Bound for Botany Bay


The story of an extraordinary period in British criminal history, told through the surviving records held by the UK National Archives.

For over two hundred years, tens of thousands of convicts were sentenced to be "banished beyond the seas." Although some went to America and the West Indies, the vast majority were sent to Australia: between 1787 and 1868, 162000 souls (men, women, and children) packed into 806 ships were transported to the colony. This book follows their story from courtroom to convict ship to colonial life.

Drawing throughout on largely unused sources such as the original journals which recorded life at sea in fascinating detail, the authors build up a fresh and vivid portrait of particular personalities and typical voyages from the remarkable "convict years."

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