Good Reading : July 2011
51 GOOD READING JULY 2011 TRANSPORTED FOR LIFE [PART ONE] William Moy Thomas An account of William Henry Barber, a solicitor (whose name is not revealed in the article), who was transported to Norfolk Island in 1844. The article describes his imprisonment, trial and subsequent conviction, followed by his transfer by ship to Norfolk Island. See notes at the end of part two for more details on Barber. VOLUME: 5 Number: 123 Pages: 455--64 DATE: July 31, 1852 FEE: 10 pounds 10 shillings for 18 Columns. The following nar rative is not fictitious. It has been taken down from the lips of the narrator, whose sufferings are described; with the object of showing what Transportation, at the present time, really is. Many years ago -- eventful years with me -- I stood at the bar of a court of justice, and heard the terrible announcement of the judge, that I was to be transported to a penal colony for the remainder of my life. My innocence of the crime of which twelve men had, at the end of my long trial, declared me guilty, has since been established. I have not forgotten, nor shall I ever forget, with what emotions I rose, at the end of a trial which lasted a whole week, to make my last appeal, 'in ar rest of judgment'. My appeal was in vain; and, when I heard my principal fellow prisoner whom I then knew to be guilty, asserting in fewer words -- though with scarcely less fervour -- that he also was guiltless, I felt how little the most emphatic assertions of a prisoner could weigh with those who have had long experience in the administration of justice. Then, and not till then, a feeling of my utter helplessness came upon me. The complete isolation of the soul of every man from me had never before presented itself so strongly to my mind. My fellow prisoner has since acquitted me of all participation in his crime. How different, then, were the thoughts and feelings in our breasts, as we stood there side by side.Yet the crowd about us were as unable to look into the mind of the guilty man, as I was powerless to make known to them my own. The present separate celled prison omnibus had not come into use at that time; and, after the trial was over, myself and a batch of other prisoners were conveyed from Newgate in a long van open at the top and guarded by a policeman, in the place of conductor, to the prison at Milbank. I was chained leg to leg with a man who had been twice convicted of burglary. The operation of riveting on the irons is a painful one, and is perfor med with as much rudeness and with as little feeling as it could have been done five centuries since -- each stroke of the riveting hammer causing a sensation of pain something like toothdrawing. It was a fine spring mor ning; and through the entrance of the vehicle, I caught a glimpse -- perhaps, as I thought, for the last time -- of the Charles Dickens’ Australia Book one: Convict stories Charles Dickens worked as a journalist for nearly 40 years. For 20 years he edited Household Words, his own weekly journal. His keen interest in Australia is indicated by the fact that some 100 articles of the 3000 he published were about Australia. These interesting stories, which provide an insight into a pivotal time in Australia’s history, have now been grouped together in five volumes titled Charles Dickens’ Australia, researched and presented by MARGARET MENDELAWITZ and published by Sydney University Press. Here is an extract from one of the stories. BOOK BITE The complete isolation of the soul of every man from me had never before presented itself so strongly to my mind.