Francis MacNamara's Convict Record

MacNamara's hand written Tasmanian record reads:

2558 McNamara Francis Eliza (2) and Waterlily 29 Oct 1842

Extracts from Sydney Records Arrived 8 Sept 1832 was tried at Killkenny 15 February 1832 for Stealing Sentd. 7 Years 24 June 1833 50 Lashes absconding from duty 1 July 1833 1 month TreadWheels disgraceful conduct August 1833 12 months Irons absconding 2 times 1 February 1834 23 Lashes for having stolen shirt 3 March 1834 75 Lashes Insubordinate Conduct January 26 1835 3 days of Cells absent from duty 18 February 1835 25 Lashes disobedience of orders 9 March 1835 100 Lashes obscene Language 15 April 1835 12 Months Irons assaulting a Constable May 16 1835 36 Lashes refusing to work & insolence 8 June 1835 50 Lashes Threatening language 8 August 1835 70 Lashes destroying Govt property 31 Oct 1835 36 Lashes destroying a Govt Cart 14 Dec 1835 50 Lashes refusing to work 26 March 1836 25 Lashes neglect of work 15 August 1836 10 days Cells found drunk 4 January 1840 50 Lashes Mutinous Conduct was again tried at the Assizes of Sydney on the 8 July 1842 for being at large with fire arms on his person and sentenced to be transported for Life Single Roman Catholic 25 Sept 1843 pwl Disobedce of Orders 7 days solitary confinement

[ Original online - Archives Office of Tasmania – digitised record Item: CON31-1-32 ]

The floggings carefully recorded above show that in his first ten years in New South Wales MacNamara received a total of 590 lashes in 12 separate floggings.

Joseph Lycett : Hyde Park Barracks (Frank the Poet 'did time' here)
Courtesy National Library of Australia

On receiving sentence in Kilkenny MacNamara responded with an epigram

I dread not the dangers by land or by sea
That I'll meet on my voyage to Botany Bay
My labours are over, my vocation is past
And 'tis I'll rest easy, and happy at last

He certainly didn't envisage what was in store for him for the next decade! He was originally transported for seven years for stealing a piece of plaid, ten years later, having suffered from the brutal treatment enumerated above he was then transported for life to Van Diemen's Land. This second sentence was commuted to ten years then to seven and, after he gained his freedom (1849) he left Launceston for Portland.