On This Day

10 Sep 1823 - escapee re-transported to NSW

On the 10th of September 1823 Susan Courtney was tried in England for returning from transportation

Convict Sydney

1801 - Day in the life of a convict

In the young colony, there was no prisoner’s barrack - the bush and sea were the walls of the convicts’ prison

Convict Sydney

1820 - Day in the life of a convict

By 1820 the days of relative freedom for convicts in Sydney were over

Convict Sydney


The hot Sydney summer of 1826 ended with almost 1,000 convicts living at the overcrowded Barracks

Reenactment of 5 convicts lying in hammocks
Convict Sydney


By 1836, two-thirds of the convicts in the colony were out working for private masters, and government convicts made up only a small group

Convict Sydney

1844 - Day in the life of a convict

Fraying at the edges, these were the Barracks’ darkest days with only the worst convicts remaining

On This Day

20 Jan 1788 - First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay

On 20 January 1788 the last of the eleven ships of the First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay
On This Day

22 Feb 1792 - first land grant recorded (James Ruse)

On this day 22 February 1792 the first land grant is recorded as being granted to James Ruse

West elevation (front), Hyde Park Barracks

A long shadow: convict Sydney and the Hyde Park Barracks

Hailed for its architecture, and now World Heritage listed, the Hyde Park Barracks has much more to tell us about the changing experience of convicts and the growth of a restless colony