The Convict

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

The Convict

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 








46 thoughts on “The Convict

  1. Great story! There’s so much more you could do with this. I feel we are almost related seeing as how I live in Australia and you live in one of my most favourite parts of the world 🙂


    • Thank you Lynn. So pleased that you liked the story, love the idea that we may be almost related!
      I feel there is quite a way to go with this story. Where in Australia are you?


      • Sounds a lovely place to be. My youngest son spent his gap year in Australia. He travelled some and then he and three friends rented a flat overlooking Bondi Beach. He worked as a steward during the Olympics and for man who owned a boatyard. He met some great people and they all keep in touch. Oz is on my bucket list…


  2. Dear Dee,

    Besides your well-written story the historical link is highly interesting. I enjoyed the read. I came here to be entertained and left with a bit of education. Mission accomplished.


    Mrs. Phelps 😉


    • Dear Mrs Phelps
      Thank you so much for your kind comments. I am pleased that you liked the story.
      I always intended to write a book about him, when I pluck up the courage!!
      Take care


    • Dear Jan
      I’m pleased you found the story interesting, the history of this time has always been of interest to me and more so when I found my ancestor.
      Thanks for reading


  3. History is much more interesting when you have a personal link–looks like you have a great plot in the making and the “tall lad in a brightly woven cap” has already triggered my sympathies. Good job.


  4. History is so much more interesting when you have a personal link. You have a great plot here and the “tall lad in a brightly woven cap” already has my sympathy. Good story.


  5. Dear Dee,

    This was wonderfully told and the fact that it is history, your history, lends an extra degree of poignance to the tale. You must be an excellent researcher or have had ancestors who were smart enought to keep good family records. Good job.

    (Your comment to my piece (Sex with Ghosts) was sent to my spam file. In listneing to Sandra and Rochelle voice similar complaints I have started checking the file once a day.)




    • Dear Doug
      Thank you for your kind comments. I have been researching him for 12 years and have amassed files full of information during that time. My intention has always been to write about him, perhaps now I will do that. I’ve certainly received encouragement from my FF friends.

      Take care

      About the spam – it is very confusing, sometimes when I’m out and about I comment/reply using the WordPress app on my phone and when I have access to a pc I send from there. Wonder if this makes a difference?


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