University of Tasmania
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An analysis of the penal experiences and social outcomes of Salford Hundred convicts transported from Britain to Van Diemen's Land between 1828 and 1837

posted on 2023-05-26, 19:00 authored by Johnson, LD
This thesis is an analysis of the outcomes of the trials of 7,763 committals to the Salford Hundred quarter sessions between 1828 and 1837, and an examination of the penal and social experiences of 723 Salford Hundred convicts who were transported to Van Diemen's Land. It is presented in three parts. The first contains essential background: an historiographical survey of frameworks used by recent historians to explain convict behaviour; the methodology used to identify the convict cohort and analyse experiences; a description of distinguishing geographic, demographic, economic and social features of the Salford Hundred; and an account of the historic roles of quarter sessions, justices of the peace and the law on larceny as they affected trials in the Salford Hundred. The second part is a detailed statistical assessment of offences and offenders at Salford Hundred quarter sessions. It identifies some characteristics of the 7,763 people committed to trial and the 1,728 convicted felons sentenced to transportation, provides six basic tables which give quantitative assessments of offences, makes some historiographical evaluations, and compares the outcomes with similar historiographical examinations. A major feature which emerges is an unmistakable association between sentencing to transportation and previous criminal conduct. The third part describes social, economic and penal conditions in Van Diemen's Land, identifies some characteristics of the 723 Salford Hundred convicts actually transported, examines their social and penal experiences, identifies some important features of their behaviour, and makes comparisons between their criminal involvement prior to transportation and their experiences in Van Diemen's Land. This thesis concludes that sentences of transportation at the Salford Hundred quarter sessions were given to hardened and persistent criminals and not to occasional or accidental offenders; that women convicts were sentenced to transportation not because of their gender but because of their criminality; that there was less criminal behaviour in Van Diemen's Land than was commonly believed in Britain; that the Salford Hundred convicts generally responded favourably to their new circumstances in Van Diemen's Land; and that the transportation system in regard to Salford Hundred convicts was successful as a means of reformation.


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Copyright 2002 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2002. Includes bibliographical references

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