Discover Maria Island’s convicts in the Port Arthur Talk

September 15, 2009

Historian Brian Rieusset will share his discoveries about the convicts at the first settlement on Maria Island in today’s Port Arthur Talk.

Missing from the wealth of convict documents which survive in the State Archives Office today is any detailed register of convicts at the first settlement on Maria Island. But on a visit to the UK in 2006, Brian was surprised to discover that such a register did exist in the Oxfordshire Record Office.

How it got there is a mystery. Brian will present an illustrated talk, not only detailing the setting up of the Maria Island convict settlement, but who were the convicts, their personal information and their later disposal. Just how the register managed to survive in private hands for over 120 years and finally end up in Oxford will also be examined.

Brian is an author and historical researcher on many aspects of early Tasmanian convict history. He has been involved with the Campbell Street gaol complex since the 1950s.

He is the curator and property manager of the Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site, where he has been responsible for the research, restoration and interpretation for over 25 years.


Tuesday 15 September 2009, starting promptly at 5.30pm

Port Arthur Talks take place in the Junior Medical Officer’s Conference Room at the Port Arthur Historic Site.