Port Arthur Convict Life Essay

995 Words4 Pages
Life as a convict at Port Arthur was neither easy or pleasant. Getting to Port Arthur was difficult, the journey from England was long and hard, some men didn't make the trip. The food they had to eat and the clothes they were made to wear was a punishment within itself. It was hard to get through one day in the jail let alone years for some. The punishments inflicted were harsh and cruel and were a high part of convict life. The trades and workload were heavy but in some cases successful for life after Port Arthur.
The journey from England was long and hard. Prisoners were chained up for 8 months at sea. The cells were either made up of wood or iron with bars and they were divided up in compartments. On some ships a load of 50 convicts were
…show more content…
Convicts who had done the worst crimes were sentenced to the hard labor. The government put these men through the hardest physical work they would ever have endure, the upper class relied heavily on this free labour and to establish the prison and all of it's operations. Convicts who had behaved well were given a lighter workload.
Some punishments such as flogging, solitary confinement and heavy irons were given if someone broke the rules or misbehaved. Flogging was a common type of punishment used, not only for prisoners but for guards too. They would be tied to a wooden triangle frame in front of their fellow prisoners and guards and would be lashed with the cat of nine tails. It depended on what you had done but the number of lashes would be between 10-100 on your bare back.
Leg irons were used to restrict your movement and cancel any attempt of escape. The irons were placed around your ankles and the weight varied from 6-13 kg. It was the convicts responsibility to keep the irons in good condition. The irons were worn day and night and could be worn up to a year. They could only be removed by a chisel. The purpose of leg irons were to cause discomfort and pain. The convicts would be left with bruises and leg lesions. In some cases convicts were connected together by the
Open Document