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Convicts in Australia

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  • Hannah HOWARD, Convict (1785 - 1824)
  • Isaac PHILLIPS, Convict (c.1766 - c.1829)
    Isaac Phillips, one of 301 convicts transported on the Royal Admiral, March 1800 Known aliases: none Convicted at: Convicted at Wilts. Assizes for a term of life on 05 March 1796 For extortion Sent...
  • Jane FLETCHER, Convict (1786 - 1832)
  • Rowland EDWARDS, Convict (1766 - 1814)
  • Henry Wells, CONVICT (1819 - 1891)
    SA BDM Marriage 1849 3/126 WELLS Henry BLACKMORE Ann Adelaide NOTICE, - After the expiration of fourteen days fron the publication hereof application will be made to the Supreme Court of the Colony o...

Convicts transported to Australia

When Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson in 1788, 751 convicts and their children disembarked, along with 252 marines and their families. They made the eight month voyage from England, where the industrial revolution, overcrowding and unemployment had made life for the ordinary person very difficult and lead to poverty and increased crime rates.

People could be deported for crimes such as vagrancy (being homeless and unemployed) or robbery of goods less than a shilling (about $50 today), while stealing goods worth more than a shilling meant death by hanging. Between 1788 and 1868, 165 000 convicts were transported to Australia and formed the majority of the population for the first few decades of this penal colony. Under Governor Phillip, convicts were put to work according to their skills, building bridges, roads, hospitals and courthouses.

Governor Lachlan MacQuarie was the first Governor of New South Wales (1810-1821) to envisage the country as more than a penal colony, and encouraged reformed convicts to take up roles of responsibility within the community. Good behaviour meant many convicts were granted a Ticket of Leave before their full sentence was served.

Aim of this project

The aim of this project is to create a collection of profiles of people who were transported to Australia as a convict.

Top 10 reasons why people were convicted

  • 1.Stealing an animal
  • 2.Stealing food
  • 3.Burglary
  • 4.Stealing from a person
  • 5.Whiteboyism
  • 6.Robbery of arms
  • 7.Perjury
  • 8.Assault
  • 9.Coining
  • 10.Manslaughter

Convict life

Finding freedom

Convict databases and registries

Convict ships