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George Paul Tasmanian convict

By David Barton

George Paul (1820- 1884)  grew up in Shave Cross and was sentenced to 10 years ‘beyond the seas,’ and  incarcerated in Dorchester Gaol and the  Millbank Penitentiary while awaiting his transportation to Van Diemens Land on the convict ship Theresa .  

There were hundreds of Dorset people, mainly agricultural workers that were transported. There were many men and women removed from Dorset and sent away on convict ships to Tasmania.

This story covers George’s life in Marshwood Dorset where at the age of 24 years his life changed forever when he was found guilty of stealing from a local farmer and from his uncle Aaron Paul a shoemaker in Shave Cross.  George’s punishment reverberated in the local parish and cut deeply into family relationships. The Paul family were well known to Marshwood’s inhabitants and Georges’ fate would have been talked about in the Shave Cross Inn and in nearby cottages and farms.

When George arrived in Hobart, he did work in a convict gang and then served the rest of his punishment labouring for six different masters. After he gained his freedom, he went to the mainland and took part in the goldrush in Ballarat.

At the time of his death in 1884 George was one of those rare individuals, a past- convict, who had lived in three of Australia’s six colonies – Van Diemens Land; Victoria and New South Wales.

The story may be viewed in PDF format here::

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