History - Crime and Punishment - 18th and 19th century - Transportation


18th - 19th Century:



  • 1717 Transportation Act made it legal for Britain to transport criminals out of Britain to our colonies
  • Capital crime committed = 14 years work abroad
  • Non capital-crime committed = 7 years work abroad
  • System where convicted criminals were sent abroad as punishment
  • At first they were sent to America but when they became independant in 1770s they were sent to Australia instead
  • It was newly discovered and unknown, it was a round trip of 18 months and the environment in Australia is unforgiving.
  • The thought of sending people to an unknown place 'on the edge of the world' acted like a deterrent and lawmakers thoguht it would be successful as:
  • Provides a punishment less harsh than hanging so juries will go along with it
  • Be harsh enough to act as a deterrent
  • Reduce crime at home by removing the criminals
  • Help calim Australia for Britain
  • Reform the criminals through hard work

How did it work?

  • After a criminal was convicted it took many moths before they arrived abroad
  • First they were sent to Hulks or gaols until enough were collected for a voyage
  • They worked in chains while waiting
  • The voyage was cramped and 1% died during the 4 month trade in the 1830s
  • On arrival they were assigned to settlers and their sentence


No comments have yet been made