The first Muslim priests imprisoned at the Island in 1744 were Said Aloeurie and Hadjee Mattaram. They were sentenced to spend the rest of their lives, in chains, on the Island by the high courts of Batavia. It is believed that influential Muslim priests from the East Indies were imprisoned on the Island as a way of neutralising the teachings of Islam.
Eva, a slave reportedly from Madagascar, was the first female prisoner to be placed on the Island in May 1657. In 1809 Pamela, a slave born in the Cape was sentenced to Robben Island for theft. By the early 1830’s female prisoners comprised at least 10% of the Island’s total prisoner population.