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Glossary

 

Absolute Pardon: granted freedom to convicts and the permission to return to Britain

Assignment: the first major event in a convict's career on arrival in Australia. Men were often assigned as labourers to private settlers; women were assigned privately as house servants.

Bridewell: a gaol, named after (St) Bride's Well in London, England. This was endowed first by royalty as a hospital and later became a house of correction.

Certificate of Freedom: a document stating that a convict's term had been served, given only to convicts with less than a life sentence. The latter could receive only a Pardon.

Conditional Pardon: A man or woman conditionally pardoned became technically free but could not leave the colony of Australia until the expiry of their original sentence imposed in Britain. A Conditional Pardon meant that the convict was now classed as FREE although he could not leave the colony. Therefore that meant he could marry without obtaining the permission of the Governor.

Indent: the record of a convict's arrival in the Colony containing basic information by which they could be identified.

Reset: a Scottish legal expression meaning 'receiving stolen goods'.

Ticket of Leave: a form of parole a convict could apply for after several years of satisfactory service. Tickets of leave were usually granted a) after 4 years for convicts with 7 year sentence  b) after 6 years for 14 year sentence holders and  c) after 8 years for those with a life sentence. The principal superintendent recommended a ticket of leave depending on how much extra punishment the applicant prisoner had received. Tickets of leave exempted convicts from public labour and allowed them to work for themselves.

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