New blog and podcast exposes the plight of forgotten convicts transported to Australia
- Thursday, November 5, 2020
Roehampton criminology researcher tells the harrowing stories of transportees for whom life after release saw their struggle continue in their new colony
What happened to convicts who were transported to Australia after they had served their sentences? New research by criminology lecturer Dr Emma Watkins in her upcoming blog and podcast Forgotten Convicts, reveals that life was far from happy and carefree, and that many suffered ill-health and extreme poverty, surviving only on what little charitable help was available. Known as pauper-emancipists, these former convicts have been largely ignored by historians, thanks to the enduring but false belief that Australia was a working man's paradise. The 'glorification of empire' behind such a belief is challenged by Dr Watkins whose research traces pauper-emancipists from cradle to grave to bring their individual stories to life.
The research is funded by Roehampton's Southlands Methodist Trust, and full details of both the blog and the podcast can be accessed here.