Landed in Van Diemen’s Land

Sligo convict transported to Van Diemen’s Land

melcoo

Van Diemen’s Land was set up as a penal colony in 1803 by the British Empire. It is estimated that some 75,000 convicts were shipped there up until 1853 when the mass transportation of people ended. The most common crime that led to transportation was petty theft or larceny. Followed by burglary or housebreaking, highway robbery, stealing clothing, stealing animals, military offences, prostitution and crimes of fraud. Transportation on a large scale ended as the authorities mindful of the rebellion in the American colonies feared a similar uprising could occur on Van Diemen’s Land.

Although mass transportation ended in 1853, political prisoners were still transported. Many Irish Fenian prisoners continued to be transported to Van Diemen’s land, including Thomas Francis Meagher, leader of the Young Irelanders. Meagher managed to escape and went to the United States in 1852. He was also the Irishman who introduced the Tricolour, and which is now the…

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