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Extract from an official note on convicts in Australia, 1849
(Catalogue ref: HO 45/2828)
Home Office
28th February


I enclose a memo showing the probable number of convicts who will be eligible for removal from this country on ticket of leaves during next March and April.

It has occurred to me, that with convicts being sent to Port Philip and Sydney, it would be a good idea to select the best characters, who would be acceptable to the colonists, and so gain this good opportunity for the settling of well behaved men. This worked successfully with the Parkhurst Prison boys sent to Western Australia.

Without wanting to make an unfair distinction between these colonies and Van Diemen's Land, I think that those convicts the authorities have an unfavourable opinion of might be sent to Van Diemen's Land. The wages are not so high there, so the convicts would have a powerful incentive to behave well and try to gain a full pardon, which would allow them to go to Port Philip and South Australia.

If Sir George Grey agrees with this idea, I suggest that we get a ship capable of taking 250 ticket of leave men to Van Diemen's Land.

I also recommend that a proposition be made to Earl Grey for sending 50 more convict boys to Western Australia, where I am happy to see that the value of their services seems to be appreciated by the colonists.

I am, Sir,
Your obedient Servant

For Port Philip    
From Pentonville about 110
From Leicester and Northampton about 40
From Parkhurst about 85
From Portland about 65
For Van Diemen’s Land    
From Parkhurst about 40
From the Hulks about 100
From Portland about 40
From Other Sources about 70
For Western Australia    
From Parkhurst   50
Total number that may be removed in March or April   600
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