Pardon for James Browne signed by William IV and Viscount Melbourne with convict mark. CONVICTS, William IV.
Pardon for James Browne signed by William IV and Viscount Melbourne with convict mark.

Pardon for James Browne signed by William IV and Viscount Melbourne with convict mark.

1831.

Bifolium 315 x 198 mm; manuscript with paper; royal wafer seal affixed.

Van Diemen's Land first independent court of record

A pardon for James Browne, convicted and sentenced to death, for murder in Van Diemen's Land, conditional on his being transported to Norfolk Island for the term of his natural life; signed by William IV (1765-1837), Viscount Melbourne (1779-1848) and bearing Browne's convict X mark. Viscount Melbourne was Home Secretary in the Whig government of Earl Grey from 1830 until 1834 which in 1832 passed the Great Reform Act in 1832 abolishing slavery throughout the Empire in 1833. Melbourne became Prime Minister in 1834, and when Victoria ascended the throne in 1837 was her close advisor, tutoring her in the art of politics.

A pardon for James Browne, convicted and sentenced to death, for murder in Van Diemen's Land, conditional on his being transported to Norfolk Island for the term of his natural life; signed by William IV (1765-1837), Viscount Melbourne (1779-1848) and bearing Browne's convict X mark. Viscount Melbourne was Home Secretary in the Whig government of Earl Grey from 1830 until 1834 which in 1832 passed the Great Reform Act in 1832 abolishing slavery throughout the Empire in 1833. Melbourne became Prime Minister in 1834, and when Victoria ascended the throne in 1837 was her close advisor, tutoring her in the art of politics.
The Van Diemen's Land Supreme Court of Judicature had been instituted separately from the court in New South Wales in 1824. The Royal Letters Patent (dated 4 March 1831) and known as the Charter of Justice provided for the Supreme Court of Van Diemen's Land a court of record, and consisting of two judges. Although it had to go to London and back for royal assent, this pardon was signed within months of the formation of the independent court.
Norfolk Island had been re-established as a penal settlement in 1825 for "twice convicted" men. Convicts, who had committed new crimes carrying the death penalty, were spared the gallows to spend their life on the remote island under the harshest of conditions may well have rued such good fortune.

Price (AUD): $2,100.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504538