The Criminal Exports of the Defunct British Empire

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The Criminal Exports of the Defunct British Empire

18th Century convicts go online – BBCNews

The records of tens of thousands of British convicts sent to Australia from the end of the 18th Century have been put online for the first time.

Subscribers can browse names, date of conviction, the length of sentence and which penal colony they went to.

Ancestry.co.uk features records of 160,000 convicts transported to Australia between 1788 and 1868.

It is estimated two million Britons and 22% of Australians will have a convict ancestor listed in the records.

Minor offences

The journey to Australia by boat took eight months, six of which were spent at sea and two in ports where supplies were picked up.

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One convict of note was the father of Ned Kelly, Australia’s famous bush ranger. His Irish father, Red, was sentenced to seven years for stealing two pigs and sent to Tasmania.

The first female convict to set foot in Australia was Elizabeth Thackery, sentenced to seven years for the theft of five handkerchiefs.

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Penal colonies were also established in what are now Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland.

After serving out their sentence many convicts remained in Australia, becoming government officials and settlers.

Many Australians are said to consider a convict in their family tree is a badge of honour and 22% are direct descendents of these convicts.

More@: BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/6914846.stm


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