Join this Vicfix campaign to weigh the pros and cons of convict transportation to Port Phillip in the 1840s
Vicfix is improving the searchability of digitised newspaper articles and making the hidden details of Victoria's rich history available for everyone.
About Pentonvilleans, 1846–49
Scarcity of labour was a constant issue for the developing colony of Port Phillip. Matters came to a head in the 1840s when Earl Grey, Secretary of State for the Colonies, posited the transportation of ticket-of-leave convicts as a source of labour for squatters. Known as Pentonvilleans, around 1730 paroled exiles arrived in the colony between 1844 and 1849.
Historic reports present the highly charged arguments for and against transportation in public meetings, editorials, letters and petitions. In particular, the reports reveal the depth of feeling aimed at Earl Grey, whose actions were viewed as high-handed, tyrannical and treacherous by those who believed 'better the commercial ruin of the colony than the moral ruin which convict labour would ensure'.
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