Did the UK send Convicts to Australia

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Did the UK send Convicts to Australia?.

How many were sent and when. What sort of crimes had they committed.


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About 162,000 prisoners were sent to Australia from the UK between 1788 and 1868.

Before 1788, when prisoners began to be sent to Australia, the convicts were transported to the American colonies, and this happened between 1718 to 1775. Experts estimate that over 52,000 British prisoners were shipped off to colonial America in that period.

Some of the prisoners sent to Australia for crimes such as stealing a loaf of bread.

Many of those convicts ended up with a better life than they could have had back in England. (after serving their sentence)

Before they were transported, prisoners in England were held in Hulks on the water, and many died from disease. Between 1776 and 1795 nearly 2,000 out of almost 6,000 convicts held on hulks (in England) died. The majority died from diseases such as typhoid and cholera.


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There is a register of convicts at: ‘https://convictrecords.com.au’ were you can see names and some show the crimes they committed.

A few examples:

Henry Kable (convicted of burglary, sentenced to death, commuted to transportation) – First Fleet convict, arrived with wife and son filed 1st lawsuit in Australia, became wealthy businessman.

Nathaniel Lucas (stealing clothing, sentenced to transportation for 7 years) – one of the first convicts on Norfolk Island, where he became Master carpenter, later farmed successfully, built windmills, and was Superintendent of carpenters in Sydney.

William Henry Groom (convicted of embezzlement, aged 13, sentenced to transportation for 7 years) – successful auctioneer and politician, served in the inaugural Australian Parliament.

Solomon Wiseman (guilty of stealing wood, sentenced to death, commuted to transportation for Life) – merchant and operated ferry on Hawkesbury River hence town name Wisemans Ferry.


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