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Listed under:  Society  >  Citizenship  >  Law  >  Crime  >  Criminals  >  Prisoners
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Prison hulk York, 1987

This model of the convict hulk York (England, 1807) reflects the harshness of the British penal system in the 18th century, especially the transportation of convicts to Australia. The model is cut away to reveal the daily activities of life on board and allows the viewer to better understand the unsanitary and cramped conditions ...

Video

Rogue nation, 2009: NSW in 1819, convict gulag or place of opportunity?

This clip is an excerpt from the 2009 documentary 'Rites of passage', the second of a two-part series entitled 'Rogue nation'. The clip begins with historian Michael Cathcart providing contextual information about England in the early 1800s. He says that in the midst of the industrial revolution, millions of people were ...

Video

Two convicts steal a place in history, 2009

'Two convicts steal a place in history' is a video excerpt from the documentary 'Rites of Passage' - the second episode of the two-part series entitled 'Rogue Nation' produced in 2009. In this clip, two soldiers in colonial NSW steal a piece of cloth with the intention of getting caught. In 'Rogue Nation' historian Michael ...

Video

William Wentworth: 'currency lad', 2009

This video clip focuses on William Wentworth, the colonial-born son of a convict, destined to become a loud charismatic press baron, publicist, barrister and patriot. 'William Wentworth: "currency lad"' is an excerpt from the documentary 'Rites of Passage' - the second episode of the two-part series entitled 'Rogue Nation' ...

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Leather convict caps, 1820-65

These are folding leather convict caps made in Britain and worn in Australia between 1820 and 1865. They feature high creased crowns and semicircular folding sides, which could be tied up above the crown or let down to form a brim. All are hand sewn and have leather lining and a leather-bound brim.

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Woollen convict cap, 1820-55

This is a man's grey woollen convict cap with high creased crown and curved sides. 'BO' (Board of Ordnance) is stamped in ochre-coloured paint on the lower rim. It was manufactured either in Australia or Britain sometime between 1820 and 1855.

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Convict jacket, 1855-80

This is a convict jacket of black and yellow felted wool, manufactured in England and worn in Australia sometime between 1855 and 1880. The jacket is short with front buttoning, a high stand-up collar, and a long, shaped sleeve with buttoned cuff. Of the original six metal painted black buttons, three are missing. The torso, ...

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'Race to the gold diggings of Australia' board game, 1850-69

This is a 'Race to the gold diggings of Australia' board game made in England between 1850 and 1869. The game board is a hand-coloured lithograph mounted on linen. There is a printed rule card, six painted ship pieces with stands and a cardboard teetotum, all of which would have been stored in a wooden case with an illustrated ...

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Ship model, HMS Supply, escort for First Fleet, 1937-38

This is a 1:24 scale model of HMS armed brig Supply, the armed escort that accompanied the First Fleet from Britain to New South Wales. It is made of wood, cotton and synthetic threads and is complete with masts, yards, tops and standing and running rigging. Deck details include catheads, cleats and bollards, deck rails ...

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First edition of the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 1803

This is a first edition of the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, published on 5 March 1803 by the Government Printer, Sydney. It is a black-and-white printed, folded newspaper. It contains general orders from the governor, notice of sales and advertising, news of ship movements, reports of a fire and notice ...

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Charlotte medal,  1788

This silver medal was engraved by Thomas Barrett, a convict on board the First Fleet transport vessel Charlotte, when the ship was anchored in Botany Bay in 1788. It is recognised as arguably the earliest example of Australian colonial art. One side of the medal depicts a fully rigged ship, sun on the horizon, moon and ...

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Mrs Pexton's diary on board the convict transport Pilot, 1816

Mrs Pexton travelled on board the convict transport ship Pilot. As the captain's wife, her diary provides an insightful account of the seven-month journey from Ireland to Sydney and back to England from an unusual perspective. It includes substantial anecdotal accounts of life on the ship, aspects of the voyage and the ...

Video

'For the Term of His Natural Life'

These three clips, from a 1927 silent Australian feature film based on Marcus Clarke's novel 'For the Term of His Natural Life', depict scenes of convicts. The first clip shows a group being abandoned after a mutiny on a ship, then the protagonist, Rufus Dawes, being saved. The second clip shows Dawes in the prison at Port ...

Video

'The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant', 2004

These clips are from the television miniseries 'Mary Bryant' depicting the story of Mary Bryant, a convict who was transported to Botany Bay from where she, her husband and other convicts escaped in a boat. The first clip shows Mary's journey on the First Fleet to Botany Bay. The second clip shows the colony starving. Mary ...

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My Place - Episode 19: 1828: Alice, This little piggy

Alice and her family are delivering food to the indentured convicts working at the stone quarry when they have the idea of organising a pig race for the half-day holiday.

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My Place - Episode 20: 1818: Charles, Fencing

Unlike his posh older brother John, Charles is enjoying building a fence on the farm. At the end of the fence line he encounters Liam, a convict who is on the run. Liam asks Charles to bring him some food and boots.

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My Place - Episode 20: 1818: Charles, The convict

Charles brings Liam some bread but only agrees to bring boots if Liam agrees to help him finish the fence. Liam tells Charles the story of how he ended up as a convict and of his dreams for the future.

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My Place - Episode 20: 1818: Charles, Being a lady

Charles's mother educates him on the difference between Sarah and 'a lady'. Charles steals some of his mother's clothes in order to create a disguise for Liam but is surprised when Liam uses the disguise to gatecrash Sarah's wedding.

Audio

William Cuffay: 'Fellow slaves'

How did William Cuffay's link with slavery help him become such an influential campaigner for civil rights? This extract from a radio program 'The Isle of Denial: William Cuffay in Van Diemen's Land' explores similarities between convict transportation and slavery and the conditions of the British working class.

Audio

Convict life in The Rocks, Sydney

Discover in this audio file what life was like for the convicts who first arrived in Sydney. Associate Professor Grace Karskens explains that, contrary to popular opinion, most convicts were not confined to gaol or work gangs. Many convicts settled in the Rocks area in their own houses and were able to conduct a normal ...