When did Transportation to the Colonies end.

Exactly when did Transportation to the Colonies end?

A simple question, but answers on Google seem to get it wrong.

1840, 1857, 1868, 1897?

Example answers include:

Transportation was not formally abolished until 1868, but it had been effectively stopped in 1857 and had become unusual well before that date.

Transportation to New South Wales ended in 1840.

Australians began to object strongly to their country being used as a dumping-ground for Britain’s criminals. Transportation ended in 1857.

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On 9 January 1868 the convict transport Hougoumont arrived at the port of Fremantle. On board were 269 convicts, the last to be sent to Western Australia.

The first penal colony, in Australia, was established in New South Wales in 1788.

It all relates to Australia, even though Australia was not mentioned in the question!!

I was actually looking up the French transportation punishment to New Caledonia, which ended in 1897, some decades after British transportation to Australia.

The French transportation policy actually began after Britain ended theirs.

New Caledonia became a penal colony in 1864, with France sending about 22,000 criminals and political prisoners there, until the end of the transportations in 1897.

An interesting point about Transportation to Australia from Britain, from Babette Smith, historian and author of “Australia’s Birthstain: the startling legacy of the convict era”, says that transportation wasn’t as bad as its legacy decries.

Most of the prisoners got access to medical care and to meat,” “And their children were often markedly taller and stronger.”

Some crimes were even carefully premeditated to warrant transportation with a lenient sentence as an escape from poverty in Britain, or to join family members.

What were the benefits for being transported to Australia?

Convicts and soldiers received a weekly ration of:

7 pounds of beef or 4 pounds of pork
7 pounds of bread or flour
3 pints peas
6 oz of butter
1/2 pound of rice or flour (from HRA vol. 1, p.44)

Tea, sugar and tobacco were regarded as indulgences and could be withheld for bad behaviour.​

Rations for Female Convicts
At the Female Factory at Parramatta, each woman was given a weekly ration of:

7 pounds of bread
3.5 pounds of fresh meat
1 pound sugar
2 oz tea (from Convict Guide, p.90)

Rationing for convicts continued until the 1840s.

Many British convicts were previously starving, while still free in Britain.

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