De-Convicted – Bristol convicts who got a second chance

Painting by Francis Greenway of a mock trial in Newgate Prison, Bristol, 1812; created whilst he was imprisoned there.

Through the stories of three prisoners, this project outlines the history of penology in Britain and the attempts to reform it. The case-studies involve Bristol architect Francis Greenway transported for forgery to become Australia’s leading architect, Douglas Curtis who moved from Cotham Grammar School to Dartmoor Prison to Cambridge University and Steve Robertson, one of the success stories of the Bristol New Careers project. Yet Britain now sends more people to prison than any other country in Europe.

Stuff linked to this project...


De-Convicted cover - man's hands holding prison cell bars and a pencil


This pamphlet analyses British penology by focussing on three case studies, spread across two centuries, all with Bristol connections. Francis Greenway, originally sentenced to death for forgery in Bristol, was transported to Australia where he […] Read More =>

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The Fatal Shore

Anyone interested in the history of Australia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries would do well to read Robert Hughes’s book. He describes in detail the development of the convict system and the colonisation of Australia from the first […] Read More =>

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