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Skip Navigation LinksQueensland State Archives > Researching the archives > Resources for researchers > Moreton Bay convict records 1824-1842

Moreton Bay convict records 1824-1842

Between 1824 and 1842, a place of secondary punishment was established at Moreton Bay to house repeat offenders from Port Jackson. Queensland State Archives holds significant records from the Moreton Bay convict settlement and many of these records have been digitised and made available to researchers through our online catalogue, ArchivesSearch

Resources
Book of Public Labour Performed by Crown Prisoners
Transcription of Moreton Bay convict records
University of Queensland Summer Scholars

Resources

 


An historical essay by Dr Jennifer Harrison, Historian 

 

  

 


Chronological register of convicts 1824-1839

An online alphabetical name index compiled from Series ID 5653, Chronological Register of Convicts at Moreton Bay, 1824-1839
 

 
 

 

 

 

Book of Public Labour Performed by Crown Prisoners

A snapshot of convict life is provided in the Book of Public Labour Performed by Crown Prisoners which is colloquially known as Spicer's Diary.

In 1828 the Brisbane Town superintendent of convicts Peter Beauclerk Spicer compiled a journal describing penal settlement life during that year. Excluding Sundays, the daily entries indicate that day's distribution of labour, numbers of hospital patients, buildings in progress and visits to Dunwich to collect new arrivals or despatch convicts to Sydney.
A notation of trials and punishments during these months was also made.

To provide an insight into life at the penal settlement, the following six days have been transcribed: 

Monday 2 June 1828

Transcription of Moreton Bay convict records

By Ken Lamb

While conducting his own research, Mr Ken Lamb from Canberra has transcribed many of the records detailing convicts sent to Moreton Bay between 1824 and 1839. The following spreadsheets are Mr Lamb's transcription and extensive comparisons of these Moreton Bay records. 

Mr Lamb has kindly given permission to Queensland State Archives to make this data available to other researchers. The files have been made available under a Creative Commons License [Attribution-Noncommerical-Share Alike].

  1. Moreton Bay convicts / prisoners (original data) (XLS, 1.20MB)

    Original transcription taken from Series ID 5653, Chronological Register of Convicts at Moreton Bay, kept by the Commandant's Office, Moreton Bay from 1824 to 1839. The series consists of a chronological and alphabetical record of convicts (Crown prisoners) at Moreton Bay penal settlement.

  2. Moreton Bay convicts / prisoners (modified data) (XLS, 1.98MB)

    Using the original data transcribed from Series ID 5653, Chronological Register of Convicts at Moreton Bay the native place, religion and average height of the convicts sent to Moreton Bay have been compared. For example, of the 2121 convicts sent to Moreton Bay between 1824 and 1839 eight were born in the United States. The majority of convicts (37.9%) identified their religion as Episcopalian and the average height of a male convict was 166.3cm. 

  3. Moreton Bay convicts / prisoners (monthly journals) (XLS, 985KB)

    Transcription taken from Series ID 5652, Book of Monthly Returns of Prisoners Maintained kept by the Commandant's Office, Moreton Bay from 1829 to 1837. The series consists of monthly returns of prisoners and their employment at Moreton Bay penal settlement. This record includes the name and ship details of prisoners received to Moreton Bay and the name and trade of prisoners who were discharged, died or absconded, arranged by month. Note, the original record also details statistics for the number of prisoners held but this detail has not been transcribed.

  4. Moreton Bay convicts / prisoners (cross referenced) (XLS, 3.05MB)

    This file cross-references data from Series ID 5653, Chronological Register of Convicts at Moreton Bay with monthly journals and Colonial Secretary correspondence summaries published online by the Queensland State Library.

  5. Moreton Bay convicts / prisoners absconding (XLS, 603KB)

    From Series ID 5653, Chronological Register of Convicts at Moreton Bay this file extracts all the incidents of convicts absconding and analyses the amount of time that lapsed before absconders were returned.

Please note, this work has not been verified by Queensland State Archives.

University of Queensland Summer Scholars

As part of the joint University of Queensland/Queensland State Archives project, Personal Stories, Perilous Crossings: Multicultural Colonial Queensland 1824-1860, three UQ Summer Scholars researched the personal stories of the women and men in early Queensland. 

The students set up a WordPress BLOG entitled Students at the Archives to write about the research process and their research discoveries at Queensland State Archives. You can read their entries about the Moreton Bay convict settlement here:



Last updated 06 November 2015