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Tasmania - Organisation

Convict Department (1818 - 1877)

Government Department

The Convict Department was established in 1818. It managed Tasmania's convict system, and after transportation ceased in 1853, people who had been in the system. The Department closed in 1877.


After Tasmania became self-governing in 1856, the Convict Department was part of the Imperial, as distinct from Colonial, establishment and was directly responsible to the Governor. By 1871 the number of Imperial convicts, that is, ex-convicts in institutions such as lunatic asylums was so few that they were transferred to colonial custody. Their costs continued to be met out of Imperial funds.



  • Robson, Leslie Lloyd, A history of Tasmania. Volume I. Van Diemen's Land from the earliest times to 1855, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1983, 632 pp. Details

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill and Caroline Evans