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Saturday, June 30, 2012


I found an interesting book in Hornsby Library about the history of Tasmania with a chapter, 'The Boy Convicts'.
Its title is Becoming Tasmania, by Terry Newman, published by Jason Publications, West Moorah, Tasmania, 1975.
It says that Port Arthur gaol was established on 27 September 1830 with 68 prisoners.
Three years later the number of inmates had blown out to 675.
Lieutenant Governor George Arthur wanted to separate juvenile offenders from adults to save them from criminal or sexual exploitation.
So in January 1834, a boys' establishment was opened at Point Peur.
The 68 'urchins' who landed from the Tamar on 10 January 1834 were taken there.
The boy convict, John (Joseph) Mawbey (Morbey), arrived in Tasmania at the end of 1833, before Point Peur was established. 
Prior to that, 60 boy convicts (under 16) had been removed from Port Arthur to Slopen Main.
This is where the Mawbey boy may have ended up.
But he must have escaped in order for him to have appeared before the Hobart court on stealing offences twice in 1835.