This brass hand stamp was manufactured for the Principal Superintendent of Convicts in NSW, who was responsible for all matters relating to the conduct and management of convicts across the colony. Between 1830 and 1848, the superintendent’s office operated from rooms on the ground floor of the Hyde Park Barracks, where this stamp was most likely used, on official documents and ledgers.
Some of the responsibilities of the office included keeping track of the arrival of new prisoners, processing requests for and details of private assignment, managing convict musters, processing applications for tickets of leave and marriage, and controlling the movement of convicts between the barracks and other penal establishments. As the only known surviving stamp from the office, it’s significant for its use by superintendents Frederick Augustus Hely (1823–36) and Captain John Leyburn Maclean (1837–55), among others, such as the many convict clerks employed in their office.
This acquisition was made possible by the generosity of The Copland Foundation.