An Act for abolishing Capital Punishment in case of returning from Transportation. (Cap. LXVII). PARLIAMENT OF GREAT BRITAIN.

An Act for abolishing Capital Punishment…
An Act for abolishing Capital Punishment in case of returning from Transportation. (Cap. LXVII).

London: George Eyre and Andrew Spottiswoode, 1834.

Folio sheet, pp. [525]-526, armorial letterhead, very good.

A rare instance of clemency: this Act repeals previous legislation ordering the execution of escaped convicts 'at large within any Part of His Majesty's Dominions without some lawful cause'.

A rare instance of clemency: this Act repeals previous legislation ordering the execution of escaped convicts 'at large within any Part of His Majesty's Dominions without some lawful cause'.

Much of the appeal of New South Wales as a place for transportation lay in its isolation and the great difficulty of escape. Nonetheless, some convicts did make the attempt and a handful successfully absconded aboard merchant vessels visiting Sydney Harbour. One famous example is the 'Scottish Martyr' Thomas Muir who slipped aboard the American trader Otter in early 1796 (it was rumoured that Muir, a political radical, had appealed to the republican sentiments of the American captain to negotiate his transport from the penal colony).

In addition to repealing the death penalty for escapees, the Act ameliorates punishment for those convicted of harbouring or assisting an escaped convict. In this instance, the previous punishment of transportation for life has been reduced to the (relatively lenient) incarceration for a maximum of four years.

Ferguson, 1793.

Price (AUD): $500.00

US$362.50   Other currencies

Ref: #4106446