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RESOURCES

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Foundation stone from the old Hawkesbury Hospital, Windsor
Foundation stone from the old Hawkesbury Hospital, Windsor by Michelle Nichols
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A fleet of transports under convoy
A fleet of transports under convoy
(National Library of Australia : nla.pic-an8891816)
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Prison-ship in Portsmouth Harbour, convicts going aboard by Edward William Cooke 1811-1880
Prison-ship in Portsmouth Harbour, convicts going aboard by Edward William Cooke 1811-1880
(National Library of Australia : nla.pic-an9058453)
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Black-eyed Sue and Sweet Poll of Plymouth taking leave of their lovers who are going to Botany Bay
Black-eyed Sue and Sweet Poll of Plymouth taking leave of their lovers who are going to Botany Bay
(National Library of Australia : nla.pic-an5577509)
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Following the American War of Independence in 1783, it became crucial that the British Government find an alternative locality to transporting convicts to the American colonies. As a result of the exploration of the Pacific by Captain James Cook, Botany Bay had been recognised for its potential. It was suggested as one of the possibilities to establish a penal colony. The decision was made in 1786 when the British government resolved to send convicts to this area. Captain Arthur Phillip was appointed as the Governor of NSW and along with the First Fleet set sail on the 13 May 1787. The First Fleet arrived on the 18 January 1788 to Botany Bay. Convicts were sent to NSW until transportation ceased in New South Wales in 1842. The last convicts to arrive in Australia landed in Western Australia in 1868.

As part of the transportation process, many records were created in Britain as well as Australia. These records recorded the legal processes, and then kept track of the convicts throughout their sentence, from their departure to their arrival, through assignment until their freedom. This page may assist you with additional resources and links.

Further information provided on this site

Further reading

Building the Convict Establishment by Government of Western Australia (Freemantle: Fremantle Prison, Department of Treasury and Finance – Building Management and Works, Government of Western Australia, 2009) retrieved from http://goo.gl/PTGmnZ
[Part of the Fremantle Prison’s Key to Knowledge program and includes a range of Convict History Information Packs - see their Educational Resources page]

Convict Biographies by Government of Western Australia (Freemantle: Fremantle Prison, Department of Treasury and Finance – Building Management and Works, Government of Western Australia, 2009) retrieved from http://goo.gl/58w3I2
[Part of the Fremantle Prison’s Key to Knowledge program and includes a range of Convict History Information Packs - see their Educational Resources page]

Convict Daily Life by Government of Western Australia (Freemantle: Fremantle Prison, Department of Treasury and Finance – Building Management and Works, Government of Western Australia, 2009) retrieved from http://goo.gl/L3DIWI
[Part of the Fremantle Prison’s Key to Knowledge program and includes a range of Convict History Information Packs - see their Educational Resources page]

Convict Escapes by Government of Western Australia (Freemantle: Fremantle Prison, Department of Treasury and Finance – Building Management and Works, Government of Western Australia, 2009) retrieved from http://goo.gl/CIWSPW
[Part of the Fremantle Prison’s Key to Knowledge program and includes a range of Convict History Information Packs - see their Educational Resources page]

Convict Ships 1787-1868 by Charles Bateson (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1983)
[Story of transport of prisoners from Britain to Australia, reconstructs the voyages and administrative system. Complete list of all ships, masters, surgeons, departure and arrival dates and number of prisoners carried.]

Links

Convict Records of Australia, State Library of Queensland
http://www.convictrecords.com.au/

Convict Records, State Records NSW
http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/research-topics/convicts/convicts

Convict Ships - Medical Journals - 1816 to 1867, Grahame Thom
http://grthom.info/medjour.html

Convicts at Lancaster/ Convict Transportation Database
http://www.lancastercastle.com/html/convict/default.php

Chronological register of convicts 1824-1839, Queensland State Archives
http://www.archives.qld.gov.au/Researchers/Indexes/Convicts/Pages/ChronologicalRegister.aspx

Fremantle Prison - Convict Database
http://www.fremantleprison.com.au/Pages/Convict.aspx

Index to early convict records [1788-1801], State Records NSW
http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-to-convict-records/index-to-early-convict-records/index-to-early-convict-records

Ireland-Australia transportation records (1791-1853) http://www.nationalarchives.ie/genealogy1/genealogy-records/ireland-australia-transportation-records-1791-1853/

Irish Convicts to New South Wales by Peter Mayberry, 1788-1849
http://members.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/cgi-bin/irish/irish.cgi

LINC Tasmania Online - Convicts
http://www.linc.tas.gov.au/tasmaniasheritage/popular/convicts

Lincolnshire Archives Convicts database
http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/convictssearch.aspx

Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913
http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/

Sentenced beyond the Seas: Australia's early convict records, State Records NSW
http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/research-topics/convicts/sentenced-beyond-the-seas/sentenced-beyond-the-seas

 

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