Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The First Fleet - the first convicts taken to Australia

We've been learning about timelines and have started to create timelines of Australian events.

Here is a link to a site which contains details of the convicts who were transported onboard the first fleet of ships to Australia which carried prisoners or convicts.

These facts have been put into a database so that we can easily search them.  They are not primary records - records which were made at the time, but are based on secondary sources - these were made after reading primary sources.

Primary sources are sometimes very difficult to read - see this one scanned here.  Handwriting was sometimes very different to our handwriting now.

The youngest convict was John Hudson.  How old was he when he was transported?

What age was he when he was charged with his crimes?

What was his occupation when he was arrested?

How many 14 year old convicts were there in the First Fleet?

If you are interested in finding out why convicts were sent all the way to Australia, then look here.

As always, please leave comments with your name.


  1. John Hudson was tried in 1783 aged 9 for stealing 22 shillings. He was transported 4 years later aged 13. He was a chimney sweep.

    Two girl convicts aged 14 were transported at the same time. Elizabeth Hayward and Ann Mather or Matthews. Both were convicted of Theft.


  2. Great reading Elijah!
    How does that compare with crimes today? Do we still send convicts away for crimes?
    Are the punishments the same today?
    Do we punish crimes the same way nowadays?

  3. No we don't send them away for crimes today. If it is a serious crime convicts are put in prison in this country and kept there for a certain length of time depending on the offence. The prisoners are treated in much better conditions today. If someone does a lesser crime like theft they go to court and are usually fined and have a criminal record. The punishments today are not so bad today and no one can be sentenced to death anymore in this country. Sometimes if it is their first small offence the police let them off with a warning. Life in the prisons is better for convicts as they are not ill treated like they were in John Hudsons lifetime. Also kids can't be treated so badly if they commit a crime when they are under 18 today. If kids are very naughty and keep committing crime they can be sent to special prisons for kids where they still have to learn and they try to help them so when they are let out they don't commit crime again. Today people are treated more fairly than they were then. Even though they have done something wrong they get the chance to have their side of the story. No criminal is physically punished today and have certain rights. I'm glad people are treated better today as. It was a harsh life for a criminal then even for small crimes when sometimes they stole food just because they were starving.

    1. Amazing comment - great reading and reasoning!


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