Smoothing and engraving a coin with a message of affection was one of the few ways a convict transported to Australia could leave a memento behind with loved ones in England. These small tokens are also known as 'leaden hearts'. They record personal and emotional responses from convicts whose lives are more often represented by official government records. ref site for details on these coins and others
Website reveals secrets of convicts sent to Australia
Convicts being transported To Australia. Australia became the politically expedient safety valve for Britain's overpopulated jails. These were fit to burst after American colonies slammed the door on British deportees after the American War of Independence in 1776. In 1787, the first 11 ships carrying convicts to Australia – known as the First Fleet – set sail for New South Wales, arriving eight months later.
Irish Female Convicts and Children Transported to Australia in 1848. Irish women and children were prisoners on the convict ship the John Calvin. Children as young as 12 years old were among the Irish female convicts.