All calculations mentioned in the text are by the author and taken from the Tasmanian Archives Heritage Office description lists of male and female convict unless otherwise stated.


Australian Convict Sites, World Heritage Nomination, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra, 2008.

William Sutton per Argyle CON18/1/3.

John Turner per Persian CON18/1/2.

Margaret Fulford per Atwick CON19/1/12.

John Gilby per George 111 CON18/1/8 (It is possible that Gilby’s tattoo referred to a family member. See Stamford Mercury, 4 July 1834, for more on Gilby).

Jon Perryman per Commodore Hayes CON23/1/3.

Henry Treadwell per Recovery CON18/1/22.


Isaac Comer per Lord Auckland CON33/1/61; CON18/1/38; CON14/1/30; CON14/1/30; The Mercury, 5 & 6 July 1871 (Aside from convicts, other people heavily tattooed in nineteenth century Australia include: Barnet Burns, an Englishman who bore traditional Māori tattoos (Tā moko) on his face and body, and ‘Captain Fisher’ the ‘living picture gallery’. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 6 January, 1835; The Advertiser, 29 July, 1893.).


Higgs, Edward, Identifying the English: a history of personal identification, 1500 to the present, Continuum, London; New York, 2011: 126.

Hughes, Robert, The Fatal Shore, Vintage, London, 2003: 385.

Isaac Comer per Lord Auckland CON18/1/38.

Henry Cockerell per Phoenix CON31/1/6; Douglas Gilchrist per Claudinei> CON31/1/15; Furniss Grass per Coromandel CON31/1/15; Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser, 2 February 1827. (In February 1827, Cockerell was charged with ‘altering the sentence of Furniss Grass from life to seven years on the Register of Convicts kept in the Secretaries office … 3 years to Maria Island’. Douglas Gilchrist’s record: ‘Alterg. the Sentence of Furniss Grass from Life to 7 years in the Register of Convicts kept in the Sec.y Office …Maria Island the rem.r of his Orig.l Sentence’. Grass avoided a stint at Maria Island by giving evidence on his mates—he was sent to labour on the Public Works).

Edward Cook per Sir Charles Forbes CON31/1/6; CSO1/1/8; Fitzsymonds, Eustace, Mortmain, Hobart, 1977:1-3 (Edward Cook was a law stationer. In an end befitting his crushing secretarial work, he was squashed beneath a falling tree).

Barnard, Simon, A-Z of Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land, Melbourne, 2014: 64 – 65. (The colonial surgeon and port health officer inspected each transport and following a clean bill of health the principal superintendent of convicts, muster master and various others, including the lieutenant-governor on occasion, boarded the boat for a full inspection. Convicts were mustered at the forecastle and read the rules and regulations before being called forth to be interviewed and stripped for a physical examination. As the superintendent had already been furnished with each man’s particulars by the surgeon superintendent, his questions were designed to catch the convicts out to glean as much accurate information as possible. Several clerks recorded the information for the Black Books).

Robert Fribbens per Eliza CON18/1/6.

Edward Brown per Elizabeth CON18/1/6; CON31/1/4 (Brown’s two children and his wife, Elizabeth, lived with her father in Tottenham).

James Currie per Layton CON18/1/13

Robert Blair per York CON18/1/1 (Blair may have been tattooed with a Masonic checkerboard floor, ladder and level).


Maxwell-Stewart, Hamish, ‘Collecting by Numbers’, Siglo: Journal for the Arts, 10, 1998: 45-49.

Rules and Regulations for the Conduct and Management of the Barracks in Hyde Park. Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 8 May 1819; Laws for the Transportation and Punishment of Offenders in New South Wales, The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 6 September 1832; Regulations for the Custody and Management of Convicts, Circular, Colonial Secretary’s Office, Sydney, 24 September 1832; Bill for the Regulation of Gaols, Prisons, and Houses of Correction, in the Colony of New South Wales and its Dependencies, The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, 2 December 1840; Rules and Regulations for the Management of the House of Correction for Females, Hobart Town Gazette 3 October 1829; Regulations For The Female House of Correction, Launceston, 1866; Regulations for Ticket-of-Leave Holders in Van Diemen’s Land 1849; Prison Regulations 1859. All documents sourced from Brian Rieusset of The Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site unless otherwise stated.

Robert Dudlow per Phoenix CON23/1/1.

George Williams per Anson CON33/1/50.

George Empson per Gilmore CON18/1/8.


The Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol 60, Edinburgh, 1843: 263; Guy’s Hospital Reports.,Vol. XIX, 1874: 446; Dye, Ira, ‘The Tattoos of Early American Seafarers, 1796-1818’: 530-531. (‘When sailors mark their initials and fanciful objects on their arms, they take a number of needles, fix them firmly in the end of a small stick, prick on the skin the intended figure, and then rub it over with gunpowder, the charcoal of which remains in the pricked spots, unremoved by the absorbents; sometimes they use Indian-ink instead of gunpowder’. In February 1874, Taylor spoke with an ex-sailor who described a similar method: ‘…tattooing was performed by English sailors, that three needles bound together were employed, and that the punctures were made sideways or obliquely. Two colours were used, China ink and vermillion.’ Colouring rarely is specified in convict records.)

Swaine Taylor, Alfred, A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence, J&A Churchill, London, 1874: 289. (‘Small punctured wounds made into the true skin with three or four sharp needles, dipped in colouring matter, leave marks which may or may not be indelible, according to the mode in which the operation is preformed).

William Vinnicombe per York CON31/1/42.

Henry Sheldon per Bussorah Merchant CON18/1/1.

Edward Crosby per Augusta Jessie CON18/1/4.

Joseph Johnson per Marquis of Hastings CON18/1/16.

Dye, Ira, ‘The Tattoos of Early American Seafarers, 1796-1818’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 133, No. 4, 1989: 532 (In around 1870, D. W. Purdy opened a tattoo parlor in London. In 1896, he published what is the earliest known how-to manual.)

William Jenkins per Theresa CON18/1/44.

Frederick Mortlock, John, Experiences of a Convict, Sydney University Press, London, 1965: 61.

John Hill per Maitland CON33/3/76.

Rogers, Helen, Tattooing in Gaol, Conviction Stories From a Nineteenth-Century Prison. www.convictionblog.com.

The Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol 60, Edinburgh, 1843: 264.

Statistical Returns of Van Diemen’s Land: From 1824 to1839, William George Elliston, Hobart, 1839 (At Port Arthur, ulcers and skin infections affected less than 10 per cent of the population and resulted in no deaths Calculations taken from a return on convict health at Port Arthur between 1830 -1838.)

The Peninsular Journal of Medicine and the Collateral Sciences, Vol 2, 1854, No. 6: 245. (A surgeon investigating a piece of tattooed skin procured from a corpse stated: ‘Sailors cover considerable portions of skin with fanciful ornaments of this kind, and I am not aware that they suffer any inconvenience for it.’ If tattooing was resulting in widespread ill health, it is unlikely that the shipboard surgeon superintendents would have permitted it to continue at such prolific rate)

Bateson, Charles, The Convict Ships 1787 – 1868, Brown, Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1985: 20.

Berchon, Ernest, Historie Medicale du Tatouage, Bailliere et Fils., Paris, 1869.

Goldstein, Norman, ‘Complications from Tattoos’, Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology, Vol. 5, No. 11, 1979: 869.

Australian Town and Country Journal, 28 November 1891 (‘The removal of tattoo marks is a matter of no little difficulty, and many different methods are employed, such as blistering, thermo-cautery, counter-tattooing with white powder or milk, &c. Criminals, to escape detection, have been known to pour vitriol on their arms, and after allowing it to act for a few seconds, plunge the limb into water. A French chemist claims to have removed tattoo marks by the following method: The skin is first covered with a concentrated solution of tannin, and re-tattooed with this in the parts to be cleaned. Then an ordinary nitrate of silver crayon is rubbed over these parts, which becomes black by formation of tannate of silver in the superficial layer of dermis. A dark crust forms, which loses colour in three or four days, and in a fortnight or so comes away, leaving a reddish scar. The scar disappears in about a month, leaving no trace of tattoo marks.’)

Guy’s Hospital Reports.,Vol. XIX, 1874: 450. ( (The Frenchman) first applied an ointment of strong acetic acid. He then used a weak solution of potash, and afterwards hydrochloric acid. The skin which had been removed by these caustics was gradually reproduced; but although the colouring material was removed, linear cicatrices were left in the skin in every part to which the tattooing needles had been applied.’)

Liverpool Mercury 31 August 1857.

Guy’s Hospital Reports.,Vol. XIX, 1874: 449 (‘many absurd statements have been made by convicts respecting the removal of tattoo marks from their skins (Taylor was referring to a convict who stated he’d removed his tattoos by applying a red herring). The only method by which such marks admit of removal are by excision of the cutis or the application of the actual cautery or caustic substances of sufficient power to destroy the true skin. In such cases cicatrices necessarily remain, which under proper examination. May lead to detection.’)

William Pocock per Nile CON33/3/97.

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 6 January, 1835.

Petrow, Stefan, ‘Policing in a Penal Colony: Governor Arthur’s Police System in Van Diemen’s Land, 1826-1836,’ Law and History Review, 18, 2000, pp. 351-395.


Swaine Taylor, Alfred, A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence, J&A Churchill, London, 1874: 289.

John McDougall per Lady East CON23/1/1.

The Times, 23 September 1830 (George Davis, one of 17 convicts who seized the Cyprus bring while voyaging to the Sarah Island Penal Station, Van Diemen’s Land, in August 1829. Davis attempted to escape prosecution by claiming he was an innocent man named George Huntly. During court testimony another convict, John Popjoy, was asked if he could ‘recollect any marks on the persons of the prisoners?’ Popjoy’s reply: ‘Yes, Sir, on the very day the brig was seized, a convict who took likenesses off, pricked the figure of a female on Davis’s arm.’)

Tipping, Marjorie, Australian Dictionary of Biography, William Buckley.

Fletcher, Robert, Tattooing among civilized people: read before the Anthropological society of Washington, December 19, 1882, Judd and Detweller, Washington, 1883: 7.

Higgs, Edward, Identifying the English: a history of personal identification, 1500 to the present, Continuum, London, 2011.

Kingsley, Charles, Hereward the Wake, ‘Last of the English’ Vol.1, Macmillan And Co., London, 1866: 38 (Englishmen were said to have ‘adorned their skins with punctured designs.’)

Pall Mall Gazette, 1 May 1889; Pearson’s, No. 80, Vol. XIV, London, 1902: 174 – 179.

Gilbert, Steve, Tattoo History, Juno Books, New York, 2000: 103.


In 1878, Cesare Lombroso, an Italian criminologist and physician, was appointed as professor of medical jurisprudence at Turin. That year he penned his most famous work ‘L’Uomo delinquente’—‘The Criminal Man’. Alexandre Lacassagne was a French army surgeon and the professor of medical jurisprudence at the Faculty of Medicine in Lyons. In 1881, he published in ‘Les tatouages étude anthropologique et médico-légale’, an anthropological and forensic study of tattoos.

Lombroso, Cesare, Criminal Man, eBook, Duke University Press, Durham and London, 2006: 197, 625 (‘Only a few soldiers, mostly deserters released from prison, had obscene tattoos in the genital region… the characteristics of primitive man are also commonly found in the born criminal, including low, sloping foreheads, overdeveloped sinuses, frequent occurrence of the medium occipital fossetta, overdevelopment of the jaw and cheekbones, prognathism, oblique and large eye sockets, dark skin, thick and curly hair, large or protuberant ears, long arms, similarity between sexes, left-handedness, waywardness among women, low sensitivity to pain, complete absence of moral and affective sensibility, laziness, absence of remorse and foresight, great vanity, and fleeting, violent passions.)

Ellis, Havelock, The Criminal, Scribner and Welford, New York, 1890: 103.

Calculations based on 6806 men transported to Van Diemen’s Land between 1823 and 1853, and 3374 women transported between 1826 and 1853.

Convertito, Cori, ‘Defying Conformity: Using tattoos to express individuality in the Victorian royal navy’, Maritime History and Identity, I.B. Tauris, London, 2014.

Dye, Ira, ‘The Tattoos of Early American Seafarers, 1796-1818’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 133, No. 4.

White, Joanna, ‘Transculturites and Bricoleurs: Cross-Cultural Bodies through Space’, Exploring Bodies in Time and Space, Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford, 2014: 74-75 (William Wynes, aged sixty-one, was tattooed a ‘star on left Breast’. Wynes gave his profession as labourer but it’s likely he served in the armed forces—other tattoos include ‘Egypt 1807’, which appears to have commemorated the Alexandria expedition of 1807. Convicts who served in the armed forces often gave other occupations. James Fisher, another labourer, bore a ‘star on left breast’. James McDonald, a convicted seaman, bore a ‘Star on right & left breast.’ Wynes per Gilmore CON18/1/8; James Fisher per William Glen Anderson CON18/1/21; McDonald per Jupiter CON18/1/11.)

Morning Post 25 August 1824. (‘… and found upon Starkey what must certainly be regarded as strongly indicative of his belonging to a certain profession. This was a copper medal, upon one side of which were very neatly and accurately engraved a brace of pistols, a crow-bar, a picklock and two skeleton keys, a dark lantern, phosphorus box and matches; the whole surmounted by the word “Newgate,” in large capitals! On the other side appeared – “When this you see, Remember me, When I am far away. John Starkey.”’ News of Starkey and his love token ‘of determined vice and profligacy’ eventually reached Australia. See The Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser 17 June 1825. At the turn of the 20th century, another love token made headlines—a London metal merchant discovered a ‘metal disc, which was probably an old penny piece rubbed down’. One side engraved ‘Edward Tompson, aged 18, 1833: Transported Innocent for Life’, the obverse side carried the words ‘Nicholas Tompson: When this you see, remember me.’ The World’s News 24 October 1903).

Higgs, Edward, Identifying the English: a history of personal identification, 1500 to the present, Continuum, London, 2011:89.

Journal of the statistical and social inquiry society of Ireland. vol III, Edward Ponsonby, Dublin, 1863: 339 (A gaol governor of some 35-years experience, proposed ‘… prisoners before their removal should be marked on the right breast with the same number or letter as that of the prison, with indelible ink or gunpowder, in the same way as deserters are marked’).

Manchester Times 7 July 1838; Chester Chronicle 13 July 1838 (two gaolers and Governor Dunstan of Chester Castle, were accused of ‘having allowed a prisoner before trial to be marked with an indelible convict mark’. Samuel Downes, a boy, stated after a gaoler entered his cell he ‘begun to prick me with a needle’. The tattoo was described as a ‘small bluish ring on the outside of the hand between the wrist and the thumb’. The allegations were deemed ‘without foundation’. No charges were laid).

Morning Chronicle 16 January 1832; Stamford Mercury 28 June 1833; Morning Post 17 September 1834 (Two boys, T. Wheeler aged 16 and W. Otto aged 14, were said to belong to the Surrey gang of forty thieves. Eight-year-old Andrew Macarthy was described as ‘one of the most experienced among the forty thieves of the Whitechapel gang. There was also the Camberwell Fair Gang of Forty Thieves).

Chester Chronicle, 29 January 1819 The High Street Gang was based in London. Fourteen members nabbed in 1819 were imprisoned at Newgate. The Henry Street Gang comprised youths from Lancaster. The ‘captain’ of the gang was said to be 20-year-old Richard Dowthwaite. Dowthwaite was tattooed with his initials on his right arm and a bird on his left arm. The Laurel Street Gang hailed from Lancashire. Two members transported to Australia, Henry Stephenson and Henry Mitchell, were not described as tattooed. Dowthwaite per Gilmore CON33/1/39; Kendal Mercury 4 June 1842; Stephenson and Mitchell per Westmoreland CON33/1/11; Morning Post 3 February 1841).

Jenny Wells, Jenny, The Aldington Blues FOUNDERS & SURVIVORS’ Chainletter. Issue No. 9 December 2011 (The leader of the Aldington Gang, George Ransley, was not tattooed and neither was Samuel Bailey and Thomas Dennard. John Bailey, brother to Samuel, bore a ‘faint man & woman’. Another smuggler, Paul Pierce, was tattooed with ‘SP WP dove hearts & darts & Laurel leaves faint heart’ on his right arm, and a ‘Mermaid and several faint marks on left arm’. Ransley, Bailey, Dennard, Bailey, Pierce per Governor Ready CON23/1/1).

George Boulton and Thomas Brown, Pottery gangsmen transported together, were not recorded as being tattooed. Neither were Elizabeth Mills and Thomas Tinsley. William Brunt was tattooed with his own initials and Samuel Racy bore an ‘r’ on the inside of his left wrist. The tattoos of 15-year-old John Pritchard, included a ‘P’ and star on his left arm, a mermaid on his right arm and another star on the back of his right hand. Boulton and Brown per Coromandel CON18/1/5. Mills per Harmony CON19/1/13. Brunt per Lady Raffles CON18/1/26. Tinsley per Manilus CON18/1/15 Racy per Lady Nugent CON18/1/14. Pritchard per Lady Harewood CON18/1/12.

Great Britain. Commissions appointed to inquire as to the best means of establishing an efficient constabulary force in the counties of England and Wales, Charles Knight and Co., Ludgate Street, London, 1839: 391-399.

The Works of Charles Dickens In Thirty-four Volumes VOL. XXXIV, The Detective Police, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York 1900: 142 (George Hamilton ‘ a well known member’ of the Swell Mob was not tattooed, neither was Mary Ann Taylor ‘a constant companion of the swell mob thieves’. Members William Lovell, John Chapman, James Wilson, William Taylor, John Potter, George Southey, Jane Wilson and Mary Jones were not tattooed either. Henry Byron and John Leach were ‘active members of the Swell Mob’. Byron was not tattooed but Leach bore five dots on his left hand. Henry Thompson, yet another member, was tattooed with a ring on the third finger of his left hand and the letters J.R. on his left arm. Salisbury and Winchester Journal 9 November 1835. Byron per Elphinstone CON18/1/7 Leach per Moffatt CON18/1/7 – Salisbury and Winchester Journal 9 November 1835; Hamilton per Plymouth CON33/1/49 – London Standard 12 May 1843; Taylor per Plymouth CON14/1/21; London Standard 24 May 1848; Lovell per Mandarin CON18/1/10, Chapman per Mandarin CON18/1/10-London Standard 24 October 1839; Wilson per Canadahar CON18/1/31 – Morning Chronicle
11 February 1841. Taylor per Somersetshire CON18/1/32 – London Standard 22 August 1840; Chapman per Runnymede CON18/1/1 – The Era 10 March 1839; Potter per Layton CON18/1/28, Southey per Layton CON18/1/28 – West Kent Guardian 19 December 1840, Wilson & Jones per Sir Robert Steppings CON41/1/34 – Morning Post 11 December 1851. Thompson per John Renwick CON18/1/36).

Staffordshire Advertiser 21 July 1838.

Moore, Tony, Death Or Liberty: Rebel Exiles in Australia 1788 – 1868, Murdoch Books, Australia, 2000: 214 (Around 100 Chartists were transported to Australia. Thomas Aston, who travelled aboard the Asia, bore seven dots on his left thumb, probably symbolising the Pleiades. Aston per Asia CON33/1/2; Boothman per Barossa CON33/1/16; Frost per Mandarin CON18/1/1, Jones per Mandarin CON18/1/1, Williams per Mandarin CON18/1/1, Howell per Mandarin CON18/1/1, Jones per Mandarin CON18/1/1, Roberts per Mandarin CON18/1/1).

Axelrod, Alan, The International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies & Fraternal Orders, Facts On File Inc, New York, 1997: 208.

The International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies & Fraternal Orders, Facts On File Inc, New York, 1997: 208. (Ribbonman Francis McCanna was caught with ‘Ribbon signs and passwords’ and transported for 15 years. He was not tattooed. Neither was Richard Jones, reputedly a leader, nor Patrick Kirk, John Sheridan and Michael McGrath. Ribbonism was declared illegal in 1871. Axelrod, Alan, Freeman’s Journal 11 July 1842. McCanna per North Briton CON33/1/37, Jones per Isabella Watson CON33/1/26, Kirk per Richard Webb CON33/1/18; Sheridan per Isabella Watson CON33/1/26; McGrath per Egyptian CON33/1/3).

Douglas, Ian, Huggett, Richard, Robinson, Mike, ed., Companion Encyclopedia of Geography: The Environment and Humankind, Routledge, Great Britain, 1996: 297.

Duplicate dispatches, oversize proclamation re escaped convicts (bushrangers Matthew Brady etc) AOT GO33-1-85.

The Colonial Times, 10 March 1840; CSO22/1/50 No.208: 55–248 (At least six membered of the Flash Mob bore tattoos, the designs of which, including the infamous five dots, were commonplace. Mary Devereux jnr per Mary CON19/1/13; Frances Hutchinson per Majestic CON19/1/14; Eliza Smith per Atwick CON19/1/12; Catherine Downey per Mexborough CON19/1/3; Bridgett Toomey per Hindostan CON19/1/13; Martha Hodgson per Navarino CON19/1/1).

The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 December 1840 (The left arm of Edward ‘Teddy’ Davis bore ‘MJDBN’ and ‘EDHDM, love and anchor’. His left hand was tattooed with five dots. John ‘Jack’ Marshall bore ‘letters, rejoice ever more pray without ceasing, HDLD, God be merciful to me a sinner, woman and other letters on right arm’. James ‘Ruggy’ Everett was tattooed with ‘JOEO inside lower left arm, JO inside lower right arm’).

The Sydney Herald 10 December 1840, Australasian Chronicle 25 February 1841.

James Spencer per Roslyn Castle CON18/1/22.

The Queenslander 29 July 1871.


Wharton, William J.L., ed., Captain Cook’s journal during his first voyage round the world made in H.M. Bark ‘Endeavour’, 1768-71, London, 1893: 93.

Parkinson, Sydney, A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas in His Majesty’s Ship, The Endeavour, London, Stanfield Parkinson, 1773: 25.

Boyles Murray, Thomas, Pitcairn: The island, the people, and the pastor, with a short account of the mutiny of the Bounty, Society for promoting Christian knowledge, London, 1854: 96, 97.

Caplan, Jane, ed., Written on the body: the tattoo in European and American history, Reaktion, London, 2000.

Dye, Ira, ‘The Tattoos of Early American Seafarers, 1796-1818’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 133, No. 4, 1989: 527- 528 (John Riddle, for example, bore a ‘heart & 2 doves JR AB 8 July 1799’. John Riddle per Emu CON13/1; CON31/34).

Gretton, Thomas, Murders and moralities: English catchpenny prints, 1800-1860, Colonnade Books, London, 1980.

Fleming, John, Honour, Hugh, The Penguin Dictionary of Decorative Arts, Viking, Great Britain, 1989: 831.

Nicholas, Stephen, ed., Convict workers: reinterpreting Australia’s past, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1988: 75.

Darby, Garry, William Buelow Gould: convict artist of Van Diemen’s Land, Copperfield, Sydney, 1980:15, 112.


Caplan, Jane, ‘National Tattooing: Traditions of tattooing in Nineteenth-century Europe’. Written on the Body: The Tattoo in European and American History. Ed. J. Caplan. London: Reaktion Press, 2000: 161.

Gemma, Angel, ‘The Tattoo Collectors. Inscribing Criminality in Nineteenth Century France’, Bildwelten des Wissens, Germany, 2012: 29-38.

Lacassagne, Alexandre, Les tatouages étude anthropologique et médico-légale, Librairie J.-B. Bailliere et Fils, Paris, 1881: 22.

Lombroso, Cesare, Criminal Man, Duke University Press, Durham and London. 2006, eBook: 108.

Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 4 May 1826; 2 August 1827; 30 April 1829; 17 February 1842; 24 March 1842; 16 February 1843; 23 March 1843; 20 July 1843; 21 March 1844; Meyler, Mary, The Original Bath Guide considerably enlarged and improved, etc. Abbey Church-Yard, 1834: 135, Cannon, Richard, Historical Record of the Seventy-Third Regiment: containing an account of the formation of the Regiment from the period of its being raised as the Second Battalion of the Forty-Second Highlanders in 1780 and of its subsequent services to 1851. Parker, Furnivall & Parker, London, 1851: xxviii – xxix; Caroline Bulger per >Tasmania CON19/1/4; The Mercury, 6 July 1871; Launceston Examiner, 16 July 1881; Isaac Comer per Lord Auckland CON33/1/61; CON18/1/38; CON14/1/30; CON14/1/30, RGD37/1/19 no 160; Tasmania Reports on Crime &c. &c. &c. Vol. xx, No. 1148, July 22, 1881: 116; Vol. xxi, No. 1188, April 28, 1882: 67; Vol. xxii, No. 1230, February 16, 1883: 28 (Isaac Comer was born in 1810, in Holloway, a suburb of Bath in Somerset, England. He had two brothers, Charles and James, and a sister, Mary. His mother was named Sarah. At age 16, Comer was commended for saving a suicidal man who’d leapt from the Lower-Borough Walls into the River Avon. Comer, ‘at imminent hazard to his own life, sprang into the water, and dragged the miserable man to the shore by his coat.’ For ‘willfully extinguishing’ a town gas lamp the following year, Comer was gaoled for two months. For ‘assaulting S. Beachin on the Bath city weighing engine’ (an engine situated in Saw Close, central Bath, to weigh coal shipments) he was sentenced to another month. Soon after, Comer joined the 73rd Regiment. He may have served in Greece, Canada or Scotland, but judging by the highlander tattooed upon his left arm, he probably saw service in Scotland. He was repeatedly gaoled for drunkenness and subsequently discharged from the army. He then returned to Bath. In February 1842, a pig carcass stolen from the Milk Street Slaughter House was discovered under his bed. Comer and his two cohorts were caught with ‘implements customarily used for the dissection of defunct swine’ and committed for trial. For stealing the pig, valued at £4:10s, Comer was sentenced to six months’ hard labour. The following year, Comer, ‘a notoriously bad character’, was arrested on suspicion of burglarizing a shop. The constabulary surmised that Comer and his young accomplice gained access through a coal chute and battered their way through three doors to reach a cache of silver plated goods worth about £50. One of the doors was smeared with blood, thought to have come from Comer’s injured right hand. Despite this, and other incriminating evidence, Comer and co. were acquitted. A few months later he was sentenced to five months’ hard labour for assaulting a constable. In March 1844, Comer and a woman named Caroline Bugler were arrested on suspicion of robbery but, for lack of evidence, they were released. When proceeds of the crime were traced back to the duo they were arrested a second time. Comer was charged with receiving cash and stolen goods and sentenced to 14 years’ transportation. Bugler was also transported. Tattooed on Bugler’s left shoulder was ‘I.C.’, presumably standing for Isaac Comer. Comer may have reciprocated the sentiment with some of the many women etched into his limbs. At age 34, Comer boarded the Lord Auckland bound for Van Diemen’s Land. His conduct during the voyage was described as ‘good’ but soon after arrival he committed a string of offences that ended in robbery. As way of punishment, he was banished to the notorious Norfolk Island Penal Station for life. Between 1846 and 1852, Comer was charged with an enormity of offences including fighting, smoking, trafficking and stealing. He was repeatedly flogged and sentenced to time in leg irons and time in solitary confinement. At age 47, Comer was awarded a ticket-of-leave. Three years later, at St. Georges Church, Hobart, he married Elizabeth Brydem, a 40-year-old widow. Over the next few years he managed to stay out of trouble but his lucky run ended with a stint in the clink for spouting obscenities. In July 1871, he was acquitted on a charge of stealing gardening tools from his employer. Following his court appearance, Comer’s tattoos featured in Australian newspapers nationwide. As the article recounted the physical description made 1845, it is likely that Comer had added to his tattoos. Just what the 61-year-old made of his celebrity is unknown. Seven years later he was hospitalized with a broken rib. Comer, aged 71, was then admitted into the Launceston Invalid Depot where he was diagnosed with ‘rheumatism etc’. A few months later he did three months for stealing two shirts from the depot. Between 1882 and 1883, Comer spent time in the New Town Charitable Institution and Invalid Depot. His final days are a mystery.)


William Thompson per Aurora CON18/1/4.

John William Jones per Recovery CON18/1/22.

Samuel Cohen per Mangles CON18/1/16.

Charles Talbot per Woodford CON18/1/21.

Nicholes, John, Biographical and literary anecdotes of William Bowyer: printer, F.S.A., and of many of his learned friends. Containing an incidental view of the progress and advancement of literature in this kingdom, from the beginning of the present century to the end of the year MDCCLXXVII. London, 1782: 573 (The King’s Evil originated in the belief that the royal touch had healing capacity. From May 1660 to April 1682, King Charles 1 touched some 92,107 people. Sergeant-Surgeon Richard Wiseman stated ‘I myself have been frequent eye-witness of many hundreds of cures performed by his Majesty’s touch alone…’)

John Pratt per Asia CON23/1/3.

Bridget Cassidy per Australasia CON15/1/6.

Sydney Harris per Enchantress CON18/1/6.

Ann Caldwell per Duchess of Northumberland CON19/1/11.

Joseph Reece per Larkins CON18/1/12.

Hugh Smith per Moffatt CON18/1/15.

Joseph Reece per Larkins CON18/1/12.

Approximately 36 per cent of transported convicts who received a reprieve of execution bore tattoos. Approximately 37 per cent of twice-transported convicts bore tattoos. However, not all twice-transported convicts did time in Australia or even left Britain. Some convicts were sent to Bermuda or imprisoned locally. Calculations based on 200 convicts (primarily male) who received more than one transportation sentence and 78 convicts who were capitally convicted but had their sentences commuted to transportation. Approximately 41 per cent of convicts who ended their days on the Van Diemonian gallows bore tattoos, but as convicts did not have their tattoos recorded prior to execution the full extent cannot be known. Calculation based on 156 executed convicts.

Notebook and list of mutineers, 1789 (manuscript) Collection number: MS 5393. (Captain Bligh recorded the mutineers’ physical descriptions in his notebook. James Morrison was tattooed with a garter around his left leg and ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’—shamed be he who thinks evil of it or Evil unto him who thinks evil of it. The motto is most famously associated with the British chivalric Order of the Garter, founded in 1348. An English escapee named Samuel Marshall had his tattoos, ‘an Anchor upon his Left Arm, below the elbow, and the Initials of his Name a little above the Mark’, published in late 1792. The tattoos of deserter William Cole were published in early 1800: ‘on his left arm are two hearts pricked with Indian ink, in one the letters M.C. in the other K.B. and in his left shoulder are the marks of a late punishment.’ The M.C. may have been W.C., Cole’s own initials. Stamford Mercury 28 December 1792; The Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 23 January 1800)

Liverpool Mercury, 31 August 1857 (The frequency of naked women could suggest that some female figures recounted in convict records were cruder than the clerks felt comfortable in transcribing. Processing at the Main Bridewell: ‘At the time of identification, the number of the prisoner and his height are called out by a turnkey; and whilst one of the clerks is busy in attempting to trace out the name which is given, another, addressing the prisoner says “Come, strip your wings.” “They all know what this flash term means,” said our informant, and commence at once to pull up their shirt sleeves and show their naked arms.’ Reception at Milbank Prison five years later: ‘After bathing, the new coming prisoners are brought in here, naked, and examined. They are then asked if they, or any of their family, have been insane. If the examination be satisfactory, a description of the prisoner, with a specification of any private marks which may be found on his body, is entered in a book. “Most persons of bad repute,” said the warder, “have private marks stamped on them – mermaids, naked men and women, and the most extraordinary things you ever saw; they are marked like savages, whilst many of the regular thieves have five dots between their thumb and forefinger, as a sign that they belong to the ‘forty thieves,’ as they call it.”; Mayhew, Henry, Binny, John, ‪The Criminal Prisons of London: And Scenes of Prison Life, Griffin, Bohn., And Co. London, 1862: 245).

John Poulin per Bengal Merchant CON18/1/1.

William Hazel per Gilmore CON18/1/8.

Glasgow Herald, 10 July 1857: 3.

George Isherwood per Manilus CON18/1/15. (Isherwood’s tattoo is derived from the 18th cnetury hymn: ‘When I survey the wondrous cross.’

Guy’s Hospital Reports., Ed. H.G. Howse, M.S., Vol. XIX, J&A Churchill, London,1874: 446. (The study of 506 ‘soldiers, sailors, convicts, and others’ reveled: ‘in 47 the marks were completely obliterated after a period of from twenty-eight to sixty years; 117 were partially obliterated after a period of from ten to sixty-four years; but in 342 the marks were quite distinct after a space of from four to sixty-five years.’ Dark pigment was deemed more endurable than light pigment.)

Hohepa Te Unmroa per Castor CON37/1/3.

James Young per London CON33/1/56 (Young’s tattoos are open to interpretation).

Jacob Gleed per Thames CON31/1/15.

Thomas Mead per Strathfieldsay CON18/1/19.

Maria Dover per Sea Queen CON19/1/5.

Anne Connolly per Kinnear CON19/1/7.

Elizabeth Smith per Gilbert Henderson CON19/1/12.

Kentish Gazette 13 November 1838.

William Mellors per Marquis of Hastings CON18/1/16.

James Spicer per David Lyon CON18/1/2.

Elizabeth Holding per Cadet CON19/1/7.

Lucy William per Emma Eugenia CON19/1/5.
Hobart Town Gazette, 10 October 1838.

Thomas Kinsman per Candahar CON18/1/31.

Henry Page per Phoenix CON23/1/3; CON31/1/34; Tasmania Reports on Crime &c. &c. &c. Vol. xix, No. 1116, December 10, 1880:199 (Henry Page’s 1824 physical description: ‘Scar on forehead over Rt eyebrow – lost thumb & fore fr left hand Mermaid Man and Woman hearts and darts Sun and Moon left arm Christ Crucifix M.B. HR. JB. AS. wreath right arm dice marked rt hand between finger & thumb’. When Page was convicted of raping a 9-year-old girl in 1873, the 71-year-old was described as: ‘Crucifix H.B. Right Arm. A. Bank SB. Stars, full moon, and mermaid left arm, man, woman etc lost thumb and fore finger of left hand’. Seven years later, Page’s description changed again: ‘Lost thumb and forefinger right hand, blue ring on left little finger, sun moon 7 stars left arm, mermaid man and woman hearts and dart right arm, head bald’. By this time absconding notices had virtually ceased to appear in papers. Page’s description was printed following his release for the rape.)

These calculations are based on the records of 6806 men who were transported to Van Diemen’s Land between 1823 and 1853 on 30 transport ships. This sample can be seen as indicative of the convict population as a whole, though certain factors pertaining to the sample may skew it slightly: the specific transport ships of that period included greater number of convicts inclined to tattooing (servicemen) or less inclined to tattooing (Irishmen); convicts that shipped together were frequently tattooed with the same motif; the recording process was refined over time; convicts arriving in later years may have been more heavily tattooed as the art increased in popularity.


James Parlour per Enchantress CON18/1/6.

Joseph Dale per Layton CON18/1/13.

Mitchel, John, Jail journal; or, Five years in British prisons : commenced on board the Shearwater Steamer in Dublin Bay, continued at Spike Island … and concluded at No. 3 Pier, North River, The Citizen, New York, 1854.

Miller, Linus, Notes of an Exile to Van Diemen’s Land, McKinstry , Fredonia, 1846.

William Bray per Maria CON23/1/1.

Joseph Dummet per Elizabeth CON18/1/6.

William Shemett per William Miles CON18/1/21.

Marion Telford per Aurora CON41/1/31.

George Scott per Clyde Con18/1/2.

James Brimelow per Aurora CON18/1/51.

Thomas Saunders per Marmion CON18/1/15.

William Moulton per Bengal Merchant Con18/1/1.

James Carter per Eden CON18/1/7.

William Brown per Marquis of Hastings CON18/1/16.

Marion Telford per Aurora Con19/1/9; CON41/1/31.

James Groundwater per Isabella CON31/1/16; CON52/1/3.


Larwood, Jacob & Hotten, John Camden, The History of Signboards: from the earliest times to the present day, Chatto and Windus, London, 1867: 332-333.

Written on the Body: The Tattoo in European and American History. Ed. J. Caplan. London: Reaktion Press, 2000: 126.

Fillingham Morley per Lady Raffles CON18/1/26.

Sydney Harris per Enchantress CON18/1/6.

John Bromley per Governor Ready CON23/1/1.

John Ryan per Manilus CON18/1/15.

Larwood, Jacob & Hotten, John Camden, The History of Signboards: from the earliest times to the present day, Chatto and Windus, London, 1867: 103.

Abraham Higham per Candahar CON18/1/31.

Patrick Quin per Clyde CON18/1/2.

James Rushby per Aurora CON18/1/4.

James Meecham per Coromandel CON18/1/5.

John Day per Mary CON18/1/15.

John Wilcox per Susan CON18/1/19.

Thomas Connell per Moffatt CON18/1/17; CON31/1/7.

James Punt Borritt per Hyderabad CON33/1/86; Records of Old Bailey, 8 July 1839; 2 February 1852; Cornwall Chronicle, 24 July 1852.


Larwood, Jacob & Hotten, John Camden, The History of Signboards: from the earliest times to the present day, Chatto and Windus, London, 1867: 31, 232 (Beehive signs on pubs could carry the verse: ‘Within this hive we’re all alive, Good liquor makes us funny; If you are dry, step in and try The flavour of our honey.’)

Convicts charged with stealing beehives: William Woolley per Isabella CON31/1/47; CON18/1/9 (Stg. a Hive of Bees); Cornelius Sweeny per Pestongee Bomangee CON33/1/92; CON14/1/39 (1 mth for a beehive); James Bell per Theresa CON33/1/67; CPN18/1/44 (Stealing Lead & Stealing a Beehive & Honey).

The Manchester man was James Brown. Brown per Woodford CON31/1/1; CON18/1/21.

Thomas Duncan per Woodford CON18/1/21 (Supporting this notion, a love token inscribed with: ‘How Sweets the Love that meets return.’ )

Samuel Tomlinson was brother to George Tomlinson. Both men per Woodford CON18/1/21; CON31/1/42.

Alston, Frank, Hives and Honeybees in Signs and Symbols, Northern Bee Books, 1998.

Chrysostom, John, The homilies of S. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the statues, or to the people of Antioch, John Henry Parker; J.G.F. and J. Rivington, London, 1842: 205.

Keister, Douglas, Stories in Stone: A field guide to cemetery symbolism and iconography, Gibbs Smith, London, 2004: 78.

Chevalier, Jean & Gheerbrant, Alain, A Dictionary of Symbols, translated from the French by John Buchanan-Brown, Penguin Books, London, 1996: 79.

Levinson, David, Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment, Vol 2, Sage Publications, University of Michigan, 2002: 513.

John Elson per Woodford CON18/1/21; CON31/1/9.

Colonial Times, 13 March 1846.


Jeremiah Rahilly per Canton CON18/1/5; Con31/1/36.

Bridget Oswald per Emma Eugenia CON19/1/9.

Calculation based on 39 male convicts tattooed with Britannia.

John Huckle per Lord Lyndoch CON18/1/26.

Schiller, Gertrud, Iconography of Christian Art, Lund Humphries, London, 1971 – 1972.

Charles Woodland per Governor Ready CON23/1/3.

George Apsey per Sir Charles Forbes CON18/1/19.

Thomas Jones per Gilmore Con18/1/8.

Sill, Gertrude Grace, A handbook of symbols in Christian art, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996: 27, 23.

Thomas Fitzallen per Augusta Jessie CON18/1/4.

Michael Robinson per Elizabeth Henrietta CON23/1/3.

Willem Pokbaas per William Glen Anderson CON18/1/21.

Kromm, Jane, The Art of Frenzy: Public Madness in the Visual Culture of Europe, 1500-1850, Continuum, London, 2003: 127-128.

Hirst, Warwick, The Man who stole the Cyprus a True Story of Escape, Rosenberg Publishing, Sydney, 2008:194-195. Chapman, Peter, ed., HISTORICAL RECORDS OF AUSTRALIA Series III, VOL VIII, Tasmania, January-February 1829: 669 – 670.


Sidney, Philip, The Sidneys of Penshurst, S. H. Bousfield & co., ltd., London, 1901: 261-262. See also, McGuane, James P., Heart of Oak: A Sailor’s Life in Nelson’s Navy, Norton, New York, 2002: 9 (Henry Sidney, Earl of Romney and Joint Master of the Office of Ordnance, has been credited with introducing the broad arrow for use in identifying crown property in around 1585: ‘Finding that the public stores were constantly exposed to the danger of being lost or stolen, owing to want of a token to identify them, he caused his arms, a pheon, or double broad-arrow, to be cut on all Crown property, a practice that has survived to this day, though the modern form of the mark is an ordinary broad-arrow.’)

Hertford Mercury and Reformer 8 June 1867 (The broad arrow was scratched on with the ‘point of a pen knife’ and, despite the recipient being a ‘a consenting party’, it was deemed ‘a very disgraceful practical joke’ and the perpetrators were monetarily dismissed.)

The New York Herald, January 18, 1880.

Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser, 23 March 1880.

The Morning Chronicle, December 28; The Morning Post, January 1840; Hereford Journal, 15 January 1851 (‘On the left side were the letters P.B., and on the right, a broad arrow. The letters were an inch and half in length.’ The process was said to have resulted in ‘the most excruciating pain’. Captain Glass, Master of the barque Mona, denied the allegations but before any charges could be laid he, and the boy, disappeared. Similarly, in 1851 a surgeon marked the letter ‘B’ on a boy’s head with caustic. The surgeon, it was reported, ‘branded the boy for ‘continuously ringing his doorbell and running away.’)

Mitchel, John, Jail Journal, Or, Five Years in British Prisons, ‘The Citizen’, New York, 1854: 88 (John Mitchel, a solicitor, journalist and leading member of Irish activist groups, was convicted of treason and transported to Bermuda and then Van Diemen’s Land. In 1854, Mitchel published his memoirs. Unabridged text reads: ‘ – and for the queen’s broad arrow, they cannot brand it upon my heart within, where many respectable members of society in Ireland have it stamped indelibly: – men whose souls dwell in a hulk; the Queen’s arrow may be branded on my garment, into but their souls the iron has entered.’

Rudé, G, Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Mitchel.

Cork Examiner 1 March 1854.

Angus Mackay per CON33/1/115.

George Hall per Norfolk CON18/1/18.

Edward Dodge per Circassian CON18/1/5; CON31/1/10.

William Gardner per Pestongee Bomangee CON33/1/74.

State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4013]; Microfiche: 670.

William Bartlett per Lord William Bentinck CON18/1/14.

Bury and Norwich Post, 24, 1868 ( ‘… a sure way of decreasing the crime of desertion would be to tattoo a crown or broad arrow on the arm of every man, officer or soldier, who joins the army. No disgrace could be attached to this mark if it were common to all ranks; on the contrary, if a man knew that detection would be certain he would not desert—the temptation to desertion, the hope of non-detection, could not exist.’)

The Hobart Town Gazette, and Southern Reporter, 29 July 1820.

John Shacklock per Governor Ready CON31/1/38.

Launceston Examiner, 14 May 1881.

Angus Mackay per CON33/1/115.


Fairholt, F.W., Tobacco its history and associations; including an account of the plant and its manufacture; with its modes of use in all ages and countries, Chapman and Hall, London. 1859: 51, 170.

Collins, William, Memoirs of a Painter: containing the adventures of many conspicuous characters and interspersed with a variety of amusing anecdotes of several very extraordinary personages connected with the arts: including a genuine biographical sketch of that celebrated original and eccentric genius, the late Mr. George Morland … : to which is added a copious appendix, embracing every interesting subject relative to our justly admired English painter and his most valuable work, 3 vol, C. Stower for H.D. Symonds, London, 1805: 117 (In around 1799, painter George Morland relocated to Southwark, London, and transformed a local tearoom into a taproom: ‘He instantly took a palette, and painted a bottle and glass, cross-pipes, with a little tobacco burning on one of them, like Brower, and then set it round with colours; this was nailed up to the ceiling in the club-room near the president’s chair’.)

Larwood, Jacob & Hotten, John Camden, The History of Signboards: from the earliest times to the present day, Chatto and Windus, London, 1867: 449 (Signage for The Green Man, a tavern on Finchley Common, Middlesex, bore ‘two pipes crossed and a pot of beer’, along with the following verse: ‘Call. Softly, Drink. Moderate Pay Honourably, Be Good. Company Part. FRIENDLY Go. HOME. quietly. Let those lines be no MANS Sorrow Pay to DAY and I’ll TRUST to Morrow.’)

Beaufoy, Henry Benjamin Hanbury, A descriptive catalogue of the London traders, tavern, and coffee-house tokens current in the seventeenth century, Printed for the use of the members of the Corporation of the City of London, London, 1853: 94 (Henry English of Gravel Lane, Southwark, produced a token bearing ‘two tobacco-pipes crossed’. The trade token for Campbell’s Snuff Shop in Andrews Street, Edinburgh, also bore two crossed pipes.)

Samuel Green per Moffatt CON18/1/17.

Ann Lee per Eliza CON19/1/12.

Schama, Simon, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, Fontana, London, 1988: 205, 214.

Maxwell-Stewart, Hamish, Bradley, James, ‘Behold the Man’: Power, Observation and the Tattooed Convict.” Australian Studies 12.1, 1997: 83.

Hugh Smith per Moffatt CON18/1/15. (Ten-year-old Smith was tattooed with a ‘Jug Pipe & Glass’ on his right arm.)

Grose, Francis, Lexicon Balatronicum: A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence, C.CHappel, 1811.

Burne, Peter, The teetotaler’s companion, or, A plea for temperance being an exposition of the personal, domestic, and national evils that result from the present drinking custom of society : the use of intoxicating liquors being proved inimical to social, moral, religious, physical, mental, commercial, and political economy : with a history of the temperance movement : showing also the benefits that have and must follow the adoption of total abstinence, A. Hall and Co., London, 1847: 108.

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 2 January 1819.

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 10 April 1832.

The Sydney Monitor 13 March 1830.

Peter, Cunningham, Two years in New South Wales : comprising sketches of the actual state of society in that colony, of its peculiar advantages to emigrants, of its topography, natural history, &c &c. Henry Colburn, London, 1828: 264.

George Moss per Argyle CON31/1/30 (In June 1837, Moss was sentenced to three years in the Port Arthur chain gang for stealing a case containing 188 pounds of tobacco. His very next offence was for being found with tobacco contrary to orders.)

Davis, Richard, The Tasmanian gallows: a study of capital punishment, Cat & Fiddle Press, Hobart, 1974: 55 (William Bennett was executed after he slayed Thomas Shand with an axe for betraying the whereabouts of his tobacco stash to the authorities.)

Rules and regulations for the penal settlement on Tasman’s Peninsula, Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority, 1991, 1868: 56.

Hindmarsh, Bruce, ‘Beer and Fighting: Some Aspects of Male Convict Leisure in Rural Van Diemen’s Land, 1820-40’, Journal of Australian Studies, Vol. 63, 1999: 3.

Bonwick, James, Curious Facts of Old Colonial Days, Sampson Low, Son & Marston, London, 1870: 274.

James Leary per Elphinstone CON18/1/7.

James Allen per York CON18/1/1.

Henry Winter per Susan CON18/1/19 (In March 1838, Winter was sentenced to three months’ hard labour for harbouring a female convict ‘in a state of Drunkenness’.)

Richard Aspden per Southworth CON23/1/1 (In February 1831, Aspden was charged with ‘Being Drunk + absenting himself rom his masters service without leave last night + having in his possession 31 New metal Buttons for which he cannot satisfactorily account – to be imprisoned + kept to hard labor for 18 months. + recommended that his sentence be carried into effect at Maria Island.’ Aspden’s buttons were probably gambling proceeds. Aspen was also done for trafficking tobacco, drunkenly setting fire to his bedding and other similar offences. Of 100 convicts tattooed with pipes, at least 13 were charged with tobacco related crimes. James Collins, tattooed with a bottle and pipes, was charged with ‘having a pipe in his possession’ and sentenced to labour in a road party for 12 months. John Urio, tattooed with a pipe, jug, bottle and glass, was caught with tobacco and charged with ‘Culpable negligence as Overseer of Tailors’, dismissed, and ordered to ‘lodge in a Cell for 14 nights’. A few weeks later, Urio was caught with pipes and more tobacco and sent to a chain gang for one month. Soon after, he was caught with more tobacco and had his stint in the chains extended by a further six weeks. Crimes involving alcohol were committed by at least 38 of the men. Offences such as ‘being found in a public house’, otherwise known as a pub, could have encompassed both smoking and drinking. James Collins per David Lyon CON18/1/2; CON31/1/7. John Urio per Southworth CON31/1/44; CON23/1/3.)

Sarah Sheldon per Eliza CON19/1/12; CON40/1/9.

Norfolk News, 24 March 1849.

George Vinge per Red Rover CON18/1/22.

Peter Killleen per Marian Watson CON31/1/25; CON35/1/; CON94/1/; CON16/1/1;

SRNSW: NRS 12210 Item: 4/4363 Roll: 1008 & Series: 2517 Item: 4/6444 Roll: 855; The Cornwall Chronicle, 4 October 1856; Launceston Examiner, 11 March 1876 & 8 November 1888; The Mercury, 8 November 1888.


The Comprehensive Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments (…) Samuel Bagster, London, 1829: 137, 1239.

Dye, Ira, ‘The Tattoos of Early American Seafarers, 1796-1818’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 133, No. 4, 1989: 521.

James Jones per Georgina CON18/1/8.

John Grigg per Lotus CON18/1/13.

Joseph Which per Jupiter CON18/1/11.

Keister, Douglas, Stories in Stone: A field guide to cemetery symbolism and iconography, Gibbs Smith, London, 2004: 146 – 147 (IHSOYS/Ihsoys or IHSUS/Ihsus.)

Eliza Roberts per Hydery CON19/1/13 (Jesus of Nazareth The King of the Jews—Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum)

Written on the Body: The Tattoo in European and American History. Ed. J. Caplan. London: Reaktion Press, 2000: 132-133 (Both protestant and catholic convicts bore crucifix tattoos. Maxwell-Stewart and Duffield maintain that crucifix tattoos account for 38 per cent of tattoos among Irishmen, 20 per cent of tattoos among Englishmen and 8 per cent among Scotsmen)

Samuel Dutton per Henry Porcher CON18/1/9.

Portsmouth Evening News, 9 July 1904. (A man accepted into The Church Army, an evangelical organisation, was described as bearing a crucifix on his back—‘protection against flogging’ in the army—‘no officer would dare to order a man to be whipped whose flesh bore this symbol, nor any comrade be bound to carry out such command if given’. The man, it was said, still ‘fully believed in this tradition’. Regarding superstition, Herman Melville stated ‘many sailors not Catholics were anxious to have the crucifix painted on them, owing to a curious superstition of theirs. They affirm—some of them—that if you fall overboard among seven hundred and seventy-five thousand white sharks, all dinnerless, and not one of them would so much as dare smell at your little finger.’ Melville, Herman, White-jacket: or, The world in a man-of-war, Gove Press, 1850: 167-168.)

Brand, Ian, Penal Peninsula. Port Arthur and its outstations 1827-1898, Regal Press, Launceston, 1998: 100.

George Dakin per Asia CON23/1/1.

Stephen Kelly per Louisa CON39/1/1.

William Langham per Mangles CON18/1/16 (When detailing Langham’s tattoo the transcribing clerk wrote “ F..K me”. At the time of Langham’s execution he it was said he died in ‘Catholic faith.’The Courier, Friday 12 August 1842)

Richard Sutton per Albion CON23/1/3

John Woods per Mangles CON18/1/16

Leeds Intelligencer 8 December 1831.

Newgate Calendar VOL5 1831.

James May per Katherine Stewart Forbes CON18/1/10.

John Pearce per Earl St. Vincent CON23/1/3; CON31/1/34.


The Lancet London: A Journal of British and Foreign Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics, Physiology, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Public Health and News, Vol 2, Elsevier, 1847: 212; An enquiry into the causes of the late increase of robbers, &c. A. Miller, London, 1751: 101.

Higgs, Edward, Identifying the English: a history of personal identification, 1500 to the present, Continuum, London, New York, 2011: 89.

Chambers, William & Chambers, Robert, Chambers’s Journal of Popular Literature Science and Arts, Vol 31-32, W. & R. Chambers, London, 1859: 137.

Morning Post 4 November 1871.

The Public General Acts of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Proprietors of the Law Journal Reports, London, 1869:14 (‘On the first and on every subsequent conviction for desertion, the court-martial, in addition to any other punishment, may order the offender to be marked two inches below and one inch in rear of the nipple of the left breast with the letter D, such letter not to be less than in inch long, and to be marked on the skin with some ink or gunpowder or other preparation, so as to be clearly seen, and not liable to be obliterated; a court-martial may, upon sentencing any offender to be discharged with ignominy, also sentence him to be marked on the right breast with the letters BC; and the confirming officer may order such sentence, both in respect of the discharge and of the marking, to be carried into effect.)

The Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol 60, Adam and Charles Black, London, 1843: 264. (‘…they were marking several deserters with a D in the usual manner with needles, the men operated on, complained very much of the pain, and of the time it took to be finished, and it occurred to me that it would make be a much better plan to have a number of needles arranged in the shape of the letter D, and fixed in a frame, and that they should fly out by touching a spring’. Unfortunately for Doctor Stratton he was beaten to the punch—‘six or seven months’ after telling colleagues about his idea he discovered, to his dismay, his ‘instrument’ on sale in the papers.)

The Times 31 May 1842.

London Standard 18 March 1868.

Thomas Carey per British Sovereign CON33/1/7 (Carey served in the 19th Regiment.)

Hilton, Philip, ‘Branded D on The Left Side’: A Study of Former Soldiers and Marines Transported to Van Diemen’s Land: 1804- 1854. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania, 2010: 102, 228.

Jeremiah Rahilly per Canton CON18/1/5.

Western Times 6 September 1864.

Dundee, Perth, and Cupar Advertiser 9 September 1851 (branding previously performed by a sergeant in the presence of a medical officer.)

London Standard 18 March 1868.

Reynold’s Newspaper 10 September 1865 (Fifteen of the 23 ex-soldiers transported aboard the Lord Lyndoch in 1841, for example, bore no other tattoos than that of the ‘D’ brand.)

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 29 October 1867 (‘In the army deserters were branded on their shoulders with the letter ‘D’. He (Doctor Guthrie) would apply the same punishment to habitual drunkards, but instead of marking them upon the shoulder, he would put the letter ‘D’ for drunkard on their foreheads.’ The doctor’s speech at Niddrie, Scotland, was, apparently, met with much laughter and applause.’)

The Sydney Morning Herald 11 June 1850. ‘(O’Neil) was brought into the square in charge of a guard, his court martial read, whereby he was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, a portion of which in solitary confinement, together with being branded with the letter D, indicative of his being a deserter.’ In 1867, at Chatham, Private William Taylor, having been tried for court-martial six times previously, was branded ‘D’ and ‘B.C.’ and sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour – ‘After his sentence had been promulgated the prisoner was stripped of his buttons and facings and marched to the boundary of the barracks to the tune of the ‘Rogue’s March’ when he was conducted to the prison by an escort of the regiment’. Hampshire Advertiser November 1867.)

Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser 8 September 1826.

Hobart Town Gazette 1 July 1826.

London Standard 18 March 1868.

William Beale per Lord Lyndoch CON33/1/5; CON18/1/26.

Manchester Evening News 9 March 1871.

Launceston Examiner 20 February 1850.


The London Standard, 3 September 1828; Morning Post 3 December 1828 (The forty thieves appear to have first made headlines in 1828: ‘The following evidence, in substance, was adduced, showing to what pitch the association of young thieves has arrived at, there being a gang of no less than 40 juvenile delinquents, and, from that number, they are known as the “Forty Thieves,” on all the metropolitan roads, where they subsist by their plunder on the coaches and passengers. The prisoner is a new associate of this extensive and formidable band.’ As Greyson was not known to the police, he escaped transportation with a sentence of six months at Brixton Prison, one month of which was to be spent in solitary confinement. He was also ‘publicly whipped 150 yards where the robbery was committed.’ William Saunders, ‘an incorrigible little rogue, and another of “the forty”’ wasn’t so fortunate—Saunders was transported for life. The gang was said to have operated ‘in the parish of Lambeth’ and were ‘all numbered and trained by a captain, whose age does not exceed eighteen’.)

London Standard 9 September 1828 (A twelve-year-old boy,Rutledge, from the ‘very formidable gang, calling themselves the “Forty Thieves”’, was arrested for attempting to pick a man’s pocket. ‘Mr. Home made some inquiries respecting the ‘Forty Thieves’, in reply to which it was stated that the thieves belonging to the gang has peculiar marks on their hands and arms, by which they were known to each other.’ Rutledge was shown to have initials tattooed on his arm and ‘a similar mark’ between his ‘forefinger and thumb’.)

The London Standard, 22 October, 1828; Morning Post 20 September 1830; London Standard 3 January 1829 (The forty thieves were described as ‘an organised gang’ and the ‘terror of the neighbourhood’. Three boys, ‘Chalk, Lancaster and Hunt’ were convicted of stealing cheese. It was said that ‘several girls were connected with them, and they recoginsed each other by five blue spots on the hand, which was made by gunpowder.’ Zachariah Chalk, transported to seven years, was not recorded as tattooed. John Lancaster also copped a seven-year term. Lancaster bore numerous tattoos but no dots. Hunt has not yet been identified. Reports detailing the identifying mark of the forty thieves vary. In one instance the tattoo was described as ‘three blue stripes on the thumb’. In another instance, four other lads Robert Hister, David Wiggins, Samuel Gray and William King were ‘all found marked on the right arm with the figure of a female, and the initials R.M. over it—underneath the letters R.H. appeared. The left arms was also marked with the afore mentioned initials—the distinctive mark of the members of the ‘Forty Thieves’ gang.’ Three of the boys were imprisoned locally and one was discharged. Zachariah Chalk per Prince Regent CON18/1/10; John Lancaster per David Lyon)

Morning Post 4 December 1828 (When sixteen-year-old John Smith was sentenced to seven years’ transportation, the chairman remarked that the punishment was passed ‘with a view to breaking up this desperate gang by sending them out of the country whenever there was an opportunity’. Smith, accused of stealing a bible and shawl by his stepfather, bore ‘several pricks on his left hand, the usual sign by which the gang was known’. Smith’s Van Diemonian record states that he was tattooed with ‘9 blue & red dots betn. finger & thumb left hand’. John Smith per York CON18/1/1)

Newcastle Courant 23 July 1831 (When two lads were nabbed in 1831, a gaoler pointed out ‘the marks between the thumb and finger of their left hands, indicating that the prisoners had been initiated into the society of the Forty Thieves, which always kept up the number by electing others, as soon as an Old Bailey sessions carried off a member of their gang.’)

Morning Chronicle 16 January 1832; Stamford Mercury 28 June 1833; Morning Post 17 September 1834 (There was reportedly the Surrey Gang of Forty Thieves, The Camberwell Fair Gang of Forty Thieves and also the Whitechapel Gang of Forty Thieves.)

Morning Post 29 March 1836 (‘A gang of forty thieves is about to be brought before the Paris Assizes. An extraordinary session will be devoted to the affair, which will last fifteen days, and present much interest owing to the number of the robberies, their importance, and the boldness with which they have been committed.’)

Maxwell-Stewart, Hamish; Donnelly, Paul; Millett, Timothy, ‘Dr Martin and the Forty Thieves.’ Chain Letters: Narrating Convict Lives, Frost, Lucy, ed., Maxwell-Stewart, Hamish, ed., Melbourne University Press, Carlton South, 2001: 177-178.

The total number of convicts transported aboard the Elizabeth varies from 220 (Bateson, The Convict Ships) to 236 (AOT). The author identified 220. The two men who bore dots on their hands were William Day and William Stokes. Day was a 26-year-old painter and glazier, transported for bigamy. He was described as: ‘Large Ears. Flowerpot 7 Stars E.D. July 1 1828 Above E Jt rt arm. Woman Man 15 1824. Love & liberty bottle pipes & Glass inside rt arm. Man Woman heart Darts T.H.R. W.E.D. above E Jt left arm. Crucifix W.E.D. &c ins Same Arm 5 dots back of of left thumb’. Stokes, a 21-year-old labourer convicted of ‘stealing from the person’ was tattooed with: ‘Fish M.J.S.J. half moon 7 Dots. A.S.W.S.M.C.S.S. on rt. arm. 7 Dots back of rt thumb W.S. 2 Anchors ins left arm. Ring on ring & mid finger same hand.’ William Day per Elizabeth CON18/1/6; William Stokes per Elizabeth CON18/1/6.)

James Deering per Elizabeth CON18/1/6.

The Era 7 October 1838 (Waddington, a gaoler, declared: ‘Such marks are frequently found on persons who were connected with thieves. It originated some years ago in the Mint, Borough, where a set of loose and idle characters were in the habit of pricking various figures on their flesh with the point of a pin, and rubbing in gunpowder or Indian ink, and it was impossible ever after to erase the marks. Some would prick rings around their fingers, and make five dots on their hands, whilst others would have the names of their fancy men and women upon their arms or breasts. He had heard a great deal about the “Forty Thieves”, but he never knew of such a gang, and it was all nonsense.)

Joseph Hadley per Aurora CON18/1/4 (Handley’s dots may have depicted the Pleiades, for they were presented in groups of seven and accompanied by stars, suns and moons. Mary Smith also appears to have utilised dots in an idiosyncratic fashion. Smith bore two sets of initials with the five dots between each set, in the same manner as a love heart. Mary Smith per Nautilus CON19/1/14)

James Sutton per Coromandel CON18/1/5

John Walters per Equestrian CON18/1/58

Henry Biddulph per Asia CON23/1/1

Bernard Trayner per Admiral Cockburn CON31/1/4; CPN35/1/1 (Trayner arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in January 1819. In later years he was described as bearing ‘5 dots between thumb & forefinger right hand’.)

Baldaev, Danzig; Vasiliev, Sergei, Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia, Steidl, 2003: 207

Norfolk Chronicle 17 April 1852; Morning Post 21 July 1838. (Hall confessed to upwards of 45 crimes and implicated more than ‘40 accomplices’, some ‘respectable’. However, the press had used the term ‘The Forty Thieves’ ubiquitously for several decades. When 20-year-old John Craw was accused of being a member in 1838, the chairman was under the opinion that the gang was ‘broken up long ago’. Craw declared he was too old for a gang comprised of ‘all boys’ but when the chairman asked to see if he was tattooed, Craw ‘instinctively thrust both his hands into his pockets’ and declared ‘he might have once belonged to the “forty thieves”, yet that he had since “reformed, and cut the connection.”)

France, Anatole, L’Affaire Crainquebille, Edouard Pelletan, Paris, 1902: 46-47; Angel, Gemma, From the Storage Archives: “Mort Aux Vaches!”, Lifeand6months.com

John Lancaster per David Lyon CON31/1/28; CON18/1/2

London Standard 22 October 1828

Report from the Select Committee on Transportation; together with the minutes of evidence, appendix, and index, Great Britain. Parliament, House of Commons, 1837: 139. (Following an inquiry into prison discipline, gangs were systemized and placed under the control of an overseer. ‘Duties of an Overseer: 1. He shall have charge of 40 men, in four messes, who, from the time of their arrival at the station, until that of their departure, will continue to work under his direction, unless any transfer shall be directed for the purpose of classification.)


The Comprehensive Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments (…) Samuel Bagster, London, 1829: 8.

Cooper, Jean, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols, Thames and Hudson, London, 2004: 54.

James Taylor per Sir Charles Forbes CON23/1/3

James Bently per Governor Ready CON23/1/1

Samuel Shone per Sir Charles Forbes CON23/1/1

James County per Persian CON18/1/2; CON31/1/7 (County denied being transported before.)

William Henry Fletcher Shaw per Augusta Jessie CON18/1/4; CON31/1/41 (The liver bird is generally presented as a cormorant holding a frond in its beak but it’s sometimes depicted as an eagle. The liver bird has been associated with Liverpool since the 14th century. National Museums Liverpool, Maritime Archives & Library, Information Sheet No. 21: Liver Bird)

James Bibby per Surrey CON18/1/19 A dove with a love letter is also considered an ideogram for ‘haste thee back’, a sentiment epitomized in a poem of 1814 titled ‘The Dove’ in which a female dove calls repeatedly for her mate with the verse ‘haste thee back, my love, to me, Or I shall die of love of thee.’

Maxwell-Stewart, Hamish, ‘Collecting by Numbers’, Siglo: Journal for the Arts, 10, 1998: 48; Passman, William, The Quarterly Visitor, conducted by W. Passman, Vol 2, Robert Peck, Hull.)

Hone, William, The Every-day Book and Table Book: Or, Everlasting Calendar of Popular Amusements, Sports, Pastimes, Ceremonies, Manners, Customs, and Events, Incident to Each of the Three Hundred and Sixty-five Days, in Past and Present Times; Forming a Complete History of the Year, Months, and Seasons. Vol. 1, Thomas Tegg, London, 1830: 224

John McCullen per William Miles CON23/1/1; CON31/1/6 (McCullen claimed to be unmarried and the identity of ‘J.S.’ is unknown. McCullen was, however, tried with Mary Ann Gordon for the same crime. Gordon may be referenced in the ‘MAP’ on his left arm.)

John Saunders per Asia CON23/1/3 (Saunders claimed to be unmarried.)

William Dorman per Stakesby CON18/1/20.

Thomas Bellamy per Bengal Merchant CON18/1/1

Sill, Gertrude Grace, A handbook of symbols in Christian art, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996: 24, Schiller, Gertrud, Iconography of Christian Art, Lund Humphries, London, 1971 – 1972: Vol 1, 172.

Thomas Bates per Lady East CON31/1/1; CON23/1/1; Hobart Town Gazette10 December 1835 (In a further twist, Bates drowned in the Jordan River, a tributary of the Derwent River, Tasmania. It was by crossing the Jordan that Israelite slaves escaped Egypt and reached the Promised Land.)

Henry Palfrey per Arab CON18/1/3

Charles Wing per Roslyn Castle CON18/1/22

Thomas Jones per Duncan CON33/1/8.

Speake, Jennifer, The Dent dictionary of symbols in Christian Art, London, 1994: 72

James Lynn per Marquis of Hastings CON18/1/16 (Another Canadian on board the same ship, Ignace Prevost, also bore an eagle tattoo. Ignace Prevost per Marquis of Hastings CON18/1/16)

Dow, Lorenzo, Biography and Miscellany, William Faulkner, Norwich, Connecticut, 1834: 24.

Sill, Gertrude Grace, A handbook of symbols in Christian art, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996: 20.

William Carder per Surrey Con18/1/19.

Charles Woodirvis per York CON18/1/21 (Woodirvis’ birdcage was branded with the letter ‘C’, presumably for Charles.)

Cooper, Jean, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols, Thames and Hudson, London, 2004: 164.

Hiscock, Arin Murphy, Birds – A Spiritual Field Guide: Explore the Symbology and Significance of These Divine Winged Messengers, Adams Media, 2012: 183-185.

Stephen Bryan per Eden CON18/1/7; CON31/1/3; The Hobart Town Courier, 23 February 1838.


Beaufoy, Henry Benjamin Hanbury, A descriptive catalogue of the London traders, tavern, and coffee-house tokens current in the seventeenth century, Printed for the use of the members of the Corporation of the City of London, London, 1853:141.

Winckelmann, Johann Joachim, Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks: With Instructions for the Connoisseur, and an Essay on Grace in Works of Art, printed for the translator, and sold by A. Millar, London, 1765: 206.

The Literary Gazette: A Weekly Journal of Literature, Science, and the Fine Arts, Vol. 2, H. Colburn, London, 1818: 88.

White, William, Notes and Queries, a Medium or Intercommunication for Literary men, general readers etc. Oxford University Press, London, 1871:116.

William Kitchen per Woodford CON18/1/21; CON31/1/21.

William Price per England CON18/1/6

John Hardman per Mangles CON18/1/16; CON31/1/21 (Hardman was also tattooed with a flowerpot on his left arm, and a woman holding a flower on his right arm)

Thomas Baggett per Jupiter CON18/1/11; CON31/1/5 (Baggett was convicted in 1831. He sailed to Van Diemen’s Land in 1833. It’s possible the date 1829 commemorated his marriage to Martha. Alternatively, it may have referenced Baggett’s previous gaol time, and an assumption that he would be transported in 1829. Love tokens have been similarly inscribed)

William Anderson per Royal George CON18/1/2; CON31/1/2.

Samuel Buckley per Lady Kennaway CON18/1/10.

Phillips, Henry, Floral Emblems, Saunders and Otley, London, 1825: 25.

Flora’s Dictionary. By a lady. Fielding Lucas, Baltimore, 1835.

Lacassagne, Alexandre, Les tatouages: étude anthropologique et medico légale, Baillière, Paris, 1881: 61-62 (According to Lacassagne, the pansy was particularly popular amongst criminals. Lacassagne calculated that of 97 men tattooed with a flower, 89 bore a pansy. He also noted that pansies were frequently tattooed with sentiments such as ‘my sister’, ‘my mother’ and ‘to me’, although he attributed tattoos of ‘entwined hands holding a pansy’ to pederasts. One reason why the pansy was not delineated amongst British convicts in the mid 19th century, could be due to the fact that pansies were not widely cultivated until the 1830s.)

Sill, Gertrude Grace, A handbook of symbols in Christian art, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996: 51

Margaret Caroll per Elizabeth & Henry CON41/1/17.

Keister, Douglas, Stories in Stone: A field guide to cemetery symbolism and iconography, Gibbs Smith, London, 2004: 48.

Maxwell-Stewart, Hamish, ‘Collecting by Numbers’, Siglo: Journal for the Arts, 10, 1998.

Braerton was tattooed with numerous initials including ‘RS’ within a wreath. Sarah Braerton per Baretto Junior CON41/1/27.

William Phillips per Moffatt CON18/1/17 (William Phillips bore a ‘Woman holding a thistle’, Richard Ashley a ‘woman holding a Wreath’. Richard Ashley per Mangles CON18/1/26; William Taylor per Eden CON33/1/22).

Alice Marsh per Margaret CON19/1/2.

Elizabeth King per Navarino CON40/1/6; CON19/1/1; The Courier, 8 April 1842; Colonial Times, 5 April 1842; Cornwall Chronicle 9 April 1842 (‘Elizabeth King, a prisoner of the Crown, was next tried for the willful murder of her illegitimate female child. This case, which occupied the rest of the day, was ably set forth by the Attorney-general on the part of the Crown, and defended with the customary tact and talent of Mr. Macdowell, and ended in conviction for concealing the birth only, owing to the usual uncertainty in the tests of the child being born alive, and of the particular means which accomplished its death.’ Regarding King’s punishment: ‘His Honor, the Chief Justice, after remarking upon the narrow escape she had of her life for the capital charge, and giving her a very suitable admonition, sentenced her to twelve months imprisonment, and should recommend hard labour.’)


Keister, Douglas, Stories in Stone: A field guide to cemetery symbolism and iconography, Gibbs Smith, London, 2004: 109, 149.

Chevalier, Jean & Gheerbrant, Alain, A Dictionary of Symbols, translated from the French by John Buchanan-Brown, Penguin Books, London, 1996: 479.

William Carder per Surrey CON18/1/19

Mary Smith per Nautilus CON 19/1/14

William Whitehead per Nile CON33/1/97

Keightley, Thomas, The Mythology of Ancient Greece and Italy: for the use of schools, D. Appleton & Co, New York, 1837: 68.

Edward Payne per Katherine Stewart Forbes CON18/1/10

William Allen per Marmion CON23/1/1

Hannah McCarthy per Tory CON41/1/18

Edward Saunders per Strathfieldsay CON18/1/19

Joseph Noble per Moffat CON18/1/15.

Paul Pierce per Governor Ready CON23/1/3; CON31/1/34

John Pilkington per Malabar CON31/1/34; CON23/1/3

The Durham County Advertiser, 10 March 1821.

Hawker, Robert Stephen, The Prose Works of Rev. R. S. Hawker: Including Footprints of Former Men in Far Cornwall, W. Blackwood and sons, London. 1893: 58 (‘I (Hawker) have myself said the burial service over forty-two such men rescued from the sea – were so decorated with some distinctive emblem and name; and it is their object and intent, when they assume these pictured signs, to secure identity for their bodies if their lives are lost at sea’.)

Joseph Moles per Asia CON33/1/2.

William Kay per Layton CON18/1/13; CON31/1/26.

Ross, Lynette, Death and burial at Port Arthur, 1830-1877. Honours thesis, University of Tasmania, 2005: 37 (Joseph Howens was tattooed with JH on the inside of his right arm. A Charles McDonald, sent to Port Arthur in February 1843, appears to be the McDonald in question. He was not tattooed. John Harris has not been identified. Charles McDonald per Emperor Alexander CON18/1/6; Joseph Howens per Westmoreland CON35/1/1. Identifying convict via their tattoos is difficult. When Thomas Wink arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in 1828, he gave his name as Thomas Scott, and his tattoo of ‘T Scott’ appears to verify his claim. Despite this, his last name was recoded as Wink, though the colonial authorities may have been determined on having the last laugh—Wink appears to have been a decidedly deft choice for an alias. By the 1840s, Wink was officially being recorded as Scott, but it was noted that he also went by the name Thomas Smith. Many convicts have been identified as using aliases but the full extent can’t be known. James Tarrant’s record appears to state ‘ST inside left arm’ but it may be ‘JT’ or any variation of J, S, I and T, as these letters are often indistinguishable in the records. Thomas Pheny, tattooed with ‘T F.’, may have spelt his last as ‘Feny’. John Perryman bore ‘JB AB HB MB’. In all probability his last name was Berryman, his tattoos delineate family members and his surname was misheard when being recounted. James Potterell’s ‘MP WP’, may have related to his wife and son, as a ‘Woman Boy’ were tattooed nearby. But Potterell made no mention of a wife and son and detailed his father as kin instead. John Price was tattooed with hearts and ‘JTJCP’, which could have been his lover’s initials and his own, inclusive of a middle name. But by the same rationale his tattoo can be read as ‘JTJ’ and ‘CP’. Letter clusters, particularly large clusters, are open to numerous readings. William Jones’ ‘M.L.W. heart & Darts’, may decode as his lover’s initial, ‘L’ for ‘love’ and ‘W’ for William. Francis Connor was tattooed with ‘FC FC’ and was keen to reaffirm his identity or record the name of someone that shared the same initials. Sarah Hughes’ record states ‘J.B on left Arm. T.B. J.B. on left Hand’. Hughes declared she was unmarried but her tattoos may imply her maiden name began with ‘B’ and Hughes was her marital name. Margaret Kidston’s last name was given as Hepburn, Rennie and Mallock. Her ‘G H – & feint M H’ could suggest that Hepburn was her preferred moniker and possibly her marital name. Elizabeth Taylor was tattooed with ‘BT’, a possible abbreviation of Beth Taylor. The act of inscribing lovers’ names was popularized in the 16th century poem The Frenzy of Orlando. Orlando, the protagonist, goes mad after discovering the object of his desire has her name and that of her lover inscribed on every tree and rock across the land. Thomas Wink per Roslyn Castle CON31/1/45; CON18/1/22, James Tarrant per Asia CON23/1/3, James Potterell per Juliana CON31/1/34; CON23/1/3, John Price per Prince of Orange CON23/1/3, John Perryman per Commodore Hayes CON23/1/3, Francis Connor per Commodore Hayes CON23/1/1, Thomas Pheny per Royal George CON18/1/2, John Smith per Roslyn Castle CON18/1/22, Sarah Hughes per Emma Eugenia CON19/1/5, Margret Kidston per Lady of the Lake CON40/1/5; CON19/1/13, Elizabeth Taylor per Hindostan CON19/1/13; William Jones per William Glen Anderson CON18/1/21; The Orlando Furioso translated into English verse from the Italian of Ludovico Aristo with notes by William Stewart Rose VOL. IV, London, 1825:15.)

Henry Davis per Georgina CON31/1/10; Con18/1/8.

Bess Ward per Waverly CON19/1/2

Robson, Leslie, Lloyd, The Convict Settlers of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1965:80. (According to historian Leslie Lloyd Robson, Mary Ann Brennan’s tattoos were indicative of time spent as a prostitute. Brennan was tattooed with a multitude of names, hearts and initials. She also bore the verse: ‘William Jessie, When this you see Remember me, And bear me in your mind, Let all the world say what they will, Speak of me as you find.’)

London Standard 9 September 1828

Morning Chronicle 13 September 1828

William Creamer per Lady Hareweood CON18/1/12 (When a 12-year-old boy named Rutledge was arrested for picking pockets, he was deemed to be one of the forty thieves who bore ‘peculiar marks on their hands and arms’. In court, Rutledge was: ‘… ordered to exhibit his, upon which he pulled up the sleeve of his waistcoat, and pointed out two capital letters, marked apparently by gunpowder on the skin. The letters were deemed to be the initials of his name, but also that of a prostitute, for every juvenile thief belonging to the gang was stated to have each his ‘fancy woman’. There was also a similar mark between the prisoner’s fore-finger and thumb.’ William Creamer, another of the forty, was said to have been tattooed with a ‘heart penetrated by a dart, and underneath the initials of the name of a prostitute with whom he cohabited. Creamer was transported to Van Diemen’s Land and his record states: ‘W E & Heart left arm’. )

Emma Fear per Tasmania CON19/1/4.

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 17 July 1819.

Richard Roberts per Canton CON18/1/5.

William Weeks per Prince Regent CON18/1/10.

Thomas Woodley per Circassian CON18/1/5.

Francois Xavier Leclair per Sarah CON18/1/20

John Johnson per Lady Harewood CON18/1/12

Thomas Powell per Arab CON18/1/35

Springett, Christine; Springett, David, Success to the Lace Pillow, Lofthouse Books, 1997. (Haskins was based in Bedford and Wood was convicted in Yorkshire, roughly two days distance by foot. A bobbin attributed to Haskins inscribed ‘Robert Franklin Helmdon 1846’ lends credence to this assumption as Helmdon is some 12 hours walk from Bedford. John Wood per Merchantman HO11/19.)

William Johnson per Aurora CON18/1/4; CON14/1/51; Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 5 September 1833: 34


William Brown per London CON23/1/1.

Thomas Mabbott per Aurora CON18/1/4.

The Freemasons’ library and general Ahiman rezon: containing a delineation of the true principles of freemasonry, speculative and operative, religious and moral / compiled from the writings of the most approved authors, with notes and occasional remarks, by Samuel Cole, Benjamin Edes, Baltimore, 1817 .

Leicester Journal 19 August 1870 (Masonic symbolism, however, varies according to the Lodge)

Mary Williams per Hindostan CON19/1/13.

The Masonic Illustrated, Vol IV, No. 48, 1904: 9.

Harland-Jacobs, Jessica, Builders of Empire: Freemasonry and British Imperialism, 1717-1927, The University of North Carolina Press, 2007:171 (Despite early setbacks, Freemasonry was technically legal, having been exempted from the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799. Furthermore, chapters were encouraged among the armed forces serving in Australia. Civilians were, at times, allowed to attend their meetings. Lennox, John, Wadsley, John, Barrack Hill: A History of Anglesea Barracks, Canberra: Corporate Graphics – Defense Publishing Service, 2011: 219 )

Barker, Anthony, What Happened When: A Chronology of Australia from 1788, Allen & Unwin, 2001:45.

Ellis, M.H., Lachlan Macquarie, His life, Adventures and Times, Dymocks, Sydney, 1947: 504.

Lara, James, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bergman, G.F.J.

The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, 3 October 1818.

General Muster, Hobart Town, 1818, Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists Van Diemen’s Land, 1803 – 1833, Schaeffer, Irene (Ed). CD version.

James Ballance per Calcutta CON22/1/1.

Eldershaw, Peter, Guide to the public records of Tasmania, Tasmanian State Archives, Hobart, 1957-1975.

Levy, Michael, Governor George Arthur: a colonial benevolent despot, Georgian House, Melbourne, 1953: 295.

Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser, 9 September 1825.

William Brown per London CON23/1/1.

John McCall per Lord William Bentwick CON18/1/12; CON23/1/2;CON13/1/5.

Launceston Advertiser 26 October 1837.

James Brown per Lady Harewood CON18/1/12; CON31/1/1; CSO1/1/408.

The Hobart Town Courier 17 October 1829, 23 January 1830.

Colonial Times 23 October 1829.


Benwell, Gwen & Waugh, Arthur, Sea Enchantress: the tale of the mermaid and her kin, Hutchinson, London, 1961: 128.

William Worrell per Layton CON31/1/47; CON18/1/13.

Keister, Douglas, Stories in Stone: A field guide to cemetery symbolism and iconography, Gibbs Smith, London, 2004: 86.

Higgins, Jim & Lenihan, Michael, Irish mermaids: sirens, temptresses, and their symbolism in art, architecture, and folklore, Crow’s Rock Press, Galway, 1995

George Barker per Candahar CON18/1/31.

John King per Marion CON33/1/70.

Thomas Smith per Candahar CON33/1/23

Larwood, Jacob & Hotten, John Camden, The History of Signboards: from the earliest times to the present day, Chatto and Windus, London, 1867: 225.

Benwell, Gwen & Waugh, Arthur, Sea Enchantress: the tale of the mermaid and her kin, Hutchinson, London, 1961:172

Lombroso, Cesare, L’uomo delinquente: In rapporto all’antropologia, alla qiurisprudenza ed alle discipline carcerarie, Fratelli Bocca Editori, Torino, 1897: Tav. LXVIII. (When describing a triton tattoo, Lombroso wrote: ‘ricordo del suo viaggio in mare’—‘I remember his trip on the sea’.)

Francis Prouten per Albion CON31/1/34

Edward Bell per Mangles CON18/1/16; CON14/1/4

William Frampton per Argyle CON18/1/3; CON31/1/14

George Passmore per London CON33/1/56 .

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 9 July 1835.

Samuel Sargent per Circassian CON31/1/39.

Leppard-Quinn, Christine, The Unfortunates: prostitutes transported to Van Diemen’s Land 1822–1843. PhD Thesis, University of Tasmania. 2013 See Appendix A: Women identified as prostitutes who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land 1822-1843 p 341.

William Shapton per Aurora CON18/1/4.

Millett, Timothy, ed., Field, Michael., ed., Convict love tokens : the leaden hearts the convicts left behind, Wakefield Press, Kent Town, 1998: 49.

John Beautiman per Eden CON18/1/7.

Frederick Elly per Pestongee Bomangee CON18/1/48

Of 42 male convicts tattooed with pugilistic motifs, nine were done for fighting and 34 committed further offences.

Frederick Elly per Pestongee Bomangee CON18/1/48

Caledonian Mercury 27 January 1834

William Looney per Coromandel CON31/1/25; CON18/1/5.

Samuel Belasco per Layton CON23/1/1; CON31/1/1

Hobart Town Advertiser, 3 June 1842 (The largest crowd drawn to a bout in colonial Australia, may have been the 700 spectators who gathered at the South Esk River, Van Diemen’s Land, to watch New South Welshman James Grew box on with local boy John Williams. The Hobart Town Courier, 9 January 1830).

George Lee per Lady Harewood CON18/1/12.

James Mellor per Georgiana CON18/1/8

William Frost per Argyle CON18/1/3

George Davis per Lady Raffles CON18/1/26

John Wilson per Bengal Merchant CON18/1/1 .

Green, F.C., Australian Dictionary of Biography, Josiah Spode.

London Daily News, 17 October 1846.

Geelong Advertiser, 28 March 1867.

Illawarra Mercury 26 March 1867

Thomas Good per

Royal George

CON18/1/2; CON31/1/16.

The Cornwall Chronicle, 9 May 1846

The Hobart Town Courier, 10 October 1829

Jones, William, Finger-Ring Lore: Historical, Legendary, and Anecdotal, Chatto & Windus, London, 1898: 275, 291-292

John Hughes per Waterloo CON18/1/21.

William Sweet per Nile CON33/1/97.

James Hicks per Equestrian CON18/1/58

Thomas Baggett per Jupiter CON 18/1/11; CSO1/1/654

Martha Evison per Cadet CON19/1/7; CON41/1/21

Eliza Roberts per Hydery CON19/1/13; CON40/1/7

John Hay per Jupiter CON31/1/20, CON18/1/11

Catherine Moore per Waverley CON40/1/8.

Alice Hallissy per Mexborough CON40/1/6

Lydia Casemere per Harmony CON40/1/1.

John Naylor per Elphinstone CON31/1/33.

Calculation based on 50 convicts who had a spouse transported. (Rosannah MacDowell, with no ring tattoo, has two husbands transported. Rosannah MacDowell per Harmony CON19/1/13; CON40/1/3)

Calculations based on 40 women tattooed with rings and 200 men tattooed with rings.

Jones, William, Finger-Ring Lore: Historical, Legendary, and Anecdotal, Chatto & Windus, London, 1898: 293.

Nares, Edward, Heraldic Anomalies, Vol II, G. & W. B. Whittaker, London, 1824: 400.

John Smith per Lord Lyndoch CON18/1/26

William Farrier per Mangles CON18/1/16 (Farrier’s face tattoo probably wasn’t obtained willingly. In 1848, it was reported that a French soldier facing Court Martial was tattooed on the forehead with ‘Pas de chance’—‘no luck’. Frenchman imprisoned aboard the Sampson, an English prison hulk, was said to have been tattooed with ‘J’ai trahi mes frères, et je les ai vendus aux Anglais dans les prisons d’ Angleterre’—‘I betrayed my brothers and I sold them to the English in prisons in England’. Morning Post, 24 November 1848; Mesonant, Par. M., Coup D’oeil Rapide sur Les Pontons, 1837: 442.)

James King per Gilmore CON18/1/36.

Evans, Joan, English Posies and Posy Rings, Antique Collectors Club Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013

John Mason per Waterloo CON18/1/21.

Thomas Collins per David Lyon CON18/1/2.

Harriet Derbyshire per Tory CON41/1/6; CON19/1/5 CON15/1/3

The Cornwall Chronicle, 20 February 1871


Andrews, Munya, The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades: Stories from around the World, Spinifex Press, 2005.

Allen, Richard Hinckley, Star Names and Their Meanings, G.E. Stechert , New York, 1899: 395.

Arago, Francois, ‪Popular Astronomy, Vo1 1, Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, London, 1855: 319.

Joseph Green per Georgina CON18/1/8; CON31/1/15; CSO1/1/390

Brown, Robert Hewitt, Stellar theology and masonic astronomy; or, The origin and meaning of ancient and modern mysteries explained, New York, 1882: 107.

William Woods per Royal Hunt CON18/1/15

Agrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich Cornelius, Three books of occult philosophy / written by Henry Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim, completely annotated with modern commentary, St. Paul, MN, U.S.A.: Llewellyn, 1993

Weinbren, Daniel, The Oddfellows, 1810 – 2010: Two hundred years of making friends and helping people, Carnegie Pub, Lancaster, 2010.

Michael Kenny per Bengal Merchant CON18/1/1

Row, Augustus, Masonic Biography and Dictionary: ‪Comprising the History of Ancient Masonry, Antiquity of Masonry, Written and Unwritten Law, Derivation and Definition of Masonic Terms, Biographies of Eminent Masons, Statistics, List of All Lodges in the United States, Etc, Row, J.B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, 1868: 255

Larwood, Jacob & Hotten, John Camden, The History of Signboards: from the earliest times to the present day, Chatto and Windus, London, 1867: 500

Elizabeth Spragg per Emma Eugenia CON19/1/5

John Smith per Norfolk CON18/1/18.

Keister, Douglas, Stories in Stone: A field guide to cemetery symbolism and iconography, Gibbs Smith, London, 2004:124-125.

George Neal per Asia CON33/1/2; CON37/1; CON39/1.


James Hadley per Aurora CON18/1/4

George Chappie per Layton CON18/1/14

Samuel Norster per Layton CON18/1/14

William Slender per Larkins CON18/1/12

John Whelan per Larkins CON37/1/4

William Lunt per Pyramus CON18/1/1.

Mary Medlicot per Tasmania CON19/1/4; CON41/1/4

Bridget Mack per Tasmania CON41/1/4

Sill, Gertrude Grace, A handbook of symbols in Christian art, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996: 134, 28.

Jameson, Anna, Sacred and Legendary Art: Containing legends of the angels and archangels, the evangelists, the apostles, the doctors of the church, and St. Mary Magdalene, as represented in the fine arts, Vol 1,1863.

Daniel Hammett per David Lyon CON18/1/2.

Charles Deverall per Enchantress CON18/1/6.

Parker, Matthew Henry, The Life of Nelson Revised and Illustrated. With Original Anecdotes, Notes, Etc. By the Old Sailor, Frederic Shobert, London, 1836: 31.

Henry Orme per Moffatt CON18/1/17

Joseph Sutcliff per Prince Regent CON18/1/10

Barker, David Erskine, ‪The Companion to the Play-house: ‪Or, An Historical Account of All the Dramatic Writers (and Their Works) that Have Appeared in Great Britain and Ireland, from the Commencement of Our Theatrical Exhibitions, Down to the Present Year 1764, Vol 1, London, 1764

William Thompson per Aurora CON18/1/4; CON14/1/51

John Welsh per Aurora CON18/1/4.

Liverpool Daily Post, 1 December 1860.

James Baxter per Mangles CON18/1/16

Chapman, Peter, ed., HISTORICAL RECORDS OF AUSTRALIA Series III, VOL VIII, Tasmania, January-February 1829: 670-671

Robert Robertson per Enchantress CON18/1/6 (In October 1825, it was reported that Robert Robertson and John Currie, sailors, were charged with highway robbery. Caledonian Mercury, 3 October 1825).

Major, Allen, Maritime Antiques An Illustrated Dictionary, Tantivy Press, London, 1981 (Decorated glass rolling pins were typically purchased by sailors and presented as keepsakes to wives and sweethearts. According to tradition, the rolling pins were filled with salt, tea, spices or liquor and suspended in the kitchen. If the rolling pin broke, it was believed the sailor had taken up with another woman or perished at sea.)

Colonial Times 4 September 1829

The Hobart Town Courier 5 September 1829.


Keister, Douglas, Stories in Stone: A field guide to cemetery symbolism and iconography, Gibbs Smith, London, 2004: 134-135

Cooper, Jean, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols, Thames and Hudson, London, 2004: 104.

John Hatton per Lord Lyndoch CON18/1/26; CON33/1/5

West Kent Guardian 4 May 1839. (Abraham Sampson was transported of piracy. Among the tattoos on his right arm: ‘Crucifix part of man’s head’, the latter was probably a bust. Abraham Sampson per Asia CON18/1/4. Edward Grogan, George Reynolds and Charles Thomas, 17th Lancers, were not tattooed. Edward Grogan per Coromandel CON18/1/5; CON31/1/17, Charles Thomas per Lord Auckland CON18/1/38; CON33/1/61, George Reynolds per London CON33/1/101. Of 22 convicts tattooed with the skull/head and bones motif, not one was convicted of a crime indicative of Chartism such as treason, rioting, demolishing a house or arson. Maurice Barrett was transported for mutiny—Barrett struck his Sergeant whilst stationed in Jamaica and the crime occurred three years prior to Chartism. Maurice Barrett per Mangles CON31/1/5.)

Cooper, Jean, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols, Thames and Hudson, London, 2004:154.

Charles Parsons per Enchantress CON18/1/6, CON31/1/35 (the weirdest tattooing along these lines may be Isaac Turnbull’s tattoo of a ‘Woman holding a man’s head man without a head’. Isaac Turnbull per Canton CON18/1/5)

Thomas Smith per Elphinstone CON18/1/7

Thomas Leather per Asia CON18/1/4

Jonathon Dale per Southworth CON23/1/1

Joseph Holley per Stakesby CON18/1/20

William Sullivan per Jupiter CON18/1/11

Peters, Stephanie True, Cholera: curse of the nineteenth century, Benchmark Books, New York, 2005

Deetz, James & Dethlefsen, Edwin, Natural History Magazine, Vol 76, No.3, New York, 1967, .29-37 ( Deetz noted an evolution in cemetery symbolism commencing with skulls in the early 18th century, followed by cherubs in the late 18th century, and willow trees and urns in the early 19th century.)

William Warren per Georgina CON18/1/8.

Of 107 widowed female convicts, three were tattooed. Of 130 widowed men, 17 were tattooed.

Colonial Times, 1 April 1851

William Henry Stephens per Lord Lyndoch CON33/1/5; CON35/1/2; CON14/1/5 (‘The unfortunate culprit, henry Stevens, convicted of robbery at Oatlands, was executed at that place on Friday morning last. A great many people were present at the awful spectacle, amongst them three females. One had two children, one of which was in arms. He was very penitent, and, after the halter had been adjusted, requested the removal of the cap from his face. His request being acceded to, he solicited the prayers of the populace. The attention of the Roman Catholic clergymen in the town to his religious wants merits notice.’ The Courier, 30 April 1851).


Balmanno, Mary, Pen and Pencil, Balmanno, D. Appleton & Co, New York, 1858: 165.

Gay, John, The Poetical Works of John Gay: In Three Volumes. Collated with the best editions, Stanhope press, London, 1808: 117

Camm, Bede, Sister Mary of St. Francis, S.N.D., the Hon. Laura Petre, R. & T. Washbourne, London, 1913: 25.

John Woodason per Thames CON18/1/21
James Partridge per Medway CON23/1/3.

Griend, P. C. van de., Turner, J. C, History and Science of Knots, River Edge, N.J. : World Scientific, Singapore, 1996: 411.

Joseph Hadley per Aurora Con18/1/4; CON31/1/21; CON14/1/51

Daniel Brown and co. per Bussorah Merchant CON/18/1/1

Coventry Herald 21 August 1829.


Morning Post 24 May 1837 ‘(‘On searching her (Sarah Welch) there was found suspended by a piece of silk tape from her neck a medal, on which was engraved the following lines: – “When this you see Remember me Till your true love gains His liberty. “W.N. 18th Oct. 1832” It further appeared that this elegant effusion had been addressed to the prisoner by a young man who was tried at the Old Bailey for felony, and who, on or about the above date, quitted this country “for his country’s good,” for a period of seven years. A lock of her lover’s hair was also discovered wrapped up in a piece of white scented paper, and concealed in her bosom.’

William Nest per Lotus CON31/1/33; Con18/1/13; CON52/1/1.

Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser 5 August 1875

Thomas Bligh per Emperor Alexander CON31/1/5; CON18/1/6

Sarah Smith per Arab CON40/1/10; CON19/1/12

Thomas Lock per London CON18/1/46; CON33/1/70

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, Report from the Select Committee on Transportation : together with minutes of evidence, appendix, and index., London, 1837.

Edward Kennedy per Elizabeth CON18/1/6; CON31/1/26.

Thomas Green per Enchantress CON31/1/16; CON18/1/6.

Carlisle Patriot 6 November 1819

David Roberts per Norfolk CON31/1/37; CON18/1/18; CON33/1/55 (In April 1840, David Roberts was sentenced to death for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Thomas Smith. The sentence was overturned and he was transported to Norfolk Island for life. Drowned attempting to escape port Arthur The Hobart Town Courier and Van Diemen’s Land Gazette, 24 April 1840; South Australian Register, 20 June 1853.)

Thomas Bligh per Emperor Alexander CON18/1/6; CON31/1/5, CON52/1/2


Australian Convict Sites, World Heritage Nomination, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra, 2008.

Charles Appleyard GD128/1/2

Ellen Gamble per Australasia CON19/1/8

Edward Appleyard per Augusta Jessie CON18/1/4

Charles Fever per Lady East CON23/1/1

John Crick per Mangles CON18/1/16