Home site -
Ships
before 1849
© Email
The way to Civilisation

Convicts to Bermuda
Page 4
From 1823 to 1850

The Dockyard at Bermuda
Source Bermuda Travel

Convicts to Bermuda. Source of notes: Newspapers of Australia from 1820 to 1850

Introduction notes end with extract dated Monday 31 October 1825
Page 2 Extracts dated from Saturday 15 April 1826 to 1840
Page 3 Extracts dated from Monday 3 February 1840
Here - Extracts dated from Saturday 25 March 1843
Page 5 Extracts dated from Saturday 22 April 1848

The Royal Naval Dockyard at Bermuda in 1848 go here for large image

The Dockyard at Bermuda in 1848

The labels are - Hulk "Tenedos", Naval Hospital, Stone quarry, Cockburn's Cut and Bridge, Batteries, Hulk "Medway', Hulk "Coromandel", Hulk "Dromedary", New Victualling stores building, Keep and Commissioner's House.
Scan of handcoloured, original section of a newspaper page dated 1848, showing a woodcut of the dockyard under construction on HMD Ireland Island Bermuda. The hill towards the left was levelled by quarrying. Illustrated London News, 29 July 1848.


Saturday 25 March 1843

The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847) Saturday 25 March 1843 COLONIAL MEASURES. (From the Colonial Magazine.) ' As Parliament has concluded its sittings for the present, a retrospect of their labors, for the improvement of our colonial interests generally, will be no inappropriate introduction to the important report on our West India Colonies, which has just been printed. Five legislative measures only have been enacted, having direct reference to our colonial possessions : " The Colonial Passenger Bill," - only received the reyal assent as the doors of parliament were just about to close. It is an excellent measure, as far as it goes, which is to the shores of the colony, where, unhappily, the emigrant is left as "a houseless wanderer."* It is a pity that an en- actment, from which relief might naturally be expected to flow to tho mother-country and rapid prosperity to the colonies, had not been more complete and precise in all its details. The situation of the emigrant at the moment he first plants his foot on the soil of his adopted country is, by this law, an anomalous one; and here an hiatus, which must hereafter be filled up, obviously occurs in this valuable act. " An Act for regulating the Sale of Waste Lands belonging to the Crown in New Zealand and Australia," Owners of large estates in England may hold 20,000 acres of newly discovered countries, draft thither a half enslaved population, who may possibly turn away frem the agent the moment they touch the colonial shore, while the absentee lord shall draw the whole profits of his investment to England, and spend it amongst those who never contributed one hour's labour to its accumulation. The tendency of the bill, therefore, appears to be absolutely mischievous.
The principle of absenteeism has not worked well.
" An Act for adjusting the Financial Difficulties of South Australia," being the payment of a debt, so long delayed, that considerable expense has been incurred in the recovery.
" An Act giving to New South Wales a Legislative Assembly," and "An Act for amending the constitution of the Government of Newfoundland."
From Colonial and provincial government. In 1840, when New Zealand became a British colony, colonial government was already an established practice for the British Empire. Colonies were British territories ruled by a governor, appointed by the Colonial Office in London. In 1840 there were 40 colonies – four in British North America, three in Australia, the Cape Colony and Natal in South Africa, and numerous islands and parts of islands in the West Indies and elsewhere.-
Particulars relating to the Legislative Institutions of some of the principal Colonies of the British Empire.
1. The Ionian Isles - , became a Colony 1809, and in 1864 to Greece. These islands, seven in number, situated in the Ionian Sea, have population of about 65,000, governed by a lord high commissioner, a senate, and a legislative assembly. The senate is composed of six members, including its president; and the assembly of forty members. They are elected for five yeais, and their session is held evtry two years. The qualification of members and electors seem to be very peculiar, and arc not clearly stated.
2. LowerCanada - Population 500,000. Area, with Upper Canada, 3,603,336 square miles Before the union with Upper Canada, its provincial legislature consisted of the governor, a legislative council of 34 members, and a house of assembly of 88 members.
Tne latter were elected for four years, by British subjects resident in the province, and possessed, for their own use and benefit in the counties of real property to the yearly value of 40s. sterling; in the towns, of the yearly value of £5 sterling, or paying rent to the amount of £10 sterling. No religious distinction existed as to elector, but clergymen or Jews were not eligible for election. Members of the house of assembly were allowed 10s. per diem for their expenses, and 4s. per league for travelling expense from their places of residence to the town where the sittings of the legislature were held. The session was held once a year, and lasted from three to four months. The speaker had a.salary of £900 per annum. The constituency of Lower Canada was very widely diffused; among the half million, of people there were about 80,000 electors, of whom "nine-tenths were proprietors of tho soil;" several counties had from 4,000 to 5,000 electors, *all of whom were landed proprietors," The total number of proprietors of real property, in 1831, was 57,900, and of persons holding property otherwise than real, 25,200. Of families employed in agriculture, 50,800; and of families engaged in commerce, only 2,500. The number of farm-servants employed was 7,600; which shows that a proportion of the agriculturists were small farmers. What alterations were made in the constituency, &c. by the Act of Union, were not, at present, prepared to state.
3. Upper Canada. - Population 400,000. Legislature, before the union, a lieutenant governor, Legislative council, and a house of assembly; the council consisting of 30 members ami the assembly of 82 - viz. 58 for counties and 4 for towns. The elective franchise, &c, the same as in Lower Canada.
4. Nova Scotia - Population, 150,000, became a Colony 1713, Legislature, a lieutenant-governor, legislative council, and house of assembly; president of the council, the chief justice. Members in the council, 12; members of assembly, 45.
5. New Brunswick. Population, 120,000, became a Colony 1784. Legislature, a lieutenant-governor, a council of 12, which is both executive and legislative, and a house of assembly containing 28 members? this number having, however, been recently increased.
6. Newfoundland. Population, 10,000. Area with Labrador, 162,734 sq miles. Legislature, a governor, legislative council, and house of assembly; the latter containing 15 members. The qualification for an elector is household suffrage; that of à represervative, being a householder of two years standing.
7. Jamaica. Population, 360,000. Area 4,431 sq miles, became a Colony 1665. Legislature, a governor, legislative council of 12, and howe of assembly'of 45. A representative must possess a freehold of £300 per annum in any part of the island, or, a personal estate of £3,000. An elector must be of age, and possessed of a freehold of £10 per annum in the parish for which he votes. The members of council are appointed by mandamus from the crown, and hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure. As a constituent part of the legislature, it corresponds with the British House of Peers, and it sits as a court of error or appeal. The house of assembly exists, at the utmost,for seven years; it has all the privileges of the Howe of Commons in England; it has the sole power of levying taxes, and the distribution thereof, with the exception of an annual permanent revenue to the crown of £10,000 per annum; The salary of the speaker is £1,000 per annum.
8. Tobago Population, 150,000, of whom only 280 are whites, became a Colony 1793, confirmed in 1814. Legislature, a lieutenant-governor, legislative council of 9, and house of assembly of 16 members.
9. Grenada. Population, 21,000, became a Colony 1763. Legislature, a lieutenant-governor, legislative council of 9, and houoe of assembly of 27 members. The qualification of a representative is, a freehold or life-esfate of 50 acres in the country, and of £50 honse-rent in the capital. The qualification of an elector ís an estâte of 10 acres in fee or for life, or a rent of £10 in any of the country towns, and a rent of £20 out of any freehold or life-estate in «he capital.
10. St. Vincent. Population, 26,000, became a Colony 1783 Legislature, a governor, legislative council of 12, and house of assembly of 19 members. The council sits in two capacities, privy and legislative; in the former, the governor presides, in the latter, the senior member, under the title of president. The qualification of members for the parishes and islands is 50 acres of land in cultivation or producing an income of £300 a year; and for the town, a house ef the yearly value of £100. The titles of the candidates to their property must appear to have been registered in the office twelve months, except in cases of wills and conveyances of property executed in Great Britain. Electors must have a freehold of ten acree, or a house in Kingston of £20 yearly value, or £10 elsewhere, registered in like manner.
11. Barbadoes. - Population, 100,000. Area 166 sq miles, became a Colony 1627 Legislature, a governor, legislative council, and representative assembly.
12. Dominica. - Population, 18,000, became a Colony 1763. Legislature, a lieutenant-governor, legislative council of 12, and a representative assembly of 20 members.
13. Antigua - Population, 35,000, became a Colony 1663. Legislature, a governor, legislative council of 10, and bous«» of assembly of 26 members.
14. Montserrat. - Population, 7,000, became a Colony 1663. See Montserrat in Wikipedia
The executive is embodied in the government of Plymouth, but the islinders enjoy their separate council and assembly, the former consisting of 11, the latter of 12 members.
15. St. Kitt's - Population, 23,000. Legislature, a lieutenant-governor, legislative council of 10, and house of asssembly of 24 members.
16. Bahamas - Population 12,000. Area 4,404 sq miles, became a Colony 1717 Legislature, a governor, legislative council of 12, »nd howe of assembly of 30 members. To become» representative,the person must [have 200 acres of cultivated land, or property of the value of £2,000. The electors are I'rae white persons of 21 years of age, " who have resided twelve months within, the government, for six of which they must have been householders or freeholders," or in default of that, have paid duties to the amount of £50*
17. Bermudas - Population 8,500. Area 20 sq miles, became a Colony 1684 Legislature, a governor, legislative council of 8, and representative assembly of 36 members.
The reader will be struck with the notable fact, that of the above seventeen colonies having representative legislatures, eleven have a smaller population than New South Wales, nine of them less than one-half, seven a smaller population than Sydney, and two a population very little above that of Parramatta.

Friday 19 July 1844

Launceston Advertiser Friday 19 July 1844 Extract from UK papers
Establishments for Convicts.— Two reports were presented to the House of Commons, in the last session from J. H. Capper, Esq., the superintendent of ships and vessels employed for the confinement of offenders under sentence of transportation. It appears that there are at present eight stations in this country and three at Bermuda, but alterations are expected in the establishments with respect to the Convicts. The reports which contain the letters from the chaplains of the several stations, are very satisfactory.
Bv the first half-vearlv account, from the 1st of January to the 30th June, 1842, it seems that the total expense of the establishments at Portsmouth, Gosport, Devonport, Chatham, Woolwich, and Deptford, amounted to £32,147 0s. 5d., whilst the value of the labour preformed in the ships was, during the same period, £37,699 2s. It is stated that the boys at Chatham are instructed to be shoemakers and tailors previous to their being embarked for Van Diemen's Land. The account from the three stations at Bermuda shews that the expense was £10,570 4s. 9d., whilst the earnings were £15,466 6s. The second half-yearly account, ending on the 31st December 1842, states that the expense of the home establishments was £29,888 5s. 8d., and the labour performed £33,465 19s. The foreign establishment was £12,684 8s. 4d., and the expense £15,129 2s. Then a general statement is given of the number of convicts received on board the hulks in England during the year ending December 31, 1842. It appears that 3,954 persons were received, of which number 3,495 were natives of England. Of the aggregation, 2,074 were labourers, and persons not instructed in any trade. Under the head of religion, it is stated that 3,326 were of the established Church, 245 were Catholics, 126 of the Scotch Church, 239 Dissenters, and 4 Jews. Their moral state is then described : 1548 were for first offences, 577 had been in prison before, 1739 were convicted before, 19 had been in the Penitentiary, and 71 transported before. Of their age it is recorded that 2 were under 10 years, 178 from ]0 to 15 years old, 926 from 15 to 20, 1 878 from 20 to 30, and 970 above 30 years old. The chaplain of the hulk at Portsmouth expresses his satisfaction at the conduct of the convicts. He is of opinion that the public investigation made at the end of every quarter into the conduct of each individual during the three preceding months is certainly productive of the most beneficial results in impressing upon the prisoners the great importance of good conduct, of obedience to their officers, and of strict conformity to the established regulations. Persons who were ignorant of their letters have learned to read and write. The surgeon of the ship at Woolwich certainly gives some important information on the subject of prison discipline. He states, in his letter, dated in January last, speaking of the numbcr of persons who applied as patients, that ' the remote and exciting causes (of sickness) are to be found in the previous prison discipline, solitary confinement, and low diet ot the majority of our gaols, which render very many convicts more fit for an hospital than for dockyard labour.'
Mr. Capper concludes his second report to the Secretary of State in the following words : 'On the 1st of January, 1842, there were 4,280 prisoners on board the various hulks in England; during the year, 3,954 were received in addition; 3,615 convicts were transported to Van Diemen's Land; 160 were sent to Bermuda, and 200 to Gibraltar; 501 have been discharged or transferred to other establishments; 144 died (being an average of 1 in 58, or I.724 percent, on the total number) ; and 3,614 remained on board the hulks in England, 1,120 at Bermuda, and 200 at Gibraltar, on the 31st of December last.'

Wednesday 30 April 1845


Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899) Wednesday 30 April 1845 PRISON DISCIPLINE. BY MR. P. M. INNES. SYSTEM OP TRANSPORTATIOD AS CARRIED INTO EXECUTION AT Bermuda. All convicts sent to Bermuda are employed by the government on public works in the dockyards. The system of punishment pursued is essentially different from that which has been in force in the Australian penal colonies, and closely resembles that adopted in the hulks in this country. The convicts sent to Bermuda are selected as being the best behaved; they are kept apart from the free population; they are shut up in hulks by night, and are worked in gangs by day under the superintendence of free overseers. A small amount of wages is paid to them for their labour, a portion of which they are allowed to spend, and the remainder forms a fund, which they receive on becoming free. At the expiration of their sentences they do not remain in Bermuda, but are sent back at the expense of the government of this country. Transportation to Bermuda, with some points of recommendation compared with transportation to the Australian colonies, is thus, on the other hand, without the argument in its favour, that it rids England of the criminals sent to it.
HULKS.
The following returns relating to the hulks are taken from the latest reports addressed by the superintendent to the government: On the 1st January, 1841, there were 3552 convicts on board the various hulks in England; and during the year, 3625 more were received into custody, besides 63 transferred from the hulks at Bermuda. Of the convicts in custody, and those received in the course of the year, in all 7240, 2374 were transported to Van Diemen's Land, 180 of whom were boys under 16 years of age; 80 were sent to Bermuda; 66 were transferred to the penitentiary (Millbank); and 7 to Parkhurst prison :262 were discharged; 106 died (being 2% percent. upon the gross number); 1 escaped; leaving 4254 convicts on board the hulks in England on the 31st December, 1841. Of the total number received, 52 were known to have been transported before; 10 had been in the penitentiary; 1625 had been convicted previously of various offences; 487 had been before in custody; and the remaining 1451 were not known to have been in prison before. Three prisoners were received during the year under 10 years of age; 213 between the ages of 10 and 15; 958 between 15 and 20 years; 1012 between the ages of 20 and 30 years; and 830 who were above 30 years of age. The total expense of the hulks is represented for the year as £62,527 10s. 7d;., and the total value of the labour performed as £72,386 lOs. Gd.
(Two Reports of John Henry Capper, Esq., Superintendent of Ships and Vessels employed for the Confinement of Offenders under Sentence of Transportation, ordered to be printed 21st March, 1842.) The total expense per man in the hulks in England is £18 12s. l1d. The average value of labour per man is estimated at £10 18s. ad., making the average annual expense per man £7 14s. 2d. The total cost per boy in the hulks is £13 5s. Oad. The value of the labour performed by the prisoners in the hulks at Bermuda is so great as to leave an estimated annual profit for each of £13 3s. 6d- (Lord John Russell's Note on Transportation and Secondary Punishment, 8th January, 1830.)
The hulks in England are contemplated merely as an intermediate establishment between the common gaols and the penal colonies, for prisoners sentenced to transportation; but in fact in many cases they prove a substitute for that punishment. They are deemed to constitute the worst branch of secondary punishment known in England, and their discontinuauce has been more than once advised.


Introduction, Page 2, Page 3, Here, Page 5

Elizabeth Janson's web contributions
began 1st Nov, 1998
See Ships that came to Port Phillip before 1849
© Say thanks to