Hobart is the capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. With a population of 225,000, it is the least populated Australian state capital city, second smallest if territories are taken into account. Founded in 1804 as a British penal colony, Hobart known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney, New South Wales. Prior to British settlement, the Hobart area had been occupied for as long as 35,000 years, by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe, a sub-group of the Nuennone, or South-East tribe; the descendants of these Aboriginal Tasmanians refer to themselves as'Palawa'. Since its foundation as a colonial outpost, the city has expanded from the mouth of Sullivans Cove in a north-south direction along both banks of the Derwent River, from 22 km inland from the estuary at Storm Bay to the point where the river reverts to fresh water at Bridgewater. Penal transportation ended in the 1850s, after which the city experienced periods of growth and decline.
The early 20th century saw an economic boom on the back of mining and other primary industries, the loss of men who served in the world wars was counteracted by an influx of immigration. Despite the rise in migration from Asia and other non-English speaking parts of the world, Hobart's population remains predominantly ethnically Anglo-Celtic, has the highest percentage of Australian-born residents among the Australian capital cities. In June 2016, the estimated greater area population was 224,462; the city is located in the state's south-east on the estuary of the Derwent River, making it the most southern of Australia's capital cities. Its harbour forms the second-deepest natural port in the world, its skyline is dominated by the 1,271-metre kunanyi/Mount Wellington, much of the city's waterfront consists of reclaimed land. It is the financial and administrative heart of Tasmania, serving as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations and acting as a major tourist hub, with over 1.192 million visitors in 2011/2012.
The metropolitan area is referred to as Greater Hobart, to differentiate it from the City of Hobart, one of the five local government areas that cover the city. The first European settlement began in 1803 as a military camp at Risdon Cove on the eastern shores of the Derwent River, amid British concerns over the presence of French explorers. In 1804, along with the military and convicts from the abandoned Port Phillip settlement, the camp at Risdon Cove was moved by Captain David Collins to a better location at the present site of Hobart at Sullivans Cove; the city known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, was named after Lord Hobart, the British secretary of state for war and the colonies. The area's indigenous inhabitants were members of the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe. Violent conflict with the European settlers, the effects of diseases brought by them reduced the aboriginal population, replaced by free settlers and the convict population. Charles Darwin visited Hobart Town in February 1836 as part of the Beagle expedition.
He writes of Hobart and the Derwent estuary in his Voyage of the Beagle:... The lower parts of the hills which skirt the bay are cleared. I was chiefly built or building. Hobart Town, from the census of 1835, contained 13,826 inhabitants, the whole of Tasmania 36,505; the Derwent River was one of Australia's finest deepwater ports and was the centre of the Southern Ocean whaling and sealing trades. The settlement grew into a major port, with allied industries such as shipbuilding. Hobart Town became a city on 21 August 1842, was renamed Hobart from the beginning of 1881. Hobart is located on the estuary of the Derwent River in the state's south-east. Geologically Hobart is built predominantly on Jurassic dolerite around the foothills interspersed with smaller areas of Triassic siltstone and Permian mudstone. Hobart extends along both sides of the Derwent River. Both of these areas rest on the younger Jurassic dolerite deposits, before stretching into the lower areas such as the beaches of Sandy Bay in the south, in the Derwent estuary.
South of the Derwent estuary lies the Tasman Peninsula. The Eastern Shore extends from the Derwent valley area in a southerly direction hugging the Meehan Range in the east before sprawling into flatter land in suburbs such as Bellerive; these flatter areas of the eastern shore rest on far younger deposits from the Quaternary. From there the city extends in an easterly direction through the Meehan Range into the hilly areas of Rokeby and Oakdowns, before reaching into the tidal flatland area of Lauderdale. Hobart has access to a number of beach areas including those in the Derwent estuary itself. Hobart has a mild temperate oceanic climate; the highest temperature recorded was 41.8 °C on 4 January 2013 and the lowest was −2.8 °C on 25 June 1972 and 11 July 1981. Annually, Hobart receives 40.8 clear days. Compared to other major Australian cities, Hobart has the fewest daily average hours of sunshine, with 5.9 hours per day. However, during the summer it has the most
The Rum Rebellion of 1808 was the only successful armed takeover of government in Australian history. During the 19th century, it was referred to in Australia as the Great Rebellion. On 26 January 1808, 20 years after Arthur Phillip's First Fleet of convicts founded Sydney as the first European settlement in Australia, the New South Wales Corps under the command of Major George Johnston, working with John Macarthur, deposed the Governor of New South Wales, William Bligh. Afterwards, the military ruled the colony, with the senior military officer stationed in Sydney acting as the lieutenant-governor of New South Wales until the arrival from Britain of Major-General Lachlan Macquarie as the new governor at the beginning of 1810. William Bligh, well known for his overthrow in the mutiny on the Bounty, was a naval officer and the fourth Governor of New South Wales, he succeeded Governor Philip Gidley King in 1805, having been offered the position by Sir Joseph Banks. It is that he was selected by the British Government as governor because of his reputation as a hard man.
He stood a good chance of reining in the maverick New South Wales Corps, something that his predecessors had not been able to do. Bligh left for Sydney with his daughter, Mary Putland, her husband while Bligh's wife remained in England. Before his arrival, Bligh's style of governance led to problems with his subordinates; the Admiralty gave command of the storeship Porpoise and the convoy to the lower ranked Captain Joseph Short and Bligh took command of a transport ship. This led to quarrels which resulted in Captain Short firing across Bligh's bow in order to force Bligh to obey his signals; when this failed, Short tried to give an order to Lieutenant Putland, Bligh's son-in-law, to stand by to fire on Bligh's ship. Bligh seized control of the convoy; when they arrived in Sydney, backed up by statements from two of Short's officers, had Short stripped of the captaincy of the Porpoise – which he gave to his son-in-law – cancelled the 240-hectare land grant Short had been promised as payment for the voyage and shipped him back to England for court-martial, at which Short was acquitted.
The president of the court, Sir Isaac Coffin, wrote to the Admiralty and made several serious accusations against Bligh, including that he had influenced the officers to testify against Short. Bligh's wife obtained a statement from one of the officers denying this and Banks and other supporters of Bligh lobbied against his recall as governor. Soon after his arrival at Sydney, in August 1806, Bligh was given an address of welcome signed by Major Johnston for the military, by Richard Atkins for the civilian officers, by John Macarthur for the free settlers. However, not long after, he received addresses from the free and freed settlers of Sydney and the Hawkesbury River region, with a total of 369 signatures, many made only with a cross, complaining that Macarthur did not represent them, as they blamed him for withholding sheep so as to raise the price of mutton. One of Bligh's first actions was to use the colony's stores and herds to provide relief to farmers, affected by flooding on the Hawkesbury River, a situation that had disrupted the barter economy in the colony.
Supplies were divided up according to those most in need and provisions were made for loans to be drawn from the store based on capacity to repay. This earned Bligh the gratitude of the farmers but the enmity of traders in the Corps, profiting from the situation. Bligh, under instructions from the Colonial Office, attempted to normalise trading conditions in the colony by prohibiting the use of spirits as payment for commodities. Bligh communicated his policy to the Colonial Office in 1807, with the advice that his policy would be met with resistance. Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies wrote back to Bligh, his instructions being received on 31 December 1807; the instructions were to stop the barter of spirits and H. V. Evatt concludes in his history of the Rebellion that... "Bligh was authorised to prevent free importation, to preserve the trade under his entire control, to enforce all penalties against illegal import, to establish regulations at his discretion for the sale of spirits".
Evatt argues that the enmity of the monopolists within the colony stemmed from this and other policies which counteracted the power of the rich and promoted the welfare of the poor settlers. Bligh ceased the practice of handing out large land grants to the powerful in the colony. Bligh upset some people by allowing a group of Irish convicts to be tried for revolt, by a court that included their accusers, when six out of the eight were acquitted, he kept them under arrest anyway, he dismissed D'Arcy Wentworth from his position of Assistant Surgeon to the Colony without explanation, sentenced three merchants to a month's imprisonment and a fine for writing a letter that he considered offensive. Bligh dismissed Thomas Jamison from the magistracy, describing him in 1807 as being "inimical" to good government. Jamison was the capable Surgeon-General of New South Wales, he had accumulated significant personal wealth as a maritime trader and was a friend and business partner of Macarthur's. Jamison never forgave Bligh for sacking him as a magistrate and interfering with his private business activities, he supported Bligh's deposition.
In October 1807 Major George Johnston wrote a formal letter of complaint to the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, stating that Bligh was abusive and interfering with the troops of the New South Wales Corps
Cooking Pot Uprising
The Cooking Pot Uprising known as the Cooking Pot Riot, was an uprising of convicts led by William Westwood on the penal colony of Norfolk Island, Australia. It occurred on 1 July 1846 in response to the confiscation of convicts' cooking utensils under the orders of Major Joseph Childs, in command of the colony. In February 1844, Major Joseph Childs took over the command of the convict prison settlement at Norfolk Island where he began a regime of harsh, rigid discipline that ended with mutiny and the execution of 12 men. Captin Maconochie, had been of a more kindly disposition, he had looked on his prisoners as human beings and had given them some little interest in life by allowing them to have small farm plots in which they could grow sweet potatoes and other vegetables. Maconochie shortened hours of labor, holidays were granted to those convicts whose behaviour was considered satisfactory, each prisoner was allowed to cook his own meals in saucepans and kettles specially provided. Major Childs decided to alter all this.
Over a period of two years, he withdrew the privileges that had made the men contented under Maconochie. He abolished the private farm plots, he lengthened the daily hours of work and he withdrew holidays for good behavior. He cut down the prisoners' rations, and on the memorable first day of July, 1846, he announced the abolition of the last little privilege – the last vestige of privacy that had given the men a feeling that they were individuals. Major Childs issued a proclamation that food was to be served in bulk, that no personal cooking was to be permitted, that kettles and saucepans held by prisoners were to be handed in; the next day, after a compulsory prayers parade, the convicts went in a body to the lumber yard to read the new proclamation. There were indignant. Gathering in rough military formation they marched to the Barrack Yard, stormed the store, seized every utensil within reach. Convict William Westwood hushed them. "Now, men", he said, "I've made up my mind to bear this oppression no longer.
But, remember, I'm going to the gallows. If any man funks, let him stand out; those who want to follow me – come on!" So the mutiny began. Westwood, his face transformed with rage, struck at a constable, watching the proceedings, he felled him, his mates, their pent-up fury now finding a savage outlet, struck at him with knives, pitchforks – with any weapons they could find. They hurried to the cook house. Here they found the mess overseer. Jacky Jacky attacked him. "For God's sake don't hurt me, Jackey!" he cried out. "Remember my wife and children!" "Damn your wife and children. When the others had finished with him he was a mutilated corpse; the convicts moved on in a wildly rushing mass about 1,600 strong, to the Barrack Yard gate, where they pushed aside a sentry and an overseer who tried to halt them. Their one thought now was to get to Government House, where the main target of their wrath was Samuel Barrow, the Police Magistrate; as they passed by the lime kiln Westwood, now wielding an axe, ran over to a hut, forced open the door, killed convict constables John Dinon and Thomas Saxton.
Dinon was asleep in his bed, Saxton awoke to see the axe fall on him. As they moved down the road towards Government House, they were confronted by a line of soldiers, muskets at the ready; as though the force of their passion had been spent, the convicts halted, began to retreat towards the lumber yard, where their weapons were taken from them, they were returned to their cells. John Giles Price was dispatched to command the convict settlement as a replacement for Major Childs. One of Price's first duties was to arrange for the trial of 26 convicts alleged to have been involved in murders during the uprising of July 1846 at the end of Childs' administration. Westwood with 11 of the most prominent leaders of the mutiny were all found guilty of the deaths of police runner Stephen Smith, convict constables John Morris, John Dinon and Thomas Saxton. On 13 October 1846, the twelve convicts were hanged in two groups of six and their bodies were buried in a pit near the pier. William Westwood 26 John Davis Samuel Kenyon Dennis Pendergast Owen Commuskey Henry Whiting 22 William Pearson James Cairnes William Pickthorne 27 Lawrence Kavenagh 41 William Scrimshaw Edward McGuinness History of Norfolk Island Norfolk Island convict mutinies
Vice-Admiral William Bligh was an officer of the Royal Navy and a colonial administrator. The Mutiny on the Bounty occurred during his command of HMS Bounty in 1789. Seventeen years after the Bounty mutiny, on 13 August 1806, he was appointed Governor of New South Wales in Australia, with orders to clean up the corrupt rum trade of the New South Wales Corps, his actions directed against the trade resulted in the so-called Rum Rebellion, during which Bligh was placed under arrest on 26 January 1808 by the New South Wales Corps and deposed from his command, an act which the British Foreign Office declared to be illegal. He died in Lambeth, London, on 7 December 1817. William Bligh was born on 9 September 1754, it is that he was born in Plymouth, Devon, as he was baptised at St Andrew's Church, Plymouth on 4 October 1754, where Bligh's father, was serving as a customs officer. Bligh's ancestral home of Tinten Manor near St Tudy near Bodmin, Cornwall, is a possibility. Bligh's mother, Jane Pearce, was a widow who married Francis at the age of 40.
Bligh was signed for the Royal Navy at age seven, at a time when it was common to sign on a "young gentleman" to gain, or at least record, the experience at sea required for a commission. In 1770, at age 16, he joined HMS Hunter as an able seaman, the term used because there was no vacancy for a midshipman, he became a midshipman early in the following year. In September 1771, Bligh was remained on the ship for three years. In 1776, Bligh was selected by Captain James Cook, for the position of sailing master of Resolution and accompanied Cook in July 1776 on Cook's third voyage to the Pacific Ocean, during which Cook was killed. Bligh was able to supply details of Cook's last voyage. Bligh married Elizabeth Betham, daughter of a customs collector, on 4 February 1781; the wedding took place at nearby Onchan. A few days he was appointed to serve on HMS Belle Poule as master. Soon after this, in August 1781, he fought in the Battle of Dogger Bank under Admiral Parker, which won him his commission as a lieutenant.
For the next 18 months, he was a lieutenant on various ships. He fought with Lord Howe at Gibraltar in 1782. Between 1783 and 1787, Bligh was a captain in the merchant service. Like many lieutenants, he would have found full-pay employment in the Navy. In 1787, Bligh was selected as commander of His Majesty's Armed Transport Bounty, he rose to the rank of vice admiral in the Royal Navy. William Bligh's naval career involved various assignments, he first rose to prominence under the command of Captain James Cook. Bligh received praise from Cook during. Bligh served on three of the same ships on which Fletcher Christian served in his naval career. In the early 1780s, while in the merchant service, Bligh became acquainted with a young man named Fletcher Christian, eager to learn navigation from him. Bligh took Christian under his wing, the two became friends; the mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMAV Bounty occurred in the South Pacific Ocean on 28 April 1789. Led by Master's Mate / Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, disaffected crewmen seized control of the ship, set Bligh and 18 loyalists adrift in the ship's open launch.
The mutineers variously settled on Pitcairn Island. Meanwhile, Bligh completed a voyage of more than 3,500 nautical miles to the west in the launch to reach safety north of Australia in the Dutch East Indies and began the process of bringing the mutineers to justice. In 1787, Bligh took command of Bounty. In order to win a premium offered by the Royal Society, he first sailed to Tahiti to obtain breadfruit trees set course east across the South Pacific for South America and the Cape Horn and to the Caribbean Sea, where breadfruit was wanted for experiments to see whether it would be a successful food crop for African slaves there on British colonial plantations in the West Indies islands; the notion that breadfruit had to be collected from Tahiti was intentionally misleading. Tahiti was one of many places where the esteemed seedless breadfruit could be found; the real reason for choosing Tahiti has its roots in the territorial contention that existed between France and Great Britain at the time.
The Bounty never reached the Caribbean, as mutiny broke out on board shortly after the ship left Tahiti. The voyage to Tahiti was difficult. After trying unsuccessfully for a month to go west by rounding South America and Cape Horn, Bounty was defeated by the notoriously stormy weather and opposite winds and forced to take the longer way to the east around the southern tip of Africa; that delay caused a further delay in Tahiti, as he had to wait five months for the breadfruit plants to mature sufficiently to be potted in soil and transported. Bounty departed Tahiti heading east in April 1789; because the vessel was rated only as a cutter, Bounty had no officers other than Bligh, a small crew, no Marines to provide protection from hostile nat
Major Sir George Gipps was Governor of the colony of New South Wales, for eight years, between 1838 and 1846. His governorship was during a period of great change for New South Wales and Australia, as well as for New Zealand, administered as part of New South Wales for much of this period. Settlers at the time were not happy with his move towards responsible government, although contemporaries at the Colonial Office found him to be an able administrator. Gipps was born in 1791 at Ringwould, Kent and was the son of the Rev. George Gipps, he was educated at The King's School, at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. In 1809 he joined the Royal Engineers and served in the Peninsular War as well as elsewhere in Europe. In 1824 he served in the West Indies, he married Elizabeth Ramsay, the daughter of Major-General George Ramsay, in 1830. He and his wife had a son, Reginald Ramsay Gipps, who became a general in the British Army. In 1834, Gipps became Private Secretary to the First Lord of Lord Auckland.
He was knighted, promoted to the rank of major, returned to England in April 1837. He was appointed Governor of New South Wales on 5 October 1837, arrived at Sydney on 23 February 1838; this was a transition time for the settlement of Australia, with moves to bring settlers under the umbrella of responsible government, associated limitations on land squatters. Gipps was concerned about educational provision in the colony, as well as the implications of the end of transportation. In 1844, less than half of the children in the Colony received any form of education, whether public or private. There was great controversy on whether to continue to subsidise denominational schools, which gave rise to educational sectarianism and was inefficient, or to promote national schools funded by the government; the major objections to any alternative schemes came from the Church of England and the matter was unresolved before he left. One of Gipps' major tasks was to try to keep settler squatters within "boundaries of location" defined previously.
A part of his stance, other than that of official policy, derived from the manner in which the settlers treated Aborigines as their lands spread out. Examples of this were the Myall and Waterloo Creek Massacres, where in 1838, 100 – 300 Aboriginal people were massacred on two separate occasions by squatters; this horrified Governor Gipps, seven men were hanged for their part in the Myall Creek massacre. As a partial result of this, his inability to suppress vigilantism against Aborigines, in April 1844 Gipps issued regulations which required a licence fee of £10 a year from graziers, limited the area of most stations to 20 square miles, specified that no single licence covered a station capable of depasturing more than 500 head of cattle and 7000 sheep; this brought a storm of protests from the squatters and led to the foundation of the Pastoral Association of New South Wales, the resulting controversy continued until his departure. Further difficulties in administering further-flung settlements continued because of the huge distances involved, difficult travel, the lack of willingness of possible representatives to spend some time in Sydney for these purposes.
In 1839, Gipps had his commission altered by Letters Patent and was reappointed as Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief in and over the territory of New South Wales, the new boundaries of which included any land that might be acquired in sovereignty in New Zealand. William Hobson was appointed Deputy Governor in 1839, set sail for New Zealand in January 1840. Sydney merchants had been engaging in great speculation in Māori lands; as a result, the day after Hobson's departure, Gipps proclaimed that no title to land henceforth purchased in New Zealand would be recognised unless derived from a Crown grant. This is undoubtedly the origin of a similar provision in Article Two of the Treaty of Waitangi, as part of Hobson's remit for "securing British sovereignty over New Zealand by the negotiation of a Treaty between Māori and the Crown"; until permanent arrangements could be put in place, the New South Wales Legislative Council enacted all applicable New Zealand law, the New South Wales Land Regulations were extended to New Zealand.
Small grants were provided, Gipps provided an advisor and a small military detachment to take control in the possible event of Hobson's incapacity. Most of the day-to-day administration was carried out by Hobson, while Gipps retained control only of matters to do with the Imperial Prerogative; this arrangement ended in May 1841. Transportation ended in 1843, much to the chagrin of the big landowners, who thus lost a large source of cheap labour. Gipps was in favour of free immigration financed by the government, but he consented to a continuation of the bounty system. There was a three-year drought, which resulted in a dearth of work for assisted settlers. Land values fell, leading to further vilification of his governorship by large landowners and other interested parties. While being conscientious and fair-dealing in his governorship, Gipps' health was broken down by overwork and the constant invective from the settlers, his appointment had been extended for another two years after the original six, due to the high regard the Colonial Office held him in.
Gipps did not wait for his successor, Charles Augustus FitzR
Cockatoo Island (New South Wales)
Cockatoo Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located at the junction of the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers, in Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. Cockatoo Island is the largest of several islands that were heavily timbered sandstone knolls; the Island rose to 18 metres above sea level and was 12.9 hectares but it has been extended to 17.9 hectares and is now cleared of most vegetation. Called Wa-rea-mah by the Indigenous Australians who traditionally inhabited the land prior to European settlement, the island may have been used as a fishing base, although physical evidence of Aboriginal heritage has not been found on the island. Between 1839 and 1869, Cockatoo Island operated as a convict penal establishment as a place of secondary punishment for convicts who had re-offended in the colonies. Cockatoo Island was the site of one of Australia's biggest shipyards, operating between 1857 and 1991; the first of its two dry docks was built by convicts. Listed on the National Heritage List, the island is significant for its demonstration of the characteristics of a long-running dockyard and shipbuilding complex, including evidence of key functions and operational layout.
Cockatoo Island contains the nation's most extensive and varied record of shipbuilding, has the potential to enhance understanding of maritime and heavy industrial processes in Australia from the mid-19th century. In July 2010, UNESCO proclaimed Cockatoo Island as a World Heritage Site, has been managed by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust since 2001; the island is managed by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, responsible for seven other lands around Sydney Harbour. The Harbour Trust is revitalising the island as a landmark harbour attraction with cultural events and heritage interpretation. Today Cockatoo Island retains some remnants of its past, its prison buildings have been World Heritage listed, part of a serial listing of 11 Australian Convict Sites. Although some large workshops, wharves and other buildings remain, major buildings were demolished after Cockatoo Island closed as a dockyard in 1991; as the remaining buildings contain few of their original industrial artefacts and none of the remaining industrial heritage including the docks and cranes is operational, it is difficult to see how the island functioned as a dockyard for over a century.
In late March 2005 the Harbour Trust, in partnership with an event organiser, held the Cockatoo Island Festival. The event put the island on Sydney's cultural map and initiated a range of cultural activities including contemporary art installations and festivals; the Harbour Trust opened a camp and glampsite on the island in 2008. The camp ground attracts some 20,000 campers a year and is a popular spot for watching Sydney's renowned New Year's Eve fireworks. In 2010, the island attracted a capacity crowd of over 2000 campers to view NYE fireworks. Other island holiday accommodation consists of five renovated houses and apartments with harbour and city views. Sydney Ferries services Cockatoo Island as part of its Woolwich/Balmain ferry route and Parramatta RiverCat route. Day visitors are welcome, can picnic, visit the cafe, wander at leisure or take an audio or guided tour. Cockatoo Island is open daily and there is no admission charge. Regular events and art installations are a feature of the island.
Cockatoo Island has grown into a versatile cultural venue on Sydney's cultural calendar. In 2008, it was a major venue partner of the 16th Biennale of Sydney, attracting over 80,000 visitors over 12 weeks. In 2010, the event attracted over 156,000 people. In 2009, Cockatoo Island hosted the Sydney Festival's "All Tomorrow's Parties" music festival; the two-day festival included twenty-four bands over four stages across the island, was curated and headlined by Nick Cave, attracting an audience of over 11,000. The island hosted the World's Funniest Island Comedy Festival in October 2009, with 200 comedy acts appearing over a weekend, attracting over 8,000 visitors; the island is increasingly used as a venue for private events both large and small. Part of the blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine was filmed there in 2008. Reality television programs have used the island as a location. Before the arrival of Europeans, Cockatoo Island was used by the indigenous Australian people of Sydney's coastal region.
In 1839 it was chosen as the site of a new penal establishment by the Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Sir George Gipps. Between 1839 and 1869 the island was used as a convict prison. Prisoners were transferred to Cockatoo Island from Norfolk Island, were employed constructing their barracks and rock-cut silos for storing the colony's grain supply. By 1842 140 tonnes of grain were stored on the island. Quarrying on the island provided stone for construction projects around Sydney, including the seawall for Circular Quay. Between 1847 and 1857, convicts were used to dig the Fitzroy Dock, Australia's first dry dock, on the island. An estimated 1.5 million cubic feet of rock was excavated with 480,000 cubic feet forming the dock itself. In 2009, an archeological dig on the island uncovered convict era punishment cells under the cookhouse; these cells give a valuable insight into the conditions convicts lived under on the island. One prisoner on Cockatoo Island was the Australian bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt, who escaped in 1863 to begin the crime spree which made him famous.
It is alleged that his wife had swum across to the island with tools to effect his escape, following which they both swam back to the mainland. There is no significant evidence to support this cla
A penal colony or exile colony is a settlement used to exile prisoners and separate them from the general population by placing them in a remote location an island or distant colonial territory. Although the term can be used to refer to a correctional facility located in a remote location it is more used to refer to communities of prisoners overseen by wardens or governors having absolute authority. Penal colonies have been used for penal labour in an economically underdeveloped part of a state's territories, on a far larger scale than a prison farm; the British used colonial North America as a penal colony through a system of indentured servitude. Merchants would transport the convicts and auction them off to plantation owners upon arrival in the colonies, it is estimated that some 50,000 British convicts were sent to colonial America and the majority landed in the Chesapeake Colonies of Maryland and Virginia. Transported convicts represented one-quarter of all British emigrants during the 18th century.
The colony of Georgia, for example, was first founded by James Edward Oglethorpe who intended to use prisoners taken from debtors' prison, creating a "Debtor's Colony," where the prisoners could learn trades and work off their debts. Though this failed, the idea that the state began as a penal colony has persisted, both in popular history and local lore; the British would ship Irish and the Welsh to the Americas whenever rebellions took place in Ireland, Scotland or Wales but these were sent to Maryland and Virginia, not Georgia. When that avenue closed in the 1780s after the American Revolution, Britain began using parts of what is now known as Australia as penal settlements. Australian penal colonies included Norfolk Island, Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales. Advocates of Irish Home Rule or of Trade Unionism sometimes received sentences of deportation to these Australian colonies.. Without the allocation of the available convict labour to farmers, to pastoral squatters, to government projects such as roadbuilding, colonisation of Australia may not have been possible considering the considerable drain on non-convict labor caused by several goldrushes that took place in the second half of the 19th century after the flow of convicts had dwindled and ceased.
Bermuda, off the North American continent, was used during the Victorian period. Convicts housed in hulks were used to build the Royal Naval Dockyard there, during the Second Boer War, Boer prisoners-of-war were sent to the archipelago and imprisoned on one of the smaller islands. In colonial India, the British made various penal colonies. Two of the most infamous ones are on the Andaman Islands and Hijli. In the early days of settlement, Singapore Island was the recipient of Indian convicts, who were tasked with clearing the jungles for settlement and early public works. France sent criminals to tropical penal colonies including Louisiana in the early 18th century. Devil's Island in French Guiana, 1852 -- 1939, received other criminals. New Caledonia and its Isle of Pines in Melanesia received transported dissidents like the Communards, Kabyles rebels as well as convicted criminals between the 1860s and 1897; the Qing Empire of 1644–1912 used Xinjiang province in the north-west of China as a penal colony.
Ecuador has used two islands in the Galapagos archipelago as penal colonies: the Island of San Cristóbal and Isabela Island. Imperial Russia used Siberia as a penal colony for dissidents. Though geographically contiguous with heartland Russia, Siberia provided both remoteness and a harsh climate. In 1857 a penal colony was established on the island of Sakhalin; the Soviet Gulag system and its tsarist predecessor, the katorga system, provided penal labor to develop forestry and mining industries, construction enterprises, as well as highways and railroads across Siberia and in other areas. In modern Russian Federation, corrective labor colonies are a common type of prison. In Paraguay the first ruler and supreme dictator Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia opened the penal colony of Tevego in 1813, where petty criminals were sent, it re-established in 1843 as San Salvador. It was evacuated towards the end of the Paraguayan War of 1864–1870; the Kingdom of Hawaii under the rule of King Kamehameha III replaced the death penalty with exile, Kahoolawe became a men's penal colony sometime around 1830, while Kaena Point on Lanai served as the female penal colony.
The law making the island a penal colony was repealed in 1853. Buru Island in Indonesia was used as penal colony during the New Order era to hold political prisoners. Apartheid South Africa used Robben Island as penal colony for anti apartheid activists; the Netherlands had a penal colony from the late 19th century. The Department of Justice took over the town of Veenhuizen to turn it into a collection of prison buildings; the town stands in the least populated province of Drenthe in the north of the country, isolated in the middle of a vast area of peat and marshland. Mexico uses the island of Isla María Madre as a penal colony. With a small population, the colony is governed by a state official, both the governor of the islands and chief judge; the military command is independent of the government and is exercised by an officer of the Mexican Navy. The other islands are uninhabited. Brazil had a prison on the