48 – Convict Mutineers Part 1

In part one of Convict Mutineers, we learn about a felon who just could not bear the idea of a life in exile, willing to take all necessary risks to try to return to England.  And his efforts were extraordinary. 

I think you will enjoy hearing about this Houdini like convict, a man the authorities had trouble keeping hold of.  Today we look at what brought him to Van Diemen’s Land, and how he created opportunities to try and escape the penal servitude there.

(60 mins)

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‘A surprise’.     Press gang at work.      Original illustration to Marryat’s ‘Poor Jack’ (1840) (Royal Museums Greenwich PW6070)
Thomas Bock, ‘The Settlement at Macquarie Harbour, 1830 (State Lib Tas)
The Cyprus in Hobart (ABC) from Augustus Earle’s 1825 ‘Panorama of Hobart’. (State Library of NSW)
Sarah Island at Macquarie Harbor (John Mulvaney, 2007)
Aerial view of northern area of Recherche Bay 2005 (John Mulvaney 2007)
Macquarie Harbour penal station.   ‘Sarah Island, Macquarie Harbour’, 1833, by William Buelow Gould. (SLNSW)
South East coast. Hobart, D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Bruny Island, Recherche Bay, SE Cape. (John Mulvaney, 2007)


Hirst, Warwick. (2008). The man who stole the Cyprus: A true story of escape. Rosenberg Publishing.  ISBN: 9781877058615

Impressment. (2021). In Wikipedia.  Retrieved Feb 2021.  https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Impressment&oldid=1007144259

Mulvaney, John. (2007). ‘The axe had never sounded’: Place, people and heritage of Recherche Bay, Tasmania. ANU E Press and Aboriginal History Incorporated. Retrieved Feb 2021, from https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/33812

Barnard, Simon. (2017). Gaolbird: The true story of William Swallow, convict and pirate. [Juv ]. Text Publishing Company.

Convict Records: William Swallow.  Retrieved Feb 2021, from https://convictrecords.com.au/convicts/swallow/william/119608

Convict Records: William Walker.  Retrieved Feb 2021, from https://convictrecords.com.au/convicts/walker/william/99083

Falling crime rates. (2021, February 2). [Podcast].  ABC Radio National. https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/falling-crime-rates/13109936

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. (2020, Dec). Map of Indigenous Australia. Retrieved Feb 2021 from https://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/map-indigenous-australia

Nuenonne language. (2021). In Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb 2021 from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nuenonne_language&oldid=1001522633

William Buckley.  Culture Victoria. Retrieved Feb 2021, from http://www.cv.vic.gov.au/stories/immigrants-and-emigrants/william-buckley/

Clarke, Marcus (n.d) The Seizure of the ‘Cyprus’—Old Tales of a Young Country Retrieved Feb 2021, from http://www.telelib.com/authors/C/ClarkeMarcus/prose/OldTales/seizurecyprus.html

The French connection; early French explorers in Tasmania—ABC. Retrieved Feb 2021, from https://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2008/04/29/2230849.htm

Poor Jack: Impressment. (2021). Retrieved Feb 2021, from https://bit.ly/3aSyf89

Sarah Island. (n.d.). Retrieved Feb 2021, from https://www.ourtasmania.com.au/northwest/sarah-isld.html

Macquarie Harbour Penal Station. Retrieved Feb 2021, from https://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/M/Macquarie%20Harbour%20penal%20settlement.htm


  • Intro/Exit music modified from: ‘Grand Canyon’ by LÃHSTANA DAVID [CCFM Music]
  • Snippit: Moreton Bay · Bernard Fanning – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqr9jfaQJ5E