View of the 'Justitia' prison hulk with convicts at work near Woolwich, 1777
Convicts perform hard labour at the Woolwich Warren. The prison ship (or hulk) on the river is the 'Justitia'. Prisoners were kept on board such ships for months awaiting deportation to Australia. The 'Justitia' was a 260 ton prison hulk that had been originally moored in the Thames when the American War of Independence put a stop to the transportation of criminals to the former colonies. It belonged to the shipowner Duncan Campbell, who was the Government contractor who organized the prison-hulk system at that time. Campbell was subsequently involved in the shipping of convicts to the penal colony at Botany Bay in New South Wales, the 'first fleet' going out in 1788. Print from New Newgate Calendar or Malefactor's Register.
Original size: 177 mm x 98 mm
- Image reference: PZ9265
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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