A manuscript "Character Book of Convicts on board the ship 'Edwin Fox' bound for Western Australia Aug:12. 1858", 2° (31.6 x 20cm.), 297pp., comprising 179pp., each with a single convict's name at the head, together with information on their conviction, character, age and some other comments; 1p. 'No. of Convicts received' from various prisons (Chatham, Pentonville, Portsmouth, Portland, Dartmoor); 1p. breakdown of the ages of the convicts (i.e. one 14-year-old, two 16-year-old, etc.); 1p. breakdown of sentences; 1p. list of trades of convicts (4 bakers, 9 dealers, etc.); 1p. 'Number and nature of crimes..'; 4pp. index; 3pp. log of voyage (August 27th - November 20th 1858); 8pp. manuscript list of 'Books issued to prisoners..'. (Blank sections of some leaves cut away, some later childish annotations.) Original half roan (worn).
Although the Dutch laid claimed to New Holland, which at the time meant only western Australia, the English made the first settlements there. Major Lockyer, prompted by the potential French threat to occupy King George Sound, set off from Port jackson in 1825 with a party of soldiers and convicts. This initial settlements did not last very long, their return to Sydney in 1829 prompted in part by territorial disputes between the Dutch and the English. The difficult conditions resulted in Treasury intervention coupled with an active policy of transportation from 1850 to 1868, when the protests of other colonies caused a review of British convict transportation policy.