Convicts: Bound for Australia

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List of Quarter Sessions Court records held at the Library 

List of Quarter Sessions Court records held at the Library

Search the table below to see if we hold the records for the county and dates you need.

County Entry Number in Misc. Series Handbook Description
Bedfordshire 31 Transportation for life 1825-52 and transportation sentences of penal servitude, 1801-1878, giving names of convicts and ages, offences, sentences and disposals.
Buckinghamshire 80 Calendars of prisoners 1789-1855 in Aylesbury Gaol including many sentenced to transportation.
Cheshire 96 Quarter Sessions Records: orders by QS and Chester Sessions for transportation of convicts 1749, 1803-1829; Orders by Secretary of State for transportation of convicts to hulks 1802-1840; reports and returns of convicts transported under sentence of transportation 1802-1856; circulars and correspondence on transportation of convicts 1802-51; convict lists sent to Commissioners of County Rates, March 1835.
Devon 137 Records 1787-1843 of Exeter Gaol, including transportation orders and papers.
East Sussex (and West Sussex) 153 Quarter Sessions Records: expenses of criminal prosecutions and transport of convicts 1835-57; return of expenses of conveying convicts 1857-78 for East and West Sussex.
Essex 158

Quarter Sessions Records:

  1. Minor functions, miscellaneous: drafts of orders of Quarter Sessions for transportation May 1845-June 1853, showing name, crime and sentence of each convict.
  2. Clerk of the Peace. Parliamentary returns; return of transportation orders 1844-53, giving name, age, crime and sentence of each convict; expenses of prosecution and of conveying convicts sentenced to transportation.
Hereford and
216 Sheriff's Oaths and Appointments 1827-1834 referring to transfer of convicts from Hereford Gaol to Ships.
Hertfordshire 217 Quarter Session records 1797-1841 incl. Lists of convicts transported from Herts.
Hull 238 Quarter Session Records 1786-87 regarding transportation of 3 convicts to Botany Bay and removal of convicts from Hull Gaol to hulk Dunkirk.
Humberside 240 Calendar of prisoners in Hull Gaol 1825 and Beverley House of Correction 1841 containing details of transportees.
Ireland 339 Papers 1797-98 concerning United Irishmen sentenced to transportation; Register of prisoners at an Irish Gaol, possibly Spike Island Govt Prison, April 1849-Oct 1850.
Kent 264 Records of Maidstone Gaol 1805-53: Convict book 1805-33 and calendar of Prisoners, with details of prisoners sentenced to transportation.


Note: Lancashire, England, Quarter Session Records and Petitions, 1648-1908 on Ancestry Library

  1. Calendars of prisoners and transportation documents 1782-83, 1805-47 held at Lancaster Castle, & Houses of Correction at Preston, Salford and Liverpool giving details of names ages, crimes sentences and including list of convicts under sentence of transportation;
  2. Assize papers 1819-1842 containing orders for commutation of death sentences to transportation; 8 Correspondence 1812-1816 relating to the trial and transportation of Thomas Holden of Bolton;
  3. Letters 1840-46 of a convict Richard Boothman describing life on the Hulk Justicia and in Van Diemen's Land.
Liverpool 283 Justices Sessions. Gaol and House of correction: Index to minutes of meetings and select sections of minutes concerning transport of convicts to hulks and treatment of female convicts 1837.
London (see also Middlesex) 291 Scrapbook of social reformer Robert Own containing acc. By W. Pare of a visit to female convicts at Newgate Prison 1834.
Middlesex 114

Corporation of London Records Office: Records of criminal cases tried at London Criminal Court (Old Bailey) and of prisoners held in Newgate Gaol.

  1. Index to persons indicted 1756-1834. The lists give name and date and an abbreviated indication of the offence, and sometimes of the sentence.
  2. Sessions Minute-books (Fair Entry Books) 1783-1834. Each session is divided into:
    • a) Gaol Delivery, giving names of justices, jurors and those tried with a note of their offences and sentences;
    • b) Oyer and Terminer trials, where appropriate, giving names of jurors and recognisances brought forward;
    • c) Gaol Calendar giving names of prisoners arranged by sentence.
  3. Transportation Account 1829-1840. It contains clerks' charges for drawing up documents and other contracts connected with the transportation of convicts, arranged chronologically by ship (Find further detail about transportation records here).
  4. Bills 1791 of Keeper of Newgate in respect of persons sentenced to transportation

Greater London Record Office: Records of cases from the County of Middlesex tried in the London Criminal Court (Old Bailey and detained
in Newgate Gaol:

  1. Index to persons indicted 1774-1832: Under each letter of the alphabet the lists are arranged chronologically. The list gives names and date of the session and an abbreviated indication of the offence and sometimes of the sentence.
  2. Gaol Delivery Books (Fair Entry books) 1785-1834: arranged chronologically by date of court of session, each session's record is divided into: i) Gaol Delivery, giving names of justices, jurors and those tried, with a note of their offences and sentences; ii) Oyer and Terminer trials, where appropriate, giving names of jurors and recognizances brought forward; iii) Gaol Calendar giving names of prisoners arranged by sentence.
  3. Calendar of prisoners, Newgate 1820-1822, 1830-53: arranged chronologically, giving name of each convict, age, trade, by whom and when committed, offence and sentence. Note: These records supplement those in HO 26: Criminal Registers: Middlesex 1791-1849.
Norfolk 349 Document from Cubitt collection being a petition dated October 1786 requesting that prisoners from the great Yarmouth Gaol be sent to Bot. Bay. Personal details of 8 prisoners given.
North Yorkshire 351 Records of Northallerton Quarter Sessions 1785-1853 and York Quarter Sessions 1827-54 including calendars of prisoners.
Nottinghamshire 356 Card index to transportations recorded in the Nottingham borough Quarter Sessions records 1723-1858.
Oxfordshire 360 Calendars 1775-1853 of prisoners tried at Oxford Quarter Sessions and Assizes.
Shropshire 415 Calendars 1786-1845 of prisoners, Shrewsbury Gaol, listing convicts tried at both Assizes and Quarter Sessions.
Somerset 425 Register of prisoners at Shepton Mallet Gaol 1842-72 containing many references to transportation.
Southampton 429 QS records 1804-29 referring to 9 convicts.


Note: Surrey, England, Calendar of Prisoners, 1848-1902 on Ancestry


452 Calendar of prisoners 1848-53 for Surrey QS at Newington Gaol.
West Yorkshire 494 Calendars 1823-49 of prisoners in the House of Correction at Wakefield.
Wiltshire 507 QS records: 12 selected bonds and contracts 1787-89 for transportation of felons to NSW.

York (See also Nth and Sth Yorkshire)

Note: Yorkshire, England, Quarter Session Records, 1637-1914 on Ancestry


510 Calendars of prisoners 1828-53 in the house of correction including details of convicts under sentence of transportation. Calendar of prisoners 1828-33 at York Gaol.

Dorset, England, Quarter Sessions Order Books, 1625-1905 also on Ancestry.



O'Brien, E 2005, AJCP handbook Part 8: Miscellaneous (M Series), 3rd edn, National Library of Australia, Canberra.