University Of Tasmania
100358 - Prison and the Colonial Family_accepted author manuscript.pdf (236.47 kB)
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Prison and the colonial family

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 09:51 authored by Hamish Maxwell-StewartHamish Maxwell-Stewart, Inwood, K, Jim StankovichJim Stankovich
Between 1865 and 1924, descriptions of 39,000 discharged prisoners were circulated via the pages of the Tasmanian Police Gazette. This article examines ways in which these detailed records can be used to shed light on childhood experience in this former British penal colony. The authors compare height measurements for Tasmanian-born prisoners with those for British and Irish migrants in order to explore the social and environmental circumstances that helped to shape metropolitan and colonial nineteenth-century family life. The article also examines the extent to which convict transportation advantaged or disadvantaged the growth trajectories of colonially born children. In order to examine this in greater depth, the authors link discharged prison records to birth certificates, enabling them to assess the extent to which the occupation of fathers and the district of birth within the colony impacted on height. The authors also examine the extent to which children with one or more convict parent were disadvantaged compared to those for whom no evidence of convict ancestry could be found.


Australian Research Council


Publication title

The History of the Family








Tasmanian School of Medicine


Taylor and Francis

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in The History of the Family on 7/04/2015, available online:

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in human society