If a convict was well behaved, the convict could be given a ticket of leave, granting some freedom. At the end of the convict’s sentence, seven years in most cases, the convict was issued with a Certificate of Freedom. He was then free to become a settler or to return to England.
What happened when the convicts arrived in Australia?
Free settlers were moving to Australia, and convicts were increasingly employed to work for them. As convicts either finished their sentence, or were pardoned, they were able to earn a living and sustain themselves through jobs and land grants. By the mid-1830s, most convicts were assigned to private employment.
What was life like for convicts when they arrived in Australia?
Convicts were often quite comfortable. They lived in two or three roomed houses, shared with fellow convicts or with a family. They had tables and chairs, cooked dinner (like pea and ham soup) over a fireplace and ate their food on china crockery using silver cutlery!
What was the punishment for the convicts sent to Australia?
The most common court-authorized punishment was flogging by the “cat-o’-nine-tails,” a whip with nine leather cords. Convicts found guilty of minor offenses typically got 25 lashes on the back. More serious offenders drew up to 300 lashes, which would leave them gravely wounded.
What punishments did convicts get on the First Fleet?
In colonial Australia, there were three main punishments for male convicts; the wheel, irons and floggings. Often these were inflicted in ways that suggested that justice, rehabilitation, and societal protection were not important considerations.
What did female convicts do?
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 happened to convicts after their sentence?
Conditional pardons required that freed convicts remain in the colony whereas absolute pardons allowed freed convicts to return to the UK. New South Wales Convict Registers of Conditional and Absolute Pardons 1791-1867 provides details about the convicts, such as: Convict’s name. Ship and date of arrival.
What did female convicts wear?
The women wore clothes such as ‘slops’ in blue or brown serge, or a stuff gown, white apron and straw bonnet for Sunday with a jacket and a coarse apron for weekdays. Children remained with their mothers at the Factory until the age of four, at which time they were placed in Orphan Schools.
What challenges did the convicts face?
Elsewhere, livestock died of disease or were struck by lightning. Unfenced cattle disappeared waywardly into the bush. In some cases, though not all, through lack of skills and motivation, convicts made poor farmers while the marines, dispirited and negligent, made reluctant overseers.
How were female convicts treated in Australia?
Despite the belief that convict women during the transportation period were all prostitutes, no women were transported for that offence. The majority of women sent to Australia were convicted for what would now be considered minor offences (such as petty theft), most did not receive sentences of more than seven years.
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.
When did the last convict arrive in Australia?
The Hougoumont, the last ship to take convicts from the UK to Australia, docked in Fremantle, Western Australia, on January 9, 1868 – 150 years ago. It brought an end to a process which deposited about 168,000 convicted prisoners in Australia after it began in 1788.
What was the most common crime committed by convicts sent to Australia?
1. Petty theft. By far the most common crime that led to transportation was petty theft or larceny.
Why were female convicts given less rations?
Female convicts and marine wives received 2/3 of male convict ration. In order that they could tend their own gardens, convicts did not have to work on Saturday afternoons. This means a reduction of 12lb for every 100lb of beef and 8lb for every 100lb of pork.
What were convicts not allowed to do?
Gambling was forbidden at the Barracks, and convicts caught gambling could end up in a solitary confinement cell. However, despite the threat of punishment, the men tried their luck with games like ‘chuck penny’ or ‘pitch and toss’. Sometimes they played for large amounts of money or items of value.
What did the convicts sleep on?
Convicts slept in hammocks that were folded away each morning. Each ward had a large wooden tub that served as a communal toilet. The convicts had to carefully carry these tubs outside daily to be emptied and cleaned.