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Tocal's convicts 1822-1840

Penal settlements

Twelve per cent of Tocal's convicts were sentenced to secondary transportation to a penal settlement, the most severe punishment apart from hanging. The first settlement in New South Wales specifically for the further punishment of convicts was established at Newcastle in 1804 following the Castle Hill rebellion, and several Tocal convicts served colonial sentences there. Tocal's convicts were also well represented at the penal settlements of Port Macquarie, Moreton Bay and Norfolk Island that were established after the Newcastle settlement was closed.

The most common reason for their conviction was some form of theft, including armed robbery and highway robbery. As the table below shows, some of the Tocal men served more than one term at a penal settlement.

Tocal convicts sent to Norfolk Island

Although penal settlements were places of severe punishment, they provided a wide variety of work and conditions. They also had a promotional framework to offer some hope of better conditions or less punishment as a reward for good behaviour.

Below: the abandoned penal settlement at Norfolk Island (photo taken about the late 1850s)

Norfolk Island 1850s