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The Convicts

Who were the transportees?

Although some were political prisoners of a higher social standing (for example, the artisans who became the ‘Tolpuddle martyrs’), and some were Irish rebels, most of those who were transported were poor urban and rural labourers who had committed felonies. More transportees came from cities than from the countryside.

The most common trades were ‘farm workers’ (20 percent) and ‘laborers’ (19%). Three quarters of transportees were single, and their average age was 26. Seven times more men than women were transported.

NEXT CHAPTER: What crimes had they committed?

John Casey, Convict
Early photograph of a convict transported to Australia. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.