by Nance Donkin.
Here is a narration that I asked her to do as a part of her history and English studies.
Margaret Catchpole by Nance Donkin ©1974
Margaret Catchpole arrived as a convict in Port Jackson on a transport ship called The Nile. The Governor came down to meet the ship and when he saw Margaret, he asked the Captain about and her. He said she was a good person, neat and clean, and an excellent cook. The Governor decided to assign her as a cook for Mr Palmer and his wife.
Margret enjoyed her new job although she was finding it hard to forget her dark past. Margaret tells the story of how she became a convict, to her mistress Mrs Palmer…
When she was young she had loved horses, she could ride without a saddle, she was the youngest of six children. When she thirty five she was bored. She wanted to go to London so she stole a horse. Margaret didn’t finish the story.
She earns her ticket of leave and moves out to the country. She has a little house near the Hawkesbury River. She loves country life and she is happy and content. She took many long walks, she can see the distant mountains and wonders what is over the other side; there were some Irish convicts that believed that over the other side was a straight road to China, Margaret laughed over this tale, she knew that when you are in prison you make up many dreams and fantasies. She becomes a well respected nurse and travels around the countryside caring for the sick.
A flood devastates the land, Margaret helps nurse the sick people and she also swims in the water to save people. She catches a bad cold, She feels better when she receives news from home.
Mrs Palmer asked her if she would like to come and live them again she refuses.
Margaret goes to the city. The price of cotton and leather is rising because of corrupt traders that triple the prices. Margaret sends letters to her friends in England to send her some sewing supplies so she can set up a shop. She hears word that a package has arrived for her in Sydney harbour. She walks for two days, picks up the crate and takes a carriage back home, the package is full of good things. She sets up a shop in the front room of her house. Every penny she can spare she saves for a trip back to England.
Governor Macquarie came to visit and he saw that most of the farmers were living near the river where it sometimes flooded. So he started five new towns on high land; they were called Windsor, Richmond Hills, Pitt Town, Castlereagh and Wilberforce. Some of the farmers moved there but most of them didn’t. The Governor was quiet annoyed at this, he also observed that some of the farmers where not taking very good care of themselves or their farms. The complaint was published in the local newspaper and read out in church. Most of the villages took note of this and started to improve their farms.
The town continued to thrive but Margaret’s health started to fail. She continued to help people when they were sick and eventually caught influenza herself. She died on the 13th of May 1819 at the age of 58. She was buried the next day in the Richmond Church graveyard.