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What Did the Convicts Do for Fun?

FAQs Jackson Bowman August 7, 2022

Convicts played cards or games like chess or checkers, which required various types of tokens, many of which were handcrafted. These could have been carved from animal bones (perhaps salvaged from dinner) or pieces of pottery and wood they found, or cast in lead.

What did convicts do?

Convicts were a source of labor to build roads, bridges, courthouses, hospitals and other public buildings, or to work on government farms, while educated convicts may have received jobs such as record keeping for the government administration. Female convicts, on the other hand, were generally employed as domestic servants…

What was daily life like for a convict in Australia?

Most convicts enjoyed life in Sydney more than life on settler farms in the bush. In the city, they could visit friends or family for a cup of tea or lunch, dance in fancy clothes, or go to a theater. When they weren’t working, they were gambling with their money, playing games, and relaxing.

What was the life of a convict?

Questions of Life – The Life of a Convict

The life of a convict was not easy. Their accommodation was rough and the work was tough and the food was just what was brought across on the ship until they established their own food supply. When the ship landed, it took a day or two for the male prisoners to be unloaded.

What did convicts do on the First Fleet?

Many were skilled carpenters, blacksmiths or Schuster (shoemakers). , convicts worked to convert large logs into smaller planks of wood for buildings. They also made doors, window frames, shutters and roof shingles. Down on the edge of Sydney Harbour, convicts built boats and made rope and sails for ships.

What jobs did child convicts do?

Girls worked as servants in the homes or farms of the free settlers; some worked in the women’s factories of Parramatta and Hobart. Boys also worked for free settlers, but some worked for the government and learned trades to help establish the new colony. Those who could read and write may have worked as government employees.

What work did female convicts do?

Convict women were employed in housekeeping, washing, and on state farms, and were expected to find their own board and lodging. The punishment of transgressors was demeaning and public. Exile itself was seen as a catalyst for reform.

What was life like for child convicts?

All convicts, including children, were expected to work. If they misbehaved, their youth did not protect them from being punished as severely as adult convicts. Some child prisoners later learned a trade, gained their freedom and led a successful life.

How many hours did convicts work a day?

Such long working hours led to the founding of the Early Closing Movement, which in 1844 sought to reduce working hours from 14 to 12 hours a day. The transportation of convicts to New South Wales ceased in 1840.

Where did convicts sleep in Australia?

Convicts slept in hammocks that were folded away each morning. Each ward had a large wooden tub that served as a communal toilet. The convicts had to carefully carry these tubs outside daily to be emptied and cleaned.

What challenges did the convicts face?

Not only was the colony’s food supply threatened, but convicts who could no longer be privately fed or housed were turned back into government service and into the city, flocking to areas like The Rocks where housing was scarce and the life was restless.

What clothes did convicts wear?

Convicts wore conspicuous clothing

Black and yellow jackets and pants were worn by convicts sentenced to chain gangs, which performed heavy physical labor building roads and culverts as punishment for engaged in backsliding behavior (backsliding) or as a result of false accusations from unjust peasants and squatters.

How were female convicts treated on the First Fleet?

Women were considered whores. According to the expedition’s commanding officer, convict wives threw themselves into “promiscuous intercourse” with the sailors and Royal Marines, and “their desire to be with the men was so uncontrollable that neither shame nor punishment could deter them.”

Who was the youngest girl on the First Fleet?

was the youngest female convict in the First Fleet at age 13. She was transported to the Old Bailey in January 1787 for seven years on charges of stealing clothes from the clog maker she worked for.

How old was the youngest convict sent to Australia?

John Hudson, described as “sometimes a chimney sweep”, was the youngest known convict to sail with the First Fleet. The young thief, who was traveling to NSW aboard the Friendship, was 13 years when he arrived at Sydney Cove. He was only nine years old when he was first convicted.

What were the 19 crimes to be sent to Australia?

References:

  1. https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/stories/convict-experience
  2. https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/convict-sydney/what-was-early-sydney-like-convicts
  3. http://www.theinitialjourney.com/life-issues/life-of-a-convict/
  4. https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/convict-sydney/what-work-did-convicts-do
  5. https://www.abc.net.au/education/child-convicts-of-australia-ch-3-work-for-child-convicts-video/13582110
  6. https://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/F/Female%20convicts.htm
  7. https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/learning/resources/child-convicts-australia
  8. https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/eight-hour-day
  9. https://fremantleprison.com.au/media/1150/fp-convict-daily-life.pdf
  10. https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/convict-sydney/convicts-colony
  11. https://www2.sl.nsw.gov.au/archive/curio/exhibit/591/storiesc049.html?from_collection=2&page=4
  12. https://theconversation.com/whores-damned-whores-and-female-convicts-why-our-history-does-early-australian-colonial-women-a-grave-injustice-4894
  13. https://firstfleetfellowship.org.au/honouring-1914-1918/elizabeth-haywood-2/
  14. https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/stories/first-fleet-ships/john-hudson
  15. https://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/view/2737

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