Source 4

Colonial Office: Tasmania Convict Discipline 1873 (CO 280/83)

4. Look at Source 4.
This is an extract from the discipline records for convicts transported to Hobart in Van Diemens Land (now Tasmania). Transportation meant that convicted criminals were sent away, often to a colony, for a set term. Few returned having served their sentences as they could not afford the cost of a passage home.

  • Read through the list. What kind of offences have the people been disciplined for?
  • Look for the record of Frederick Edwards. Can you find how long he was sentenced for transportation? (HINT: look under his prisoner number)
  • Look at Ann Mackenna’s record. She has more than one sentencing term. Why do you think this is?
  • Do you think the people on this list are adults, children or a mixture or both? Why?
  • Do you think these punishments were fair or unfair?
  • People who were transported were usually sentenced for a fixed time, such as seven years. Do you think they were allowed to go back to Britain after this time had passed?