CONVICTS IN THE COLONIES


CONVICTS IN THE COLONIES

LUCY WILLIAMS    Book Number: 90749    Product format: Hardback

Sub-titled 'Transportation Tales from Britain to Australia', in the 80 years between 1787 and 1868, more than 160,000 men, women and children convicted of anything from picking pockets to murder were sentenced to be transported 'beyond the sea' they were destined to serve out their sentences in the empire's most remote colony - Australia. Vivid real life case studies and famous tales of the exceptional and extraordinary, the book narrates the story of convict transportation to Australia from the first to the final fleet. Isaac Comer was 34 when he was sentenced at the Somerset Sessions in Bath in April 1844 and transported for a term of 14 years, guilty of receiving stolen goods. He was transported to Van Diemen's Land aboard the Lord Auckland just a few month later alongside more than 230 other convicts and he wasted no time in to getting into trouble in the colony, as did many other convicts. Isaac had 'a string of convictions against his name quite appalling, but who after a long prison life has been at liberty? He has his body nearly covered with marks indelibly tattooed into the skin.' A man and a woman smoking a pipe, stars, moon, mermaid, sun, crucifix, anchor and there is also a ring around his belly and an anchor on his 'yard' (penis). Only around 25% of the transportees were female and most were working class people who would always face a middle or upper class judge, and juries were always composed of a group of property owning men. The weak, the young, the vulnerable, the innocent alongside the guilty and those who suffered a miscarriage of justice were packed onto ships and exiled, travelling for months in dark and dirty ships where disease or disaster might kill them. Forced labour was ahead of them and living in penal settlements where failure to comply with rules might mean a flogging, a reduction of diet or confinement alone in the dark for days on end. When freedom came, there was no financial or other assistance to migrate home to Britain, and most had to build new lives in the colony in which they had been deposited. Transportation was a physical, psychological and social trauma from which some never recovered. Here are stories you will find of those who escaped the noose to make it to a penal colony, the voyage itself and a mix of stories following convicts as they progress through the system, flourished in a brave new land, or failed to thrive. 202pp, photos.
Published price: £19.99
Bibliophile price: £10.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781526718372
Browse these categories as well: Crime, History

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