Spotlight: The Floating Museum

The former Burmese cargo ship Success was converted into a floating prison in the 1850s as the influx of immigrants seeking their fortunes on the goldfields caused the crime rates to explode. As a result, to alleviate the overcrowding of the prisons, the government purchased a set of abandoned ships (Success, Deborah, Lysander, President and Sacramento) and had them fitted out with cells.The Success was the only one kept intact when the ships were decommissioned. When turned into a museum in 1890, it was billed as a prison hulk, though it never transported convicts from overseas. The term is most … Continue reading Spotlight: The Floating Museum

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