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For the moral good? : The government scheme to unite convicts with their families, 1818-1843


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Parrott, JJ 1994 , 'For the moral good? : The government scheme to unite convicts with their families, 1818-1843', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis will examine some of the effects of
transportation on the family and the efforts of the British
Government to counteract the evils and problems created.
This was achieved through the introduction of a Government
scheme to provide free passages to Australia for the wives
and families of certain convicts.
When husbands were transported their wives and children
became a burden on the Parish to which they belonged.
As the funds for Poor relief were acquired from the Poor
rate, levied on the local landowners, these gentlemen
supported the scheme to provide passages for the families
to follow their husbands and fathers. There were other
ways in which this could be achieved - the families could
be sent as fare paying emigrants, some managed to go as
Government sponsored emigrants and a few worked their way
The scheme was a well regulated plan to provide for family
reunion at the expense of the British Government as an
indulgence to well-behaved, established convicts who were
able to support their families.
In the early days of transportation many wives were allowed
to accompany their husbands ta New South Wales (which
included Van Diemen's Land). This practice created
problems and was discontinued in the early 1800's.
In 1812 the Select Committee on Transportation found that
the proposed system of placing female convicts in a
Penitentiary on their arrival would diminish the available
supply of women and thought this "an additional reason for
affording increased facilities to the wives of male
convicts who may wish to accompany or follow their husbands
to New South Wales." ( 1) It was considered to be an
acceptable way of providing the Colony with more women.
although Earl Bathurst expressed concern that the arrival
of possibly dependent women would be an additional expense
to the Colony. It was expected that these women " being
of good character and industrious" (2) would be able to
support themselves. In 1814 Governor Macquarie reported
that a large number of wives were receiving support at
great cost to the Government. (3) He recommended that
wives should not be allowed to join their husbands unless
the men could give proof of their ability to support them.
In 1816 it was decided that appropriate Returns of
Requests from convicts should be transmitted to the Home

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Parrott, JJ
Keywords: Prisoners, Penal colonies, Prisoners' families
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1994 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).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Hum.)--University of Tasmania, 1994. Includes bibliographical references

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