Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Notes from mc2 - Trials & Transportation

Prior to the American War of Independence British prisoners were transported to North America. With the outbreak of war between England and America this was no longer possible and British gaols soon filled with long-term prisoners. In 1776, as a short-term measure until transportation could be resumed, an Act of Parliament was passed whereby prisoners who would normally be transported were sentenced to terms of hard labour clearing sand and gravel from the beds of rivers. The men were accommodated in prison hulks (unseaworthy ships) at Woolwich, Plymouth and Portsmouth from where they worked. Other prisoners were taken to the hulks to wait to be transported as alternative destinations for transporting convicts, especially in Africa were investigated between 1776 and 1788. On the 18th August 1786 it was decided that the convicts would be transported to Botany Bay.

For some of the convicts, especially those who arrived in the first two fleets, there is a great deal of information while for many of the others the information is sketchy, especially for convicts from Ireland and for some of the women.

Name
Age when Tried
Reason for Transportation
Mary Bateman
15
Theft
George Guest
17
Theft
William Roberts
30
Theft
Kezia Brown
18
Theft
Simeon Lord
19
Theft
Charles Daley
21
Theft
Mary Hyde
17
Theft
John Pendergast
30
Supporter Irish Rebellion
Uriah Moses
18
Theft
Jane Williams
24
Theft
Richard Holland
22
Theft
Susannah Alderson
29
Perjury

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