Between 1787 and 1868, Britain transported over 167,000 people as convicts to the Australian colonies, starting with New South Wales in the land of the Eora Nation. This system both secured new territory and relieved the overcrowded British prison system, and the health of prisoners was a constant concern.

This talk uses some of the immense volume of colonial administrative paperwork to illuminate experiences of individual prisoners with variable health and permanent disabilities. How did these factors affect their fates in the colonies? How did the British and colonial administrations respond?


Speaker Dr Emily Cock is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at Cardiff University. She joined Cardiff through a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, Fragile Faces: Disfigurement in Britain and its Colonies (1600–1850).