Spotlight: The Man Whelan and Convict Discipline (28 May 1855)

“He has been for years the play-thing and sport of officials, who scarcely deserve the name of men. Many years ago he was sentenced to transportation beyond the seas for a limited period. That sentence did not say one word about the petty tyranny which has been practised upon him and upon his fellows, under the name of prison discipline. Those who are conversant with the history of Botany Bay, at the time when Whelan was sent there, will be free to acknowledge, that it was not a convict paradise.” Continue reading Spotlight: The Man Whelan and Convict Discipline (28 May 1855)

Jack Donohoe: An Overview

As one delves into the history and folklore of bushranging, the name Jack Donohoe comes up regularly, but there’s usually not a lot of clearly defined information to accompany the name. Donohoe has suffered the fate of Thunderbolt, Hall and Kelly – the myths have become ingrained in the story as much as the facts. Was Jack Donohoe really worthy of folk hero status? Continue reading Jack Donohoe: An Overview

Hell on High Water: Victoria’s Floating Prisons

No examination of Victoria’s penal system is complete without mention of the prison ships that were on use at Point Gellibrand in Williamstown through the 1850s and 1860s. The most renowned of these craft was Success, which toured the world … Continue reading Hell on High Water: Victoria’s Floating Prisons