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The 'gang of four' were transported to Tasmania for 10 years - but never came back. Just over years ago, four Huddersfield women were transported to Van Diemen's Land now Tasmania after they were convicted of robbing a man. They were described by one newspaper as 'nymphs of the pave', a common term in the s for a prostitute. Lydia Clay, also known as Lindley Lydia; Elizabeth Quarmby, Mary Ann Wentworth and Ruth Richardson were working women in the slums of Victorian Huddersfield; their lives of crime came to an abrupt end when they were transported to the penal colony on Van Diemen's Land in He made his way onto Castlegate which was known for its ale-houses, slum housing and brothels.
He ended up having too much to drink and was robbed of his money in the Green Dragon Inn. Later, accompanied by a constable, he pointed out the women he claimed had taken his money. They denied the charges, claiming George had spent all his money on ale but was too embarrassed to tell his father.
All four were sentenced to 10 years transportation, arriving in Van Diemen's Land on August 29 on the vessel Sea Queen. The Huddersfield Four were among 12, female convicts who were transported to Tasmania between and , mainly for theft. Lydia Clay's first three years in the colony were turbulent, according to TC Creasey. She was constantly in trouble for misconduct, insubordination, insolence, refusing to work and being absent without leave.
This behaviour may have been deliberate as female convicts would sometimes commit a crime in order to get sent back to the Cascades Female Factory, a workhouse for women.
Lydia was sentenced to six months' hard labour at the factory after she was found in bed with James Schofield, a drayman, whom she married after completing the sentence. Clay was widowed when James was tragically killed in an act of manslaughter in She later married John Rees, a sailor. Her 'mourning' time was almost exactly one year which was common practice in England. She was granted her certificate of freedom in December , ten years after her conviction, but died from an abscess on the brain less than three years later, aged Ruth Richardson was 29 when she arrived in Van Diemen's Land.