This week’s photo prompt comes courtesy of Randy Maizie. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write 100 words on whatever the photo suggests to you. All submissions are scutinised by our leader Rochelle Wisoff-Fields aka Mrs Phelps and enjoyed by all the other Friday Fictioneers. Good luck!
Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100
After eight gruelling months, the Barossa reached Hobart.
Released from their shackles, the prisoners staggered on deck for the muster. Richard stood quietly. There was no escaping the unyielding heat of the southern sun. Briefly he envied those who had died in their chains.
The charge was murder; lacking evidence the gallows were exchanged for penal servitude. He was innocent; friends and family knew it and it pained him to accept that he would never see them again.
He laboured hard, eventually receiving his ticket. His homeland forbidden him, Richard settled in Van Diemen’s Land and died there aged 56.
This is based on the research I have been doing on my family tree. I have an ancestor who was transported to Van Diemen’s Land – present day Tasmania – accused of murdering a special constable who was trying to quieten a mob during a Chartist riot. Richard was found guilty, based on the evidence of someone who remembered ‘a tall lad in a brightly woven cap’. He escaped the gallows only to endure transportation for life. He was 21. Forbidden ever to return home, he made a life in Hobart.
For more information on Convicts in Australia