Category Archives: convicts

The image of grief

Great Yarmouth Quarter Sessions, the Tolhouse, 23 June 1841 Head bowed, William John Jarvis grips the wooden stand to steady himself. His legs almost give way as the Recorder reads out the charges for embezzling letters from the Postmaster General. The postman has dreaded the trial since his arrest in March.[1] Yet he has longed for […]
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Reading between the Lines

3 December 1839 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’. John King is chanting a verse from Matthew 5. His words disappear into the drone of a dozen boys and men, as the prisoners mumble their lines, heads bent over passages copied for them in the teacher’s careful letters. […]
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Convict Lads 1836-46: Friendship and Survival

This is a version of papers I gave at the European Social Science History Conference (Vienna 2014) and the British Crime Historians Symposium (Liverpool 2014). It explores what we can learn from multiple historical records about the friendship networks and survival strategies of boys and young men, transported to Van Diemen’s Land in the 1830s […]
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