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On this day …….. 28th May 1814

Unlike in the penal colony of New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) remained largely a convict settlement for its first fifty years. Little was done to encourage free settlers to take up land on the island. The colony faced starvation in the first few years of its existence, so Governor of Tasmania, Colonel Collins, was forced to send out the convicts to hunt. Lured by their unexpected freedom and undaunted by their isolation from the mainland, many convicts chose not to return, but undertook a life of bushranging. Bushranging soon reached epidemic proportions, and in May 1813, Lieutenant Governor Davey demanded all absconded convicts and bushrangers return by December, or face being shot on sight after that date. Concerned by the ramifications of the subsequent outrage, on 28 May 1814 the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, offered a pardon to all convicts except for those who had been convicted of murder, if they surrendered within six months. Taking the proclamation as a licence to bushrange, many convicts continued their crimes until the last moment. True to his word, Macquarie pardoned them of all previous crimes, whereupon many of them promptly returned to bushranging.

Join the team at Twisted History for a Paranormal Investigation of the Prison of the Ill, at the Old Geelong Gaol. Geelong gaol was built in the 1840 as a hospital gaol for convicts, murders and lunatic.  More deaths have happened at the gaol than any other in Victoria.  Do you have what it takes to explore Victorias most haunted Gaol…… For information and booking please call 1300865800

On this day …….. 28th May 1814

Unlike in the penal colony of New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) remained largely a convict settlement for its first fifty years. Little was done to encourage free settlers to take up land on the island. The colony faced starvation in the first few years of its existence, so Governor of Tasmania, Colonel Collins, was forced to send out the convicts to hunt. Lured by their unexpected freedom and undaunted by their isolation from the mainland, many convicts chose not to return, but undertook a life of bushranging. Bushranging soon reached epidemic proportions, and in May 1813, Lieutenant Governor Davey demanded all absconded convicts and bushrangers return by December, or face being shot on sight after that date. Concerned by the ramifications of the subsequent outrage, on 28 May 1814 the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, offered a pardon to all convicts except for those who had been convicted of murder, if they surrendered within six months. Taking the proclamation as a licence to bushrange, many convicts continued their crimes until the last moment. True to his word, Macquarie pardoned them of all previous crimes, whereupon many of them promptly returned to bushranging.