60 – Alexander Pearce – Cannibal: Part 3

In this final episode on Alexander Pearce we hear about his second escape attempt from Macquarie Harbour, with fellow convict Thomas Cox.  They planned a less difficult route for their escape but again, their scheme didn’t proceed as they had planned.  This time the authorities took the situation more seriously and we learn how it all ended for Cox & Pearce.

(40 mins)

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Rock Island Bend, Franklin River (Nat Parks)
Alexander Pearce Death Drawings (SLNSW FL3252183)


Tasmanian Devil (Nat Geographic)
Pearce Confession1824 (FL3233461 SLNSW P1)
Skull of PEARCE held Uni Pennsylvania Philadelphia (LibTas)
Alexander Pearce Death Sentence (LibTas)
Van Diemens Land – Convict Stations and Establishments in Van Diemens Land 1849  (Available for $750 from https://www.classicalimages.com/products/copy-of-1849-arrowsmith-rare-antique-convict-map-of-van-diemens-land-tasmania-australia)

Podcast recommendation: 

“Stories from Sydney”.  

Alistair & Jed reflect on an eclectic range of sites and stories related to Sydney and it’s history.     https://storiesfromsydney.podbean.com/


COLLINS, Paul, 2002. Hell’s gates : the terrible journey of Alexander Pearce, Van Dieman’s land cannibal. 2002. South Yarra, Vic. : Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74064-083-1.

HUGHES, ROBERT, 2003. The fatal shore : a history of the transportation of convicts to Australia, 1787-1868.  Online. London: Vintage. [Accessed April 2022]. ISBN 978-0-09-944854-9. Available from: https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/5845161/version/268096406?keyword=fatal%20shore%20hughes

HUNT, DAVID, 2013. Girt. Volume 1, From Megafauna to Macquarie : The Unauthorised History of Australia. Collingwood, Vic.: Black Inc. ISBN 978-1-86395-611-6.

AIATSIS, 2021. Map of Indigenous Australia.  [Accessed April 2022]. Available from: https://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/map-indigenous-australia

COURTENAY, ADAM, 2021. The Ship That Never Was: The Greatest Escape Story Of Australian Colonial History.  Online. 6 May 2021. [Accessed June 2022]. Available from: https://ebin.pub/the-ship-that-never-was-the-greatest-escape-story-of-australian-colonial-history-9780733338571-9781460708842.html

Mark Jefferies | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers. [Accessed June 2022]. Available from: https://murderpedia.org/male.J/j/jefferies-mark.htm

MONKS, Linda. Conolly, Philip (1786–1839). In: Australian Dictionary of Biography. Online. Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. [Accessed April 2022]. Available from: https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/conolly-philip-1915

PEARCE, ALEXANDER. Narrative of the escape of eight convicts from Macquarie Harbour in Sep. 1822, and of their murders and cannibalism committed during their wanderings. Curio. Online. [Accessed March 2022]. Available from: https://curio.artpro.net.au/exhibit/431/

Pearce death sentence: (Image) Libraries Tasmania – PH30-1-2735. Online. [Accessed March 2022]. Available from: https://stors.tas.gov.au/PH30-1-2735

Pearce skull: (Image) Libraries Tasmania – PH30-1-2723. Online. [Accessed March 2022]. Available from: https://stors.tas.gov.au/PH30-1-2723

PEOPLE AUSTRALIA. Biography – Alexander Pearce – People Australia. Online. [Accessed March 2022]. Available from: https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/pearce-alexander-31474

UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA, 2020. Sarah Island Escape: a convict story. The Wonder Weekly. Online. 22 June 2020. Available from: https://www.utas.edu.au/underwood-centre/publications-and-resources/the-wonder-weekly

Weddings Parties Anything:  A Tale they won’t believe. [Accessed May 2022]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILnvtUirHr8

WIKIPEDIA: MACQUARIE HARBOUR PENAL STATION, 2022. Online. [Accessed June 2022]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Macquarie_Harbour_Penal_Station&oldid=1082729458

Music, IMAGES & other links:

  • Intro/Exit music modified from: ‘Grand Canyon’ by LÃHSTANA DAVID [CCFM Music]
  • Music snippet:  A Tale they wont believe in Hobart – Weddings Parties Anything –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILnvtUirHr8     Lyrics:  https://bit.ly/3vMFd9t
  • Freesound: Bushwalk_440740__erikthe-red
  • Freesound: rain-on-leaves_584272__samsterbirdies

Other Links: