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SEMINAR | Convict labour


Dr Alan Brooks, University of Tasmania

Start Date

30th Sep 2016 3:00pm

End Date

30th Sep 2016 4:00pm

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Convict labour

A brief history of its ownership and regulation

Presented by Dr Alan Brooks, University of Tasmania

Friday 30 September 2016 – 3.00pm to 4.00pm

Room 346 Humanities Building, Sandy Bay Campus

About the Seminar

The idea of owning the labour of transported convicts seems, at first glance, to be counter-intuitive. If convicts were prisoners, surely their labour would have been acquired by colonial authorities on arrival and allocated to meet local requirements. Surprisingly, for the majority of convicts, this was never the case. The ownership of their labour constituted an essential component of the punishment of transportation and flowed from the provisions of British legislation. This legislation vested in the transportation contractor a transferable right of ‘property in the service’ of transported convicts. It was necessary for the contractor’s property to be transferred to colonial authorities in order to place a convict into servitude. In this seminar Alan will attempt to shed some light on this rarely examined aspect of the punishment of transportation.

About the Presenter

Alan holds degrees in arts and law from the Australian National University. He worked for some thirty years as a lawyer in the resources industry, before retiring to Tasmania and took up part-time study at University of Tasmania. His PhD thesis examined the various attempts made by authorities in the British Isles to regulate the ownership of the labour of transported convicts once they reached their destination.

Convict labour_30 Sep 16