Convict history and transportation
The penal history of Australia, presented in an eclectic range of books, reports and manuscripts. Some unusual items are included, including a nineteenth-century needlework sampler featuring a ditty about Botany Bay, and a lengthy autograph manuscript regarding convicts and prisons by Alexandre Dumas, the author of 'The Count of Monte Cristo'.
London: by order of Parliament, 1856.
Transportation to Western Australia Two volumes, tall quarto, both copies in recent blue polished half calf, original printed wrappers bound in. Two of the most important reports on transportation to Western Australia, and perhaps the most detailed public accounting of the aftermath of the... More
London: James Ridgway, 1820.
Bennet's attack on Macquarie precipitating the Bigge enquiry Octavo, Aquarius binding of full navy calf, gilt spine. An important early colonial work, Bennet's attack on the administration of Governor Macquarie, was an important document that precipitated the enquiry by Commissioner Bigge and the end of Macquarie's... More
London: J. Ridgway, 1819.
Bennet's attack on the convict system during Macquarie's administration Octavo, with a folding table; bound without the half-title in traditional half calf. Scarce first edition of Bennet's scathing attack on the convict system under Governor Macquarie. This work is one of the more significant contemporary accounts... More
Paris: Adrien le Clere, 1831.
An unusual outcome of the Duperrey expedition Octavo, frontispiece; uncut copy in original boards. First edition. Ernest de Blosseville's younger brother Jules sailed for the Pacific in 1822 under Duperrey who had been ordered to report on western New Holland as a possible site for... More
London: Butterworth and Sons, 1817.
Mourned by Shelley; sent to Australia Two volumes, octavo, an excellent set in deep brown crushed morocco by Sangorski, spine with raised bands and gilt lettering, top edges gilt. Rare original record of the High Treason trials that resulted from the last of the English... More
Fredonia: New York, 1846.
Scarcest of the Canadian exile accounts Octavo; light spotting throughout, but a very good copy in twentieth-century quarter green morocco, raised bands. First edition and scarce: 'A most vivid and interesting account of the convict system in Tasmania from within by a political prisoner, who publishes... More
Buffalo: A.W. Wilgus, 1843.
Firsthand account of Tasmanian convict life. Small octavo, frontispiece and folding map printed white-on-black; original quarter roan. Exile account by a conspicuous figure in the Canadian Patriotic Rebellion of 1837. Wait was condemned to be hanged, but the efforts of his wife procured a stay of... More
Dumas on convicts, New Caledonia and Botany Bay Six sheets of neatly written autograph manuscript on light blue paper, headed "Les Bagnes", each sheet measuring 276 x 215 mm., preserved in a neat modern slipcase. An important and revealing manuscript essay on prisons and convict transportation by the... More
London: by order of Parliament, 1838.
George Arthur's system scrutinised by Franklin Tall quarto, fine in an attractive red crushed morocco binding by Sangorski, spine in raised bands with gilt lettering. Detailed report on convict management prepared shortly after the arrival of Governor Sir John Franklin in Van Diemen's Land... More
Edinburgh: J. Robertson, 1792.
'The most absurd, prodigal and impracticable vision…' Octavo, 336 pp.; a very good copy in nineteenth-century half calf over marbled boards. Rare, with an early essay on Botany Bay by a Scottish judge and therefore providing some insight into the reaction of the legal profession to... More
London: J. Gillray, n.d., 1798.
The House is adjourned to Botany Bay Etching; 320 x 360 mm., mounted. The original eighteenth century version of this rare transportation engraving, where the Parliament of Great Britain has been condemned - the chair of the Speaker being inscribed "This House adjourned to Botany... More
London: Rivington & J. Hatchard, 1815.
The convict Hulks Octavo, 43 pp., original plain blue wrappers bound in; in green morocco gilt by Sangorski. Very rare: 'a criticism of the management of the hulks from the point of view of mortality and of the conditions of employment of the prisoners'... More
presumably Thames river: October 1851.
Original convict transfer document Single foolscap sheet, folded to docket-size. Paperwork to accompany a convict named William Jones, 21 years of age and convicted of housebreaking, upon his transfer from a prison hulk to gaol. A summary notation on the docket title reveals Jones was... More
Hobart: J.C. MacDougall, 1838.
The rare Hobart edition Octavo, half-title and errata slip both present, recent polished calf, bookplate. Scarce Hobart-printed work on convicts and gaols published in 1838. The author, considered a forefather of modern theories of imprisonment, argues against the brutality of incarceration. Maconochie's direct style gives a.... More
London: Harrison, 1855.
Owned by a senior colonial official in Hobart. Thick octavo, portrait frontispiece; in original blind-stamped cloth. Fascinating work on colonial affairs, of particular note for the governorship of Tasmania. Montagu, married to Arthur's neice, was an efficient reformer of the civil service, but was perceived by Sir... More
London: William Clowes and Son for HMSO, February, 1849.
Endemic abuse of power on Norfolk Island Tall quarto, with a large folding handcoloured map of penal works in Van Diemen's Land, recent green boards with front wrapper bound in. A rich and diverse source of primary information on convict management... More
London: Ordered by the House of Commons, 1832.
Testimony from James Busby and Elizabeth Fry Foolscap folio, 162 pp., original brown cloth. Historically informative report on "secondary punishments" meted out to repeat offenders already within the prison system (most famously within the Australian context Norfolk Island and Port Arthur). As... More
London: John Baskett by order of Parliament, 1718. Foolscap, 8 pp. including armorial title-page, text pp. 183-188, very good; disbound, original stitch-sewing still present. The First Transportation Act of 1718, which allowed courts to sentence convicts to seven years in America in order 'to deter criminals and to supply the... More
Norwich & London: 8 November, 1843.
To Tasmania - 'free from any putrid or infectious distemper' Bifolium sheet, the first two pages comprising letterpress, the remainder blank, manuscript notations in two hands. Original warrant confirming the transfer of five convicts to Millbank Prison from Norfolk jail as a prelude to... More
London and Bath: J. Marshall, R. White, S. Hazard, 1796.
Cautionary tales to curb the vices Octavo chapbook, 16 pp., with a woodcut on the title; stitched as issued. A rare transportation chapbook in particularly good condition. This moral tale shows how a life of gambling and dissipation ends in... More
Hobart: James Ross 1832-, 1835.
The perfect police state Foolscap folio, four papers bound together with the titles, without the wrappers; contemporary colonial binding half diced calf, spine gilt-lettered. The Clifford Craig copy, with his file note and collation, and a letter from the State Library of Tasmania confirming completeness.A.... More
London: Whittaker, Treacher and Arnot, 1830.
The first Australian autobiography Duodecimo, very good in recent full green morocco, from the library of Dr. George Mackaness, with bookplate. The first full length autobiography written in Australia, and an uncensored picture of criminal life in London and the convict system in Australia... More
London: B. Fellowes, 1834.
Towards a better system for the colonies. Octavo, in fine green half morocco binding. Richard Whately was an enthusiastic agitator against transportation (his influential 1832 pamphlet Thoughts on Secondary Punishments led in part to the House of Commons select committee inquiry) this was founded on his... More
London: B. Fellowes, 1832.
Railing against convict transportation. Octavo, a little browning, very good in recent papered boards. First edition of an important critique of the transportation system by of the Archbishop of Dublin Richard Whately (1787-1863).Although his philosophical approach was too abstract to gain a widespread following, Whately did... More