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[The following is in regards to the Macquarie Harbour Penal Station. A little context, courtesy of Wikipedia: “The Macquarie Harbour Penal Station, a former British colonial penal settlement, established on Sarah Island, Macquarie Harbour, in the former colony of Van Diemen's Land, now Tasmania, operated between 1822 and 1833. The settlement housed mainly male convicts, with a small number of women. During its 11 years of operation, the penal colony achieved a reputation as one of the harshest penal settlements in the Australian colonies.”]

The Australian historian Robert Hughes has identified Macquarie during its ten years of operation as ‘the worst spot in the English-speaking world’. To its inmates it was known more simply as ‘Hell’s Gates’, and whatever vestiges of human dignity might have endured in the miserable incorrigibles passing through its portals, the regime seemed designed to strip away completely. The inmates were moved relentlessly between filthy, overcrowded, verminous quarters to work sites felling timber or sawing logs for twelve to sixteen hours a day. The only relief was a diet of watery gruel and lumps of two- or three-year-old brine-soaked pork or beef. Otherwise there was the daily diversion of punishment beatings – floggings so meticulously recorded in prison ledgers that we know exactly 33,723 lashes fell between 1822 and 1826: one for almost each time the clock struck the hour.

There is no more compelling evidence of Macquarie’s hellish ethos than the details of the inmates’ attempted escapes. Sometimes convicts were so morally defeated they played a ‘game’ in which participants drew lots to see who would be murderer and who the victim. Then in full view of the guards the deed would be carried out, ensuring the assailant’s execution and a diverting trip to Hobart for witnesses to the crime. This might then provide the opportunity for a breakout, although this too was a serious gamble. Of the 112 who tried, it is known that more than half died in the attempt.


Source:

Cocker, Mark. “The Black War.” Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold: Europe's Conquest of Indigenous Peoples. Grove Press, 2001. 146-47. Print.

Original source Listed:

Hughes, The Fatal Shore, p. 377.


Further Reading:

Macquarie Harbour Penal Station


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[**The following is in regards to the Macquarie Harbour Penal Station. A little context, courtesy of Wikipedia: “The Macquarie Harbour Penal Station, a former British colonial penal settlement, established on Sarah Island, Macquarie Harbour, in the former colony of Van Diemen's Land, now Tasmania, operated between 1822 and 1833. The settlement housed mainly male convicts, with a small number of women. During its 11 years of operation, the penal colony achieved a reputation as one of the harshest penal settlements in the Australian colonies.”**] >The Australian historian Robert Hughes has identified Macquarie during its ten years of operation as ‘the worst spot in the English-speaking world’. To its inmates it was known more simply as ‘Hell’s Gates’, and whatever vestiges of human dignity might have endured in the miserable incorrigibles passing through its portals, the regime seemed designed to strip away completely. The inmates were moved relentlessly between filthy, overcrowded, verminous quarters to work sites felling timber or sawing logs for twelve to sixteen hours a day. The only relief was a diet of watery gruel and lumps of two- or three-year-old brine-soaked pork or beef. Otherwise there was the daily diversion of punishment beatings – floggings so meticulously recorded in prison ledgers that we know exactly 33,723 lashes fell between 1822 and 1826: one for almost each time the clock struck the hour. >There is no more compelling evidence of Macquarie’s hellish ethos than the details of the inmates’ attempted escapes. Sometimes convicts were so morally defeated they played a ‘game’ in which participants drew lots to see who would be murderer and who the victim. Then in full view of the guards the deed would be carried out, ensuring the assailant’s execution and a diverting trip to Hobart for witnesses to the crime. This might then provide the opportunity for a breakout, although this too was a serious gamble. Of the 112 who tried, it is known that more than half died in the attempt. _____________________________ **Source:** Cocker, Mark. “The Black War.” *Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold: Europe's Conquest of Indigenous Peoples*. Grove Press, 2001. 146-47. Print. **Original source Listed:** Hughes, *The Fatal Shore*, p. 377. _____________________________ **Further Reading:** [Macquarie Harbour Penal Station](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macquarie_Harbour_Penal_Station) ___________________________ **If you enjoy this type of content, please consider donating to my [Patreon](https://www.patreon.com/HistoryLockeBox)!**

3 comments

[–] Annelise 1 points (+1|-0)

Is that the same Macquarie associated with the Macquarie Dictionary?

[–] LockeProposal 0 points (+0|-0)

Good questions, I'm not sure!

[–] Annelise 1 points (+1|-0)

My husband has a copy. I paged through it a few times and found some of it pretty interesting.