‘Why choose Australia as a penal colony?’ is the subject of the Overseas Group virtual meeting topic and is in no sense meant to be a derogatory comment, we’re sure that Australia made a fine penal colony but it is 12,000 miles away and logistically must have given the authorities quite a headache.
The starting point for the journey to Australia was Portsmouth harbour in Hampshire. Prison hulks lay at anchor and conditions upon them were perfectly dreadful.
These prisoners were in a pretty awful physical condition, diseased and malnourished, they would be at sea for months and when they arrived in Australia, there was much to do to make a settlement.
The following ships were prison hulks in Portsmouth and Langstone harbours; HMS Pegase, HMS Protee, HMS Vengeance, HMS Crown, HMS Stirling Castle, HMS Racoonn, HMS Leviathan, HMS Defence and HMS Briton. On the Gosport side of the harbour lay HMS York, HMS Lion and HMS Captivity.
The prisoners were eventually transferred to the ships that would sail for Australia and eleven ships finally sailed from Portsmouth on 13th May 1787.
Approximately 775 listed convicts were on board, most of them from London.
Old Alresford village booklet now available
Old Alresford, (VB100) is located midway between Alton and Winchester just north of New Alresford which is on the A31. Alresford Pond is a large lake created in the 12th Century at the head of the River Arle, a tributary of the River Itchen. Several water mills have existed along the river with the restored […]
Knowle War Memorial
Knowle Hospital was open in 1852 as the Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum. The asylum was renamed Knowle Mental Hospital in c.1923 and following the 1948 introduction of the National Health Service Act, became Knowle Hospital. At the beginning of the 20th century, Knowle Hospital was home to over 1000 patients and staff and was a self […]
Free Data in the Members’ Area
For some time HGS has had the intention of making some of its large collection of Family History data available to members in the Members’ Area of our website. With the development of our website we have now been able to begin this process and the first set to be introduced is of various ‘small churchyards’ […]
RIP Private Herbert Frank French
Herbert Frank FRENCH was born on 21st April 1884 at 11 Hyde Close in Winchester, the illegitimate son of Emily. On 18th January 1908 he married Sarah Ann (Annie) BIGNELL in Meonstoke and then settled in the village to raise their daughters Emily and Ivy. Herbert was initially in the Territorial Army then when WWI […]
Can you help
We have recently been passed a copy of a photograph with a request for more information, maybe the location or the purpose. A comment with the photo says that the men were in training but didn’t say what for.