Monday, 24 December 2018

24th December 1818: John Slater, the final Luddite convict to be deported, arrives in Australia

'View of Sydney Cove from Dawes Point' by Joseph Lycett, c.1817/1818
On Christmas Eve, Thursday 24th December 1818, the transport ship 'The Hadlow' arrived at Port Jackson in Sydney Cove, Australia after a voyage of almost 5 months, carrying a total of 148 convicts.

On board was the notorious Nottinghamshire Luddite, John Slater, who had been convicted as long ago as April 1817 for frame-breaking during the 'Loughborough Job' and sentenced to transportation for life. This was Slater's second trial for the raid, having been acquitted of involvement in August 1816 at the end of an extraordinary trial where the Luddites supporters crowded the court room and intimidated the jury into the right outcome.

The Hadlow had left Woolwich on 2nd August 1818, calling at Sheerness 2 days later to pick up more prisoners from the Hulks there. Two of the original 148 prisoners had died during the voyage.

The Hadlow remained moored at Sydney Cove for the next 10 days, and the prisoners disembarked on 4th January 1819.

Slater's wife had applied to make the journey with her husband to New South Wales with their 5 children, but her name does not appear on the manifest, so it would appear permission was refused.

Slater was the final Luddite convict to be deported.

This information is taken from Convict Records and jenwillets.com.

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