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18 August 1852 Escaped convicts

 18 August 1852 Escaped convicts

On 18 August 1852 the Superintendent of Convicts, A. J. Murray, wrote in his report: ‘All the officers on the establishment have conducted themselves very well with (one) exception’. The ‘establishment’ was an iron building erected at Cox’s Creek (Bridgewater) to house 12 convicts serving longer sentences. Prior to this period South Australia had sent her worst convicted felons to Van Dieman’s Land, but this had ceased and it was realised that the colony would need another penal institution in addition to Adelaide Gaol. It was planned to build a labour prison at Yatala, originally known as the Stockade, but until this could be completed a temporary stockade was built at Cox’s Creek where it was intended to put the prisoners to work on the construction of roads in the area. However, after settling in at the new prison and the initial good report, the Superintendent, on the next day 19 August, had to report that three convicts had escaped, and on the 24th that three more had gone. By the 27th the six escapees had been rounded up and sent back to Adelaide. These events must have prompted the early closure of the camp for it was discontinued later that year.

‘Eating from a Tin Bowl’, Police Journal, December 1972, pp.18-20.
Newspaper Cuttings Book, Vol. III, pp.142-46, SLSA.

Tags: convicts escaped

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