Jersey deportees to Australia shown in archive book

Transport Register
Image caption The transport register was released under the 75-year rule.

A cattle thief and a brothel owner who murdered a police officer were among Jersey residents deported to Australia in the 19th Century.

A book showing details of deportees has been made public by the Jersey Archive.

The Transportation Register is the last of its kind and also includes information on more than 60 convicts sent from the island to Australia.

Linda Romeril, head of archives and collections, said it was being released under the 75-year rule.

She said while it started in 1843, it could not be published until 75 years after the day it was closed in 1939.

The book, previously held by the La Moye Prison in St Brelade, includes the name, occupation and conviction, as well as personal comments about each of the deportees.

Ms Romeril said: "One of the interesting things about the register is the range of people it contains.

"We have somebody like Philip Gosset [Treasurer of the States of Jersey], who was convicted of embezzling public funds, which led to banking problems in the 1880s."

Treasurer of the States

After 1868, convicts not able to be housed in Jersey were sent to the UK to serve their sentence. Among these was Philippe Gosset, the Treasurer of the States.

He had been the States treasurer and had been gambling with funds he looked after.

His actions led to a banking crisis in the island and a change in the law that had previously excluded banks from limited liability.

She continued: "Compare that to people who appear for petty theft. There is one gentlemen who was convicted 29 times before he was eventually removed."

Each entry in the book marks whether the convict can read and write. They also include comments from the prison chaplain on their character.

These range from single words such as "good", to more detailed comments such as "he is intelligent and docile and of an excellent disposition ... he may have been led astray".

One convict, John Smith, was sent to Australia aged 27 after stealing two cows. He was described as being "respectable" by the chaplain.

Image caption One remark left on Mrs Le Noble said she was a person of "vengeful disposition"
Image caption Linda Romeril says the book provides a good starting point for people researching family history

For the latter part of the 19th Century, the book shows people deported to Australia and then moves to show people sent to institutions in the UK.

Among the people listed is Marie Ann Le Noble, 36, who was sent to Australia for the remainder of her natural life.

Mrs Le Noble was well known to the authorities for running a brothel in St Helier. After about seven years, a police officer was sent to close it down and she killed him.

She was sent to Van Dieman's Land aboard the ship Elizabeth & Henry in 1846. The ship, which carried women prisoners only, took 109 days to reach its final destination.

Image caption John Smith was sent to Australia aged 27 after stealing two cows. He was described as being respectable by the prison chaplain

Ms Romeril said comments about convicts in the book were "not very PC" compared to modern standards.

This is what was written about Mrs Le Noble: "She is a person of vengeful disposition as it appears by her confession that she had entertained a rancorous hatred against the police officer whom she assassinated."

The book, and other documents newly released under the 75-year rule, are available to view for free at the Jersey Archive in St Helier.

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