Some men were assigned to work for free settlers and they left soon after arriving. Others stayed at the Barracks for months or even years and worked for the government. They were called 'government men'.
Day in the Life of a Convict will help you investigate what life was like for the ‘government men’ who lived at the Hyde Park Barracks.
Year: Stages 2 & 3 (Yr 3-6)
How did convicts make bricks?
Convict Joseph Smyth (Smith) is a master brick maker working for the government and he has a tough job ahead of him. Governor Macquarie has an ambitious building project for Sydney and thousands of bricks are needed. Joseph has to teach two newly arrived convicts how to make clay bricks as part of a brick gang.
How did transportation affect convicts?
For convicts, transportation to NSW meant separation and loss. Joe, a convict who recently arrived in the colony, is spending his first night at the Hyde Park Barracks. His hammock mate Jim listens on as Joe enthusiastically describes how back in London he pickpocketed a wealthy gentleman. But Joe’s excitement soon fades. He realises that he will likely never see his family, friends or home in London again. Was his daring crime worth it?
How do you get into a hammock with leg-irons on?
For a ‘new chum’ convict there was a lot to learn about the life at the Hyde Park Barracks. Luckily for Joe, who has just arrived at the Hyde Park Barracks, there is a more experienced convict on hand to help him learn the ropes. Including showing him how to get into his hammock while still wearing leg-irons!