Where did the prisoners in Australia come from?
Hundreds of thousands of convicts were transported from Britain and Ireland to Australia between 1787 and 1868. Today, it’s estimated that 20% of the Australian population are descended from people originally transported as convicts, while around 2 million Britons have transported convict ancestry.
Where were most convicts sent in Australia?
Although convicts were transported to the colonies of New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia, many convicts ended up in other states or colonies, having been taken there by their assigned masters or by moving there after gaining their freedom.
Was Australia started by British prisoners?
On January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia.
Where were prisoners kept in Australia?
The prisons quickly became full and prisoners were kept in old, rotting prison ships called hulks. These ships were usually an old naval or merchant ship that could not go to sea anymore but could still float safely in the harbour.
What did female convicts do in Australia?
Convict women were employed in domestic service, washing and on government farms, and were expected to find their own food and lodging. Punishment for those who transgressed was humiliating and public. Exile itself was considered a catalyst for reform.
What was life like for female convicts in Australia?
“Half the women landed in mainland Australia and half in Tasmania. Less than 2 per cent were violent felons. For crimes of poverty, they were typically sentenced to six months inside Newgate Prison, a six-month sea journey, seven to 10 years hard labour and exile for life.
Who was the last convict in Australia?
The Western Australian records we’ve been using for our recent research and digitised for the Digital Panopticon project reveal the story of Samuel Speed, the last living Australian convict. He was transported to Western Australia in 1866 and died in 1938, just short of his 100th birthday.
Who was the youngest convict sent to Australia?
John Hudson, described as ‘sometimes a chimney sweeper’, was the youngest known convict to sail with the First Fleet. Voyaging on board the Friendship to NSW, the boy thief was 13 years old on arrival at Sydney Cove. He was only nine when first sentenced.
What did female convicts do in their free time?
Convicts played cards or games like chess or draughts that required different sorts of tokens, many of which were handmade. These might have been carved from animal bones (perhaps saved from dinner) or pieces of ceramic and wood they found, or cast in lead.
What was John Kellys crime?
John Kelly, who had been transported from Ireland to Australia for stealing two pigs, had to stand trial in Avenel Courthouse for cattle stealing, though he was later acquitted for the theft but charged with ‘unlawful possession of a hide’, for which he served four months.