AGY-3853 | Convict Branch [Inspector-General of Police]

NSW State Archives Collection
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In August 1855 the Executive Council reported that a despatch from the Secretary of State (14 April 1855) had advised that the convict administration would be transferred to the Colony. A Committee had been established consisting of the Auditor General, The Principal Superintendent of Convicts, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Price, The Medical Adviser to the Government and the Colonial Storekeeper. The committee had considered (a) arrangements for the custody, maintenance and supervision of convicts including those who were physically or mentally ill and of the agreement to be reached with the British government regarding reimbursement of costs. (b) administration of the system of granting tickets of leave including calculating the cost and receiving reimbursement from Britain (c) administration of the convict establishments viz the Establishment ‘in which Lunatics and Invalids are confined’ at Parramatta (jointly conducted by the Imperial and Colonial Governments) at Parramatta and that at Cockatoo Island which the colonial government had run and for which the Imperial Government had reimbursed the cost of convict maintenance.

The Executive Council determined that from 1 January 1856 the establishments be conducted by the Colonial Government and that the costs be divided between the governments at the end of each year. If future self-supporting establishments were later formed the Imperial Government would benefit by the reduction in its portion of the costs.

The Committee recommended that the system of granting tickets of leave continue (although attention should be given to streamlining the system). The work would be transferred to the Inspector General of Police to whom two clerks would be allocated for this purpose. The portion of the expenses to be borne by the Imperial government was calculated according to the number of British Convicts in the system. (1)

The Convict branch assumed all of the business of the Principal Superintendent of Convicts including attending to correspondence; maintaining the records, supplying information, submitting sundry returns to the British and colonial governments, issuing tickets of leave, certificates of freedom and pardons; allocating work to those in government employ; arranging assignments; finance administration; and recording convict deaths. (2)

It is unclear when the branch was finally abolished. The latest surviving records are dated 29 February 1892.

(1) CGS 4232 [4/1532] p. 281 - 288
(2) Inferred from surviving records.

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