Last updated on: 1/30/2017 | Author:

1717-1769 – 36,000 British Convicts Transported to America after Passage of Transportation Act of 1717

“The late 17th and 18th centuries saw a decline in the ‘older’ punishments in favour of fines, prison and, a new solution to the problem: transportation. From the Transportation Act of 1717 up to 1769, 36,000 convicts were sent to British colonies in America. 70% of offenders at the Old Bailey in London in this period were transported… Under the ‘Bloody Code,’ courts were looking for a punishment which was not as extreme as hanging, but tougher than a fine. In the absence of proper prisons, transportation seemed the answer and was used for over a hundred years. In the 18th century convicts were transported to America. After US independence in 1776, however, this option was closed and the British government looked for another destination… Australia.”