Transportation: One convict’s experience
History Stage 2/3 | HT3-2 | ACHHK094
What crimes did they commit? What was their punishment? How did they feel about being transported? And, what did they do when they arrived in Australia?
Using these light-hearted videos, students can track the experience of ‘Joe’ – a convict transported to NSW in 1819 for highway robbery.
Listen carefully though, as convicts in the early colony often used had their own ‘flash’ language – made up of slang words.
HELPFUL HINT - Turn on the video’s ‘closed captions’ to help you translate what they're saying!
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How did transportation affect a convict’s life?
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!
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.