[AUSTRALIA – SECOND AND THIRD FLEETS]. SENTENCING SUMMARY OF EXECUTION OR RESPITE FOR FOURTEEN MEN AND WOMEN, Newgate Gaol, 20 June 1788.
Setting out the death sentences received by all fourteen with ten of these to be respited, signed by John Adair, Recorder. One page, folio (325 x 200mm), bifolium, (browned at edges, some splitting at folds). Laid down onto card mount.
When the Second Fleet left for Australia in 1789-90 carrying convicts, settlers and supplies, five men escaped the death sentences set out here – John Cobcroft (subsequently pardoned and granted land in New South Wales), William Fubbs ‘otherwise Fielder otherwise Jack the Gardner’, George Dunstan, James Wilkinson, and John Wood – though the conditions aboard the vessels may have caused them to regret this more than once on the way to Port Jackson: starvation, rampant disease and infestation and a notably high mortality rate characterised this transportation. Following public outcry in England, conditions in the Third Fleet of 1791 were improved significantly; of the fourteen, Michael Hoy and Sarah Mills had their death sentences commuted and were transported to Sydney in one of these eleven vessels. Of the unfortunates left behind – William James ‘otherwise Levi’, Catherine Heyland, John Gilbertson, William Maskall, Jeremiah Grace, Margaret Sullivan, and Mary Hook – at least four had their sentences confirmed and were executed: Margaret Sullivan became the penultimate woman to be burnt at the stake for coining offences on the 25 June 1788, while her co-accused, Jeremiah Grace, was hanged on the same day.