Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Rare Piece Of Convict History

Handwritten manuscript of the convict William Noah on display at the State
Library of New South Wales - June 2013

Details about the manuscript above, State Library of New South Wales  -
June 2013

Currently on display in the State Library of New South Wales is a rare piece of convict history. It is a manuscript written by the convict William Noah about "A Voyage to Sydney in New South Wales in 1798 & 1799."

It is part of the AMAZE:The Michael Crouch Gallery exhibition which features 60 rare and quirky items from the collection of Sir William Dixson who was a major benefactor to the State Library. The exhibition celebrates Sir William's major contribution to understanding of the history of Australia, and commemorates the 60th Anniversary of his very generous bequest to the Library on his death in 1952.  

The manuscript of William Noah is a real gem in that is a poignant account of his experiences as a convict transported to New South Wales, and it is in his own handwriting. It is a real piece of early Australian history.

Details of Noah's story can be found can be found on the gallery's Curio website at: 

History Services NSW  also has detailed records of William Noah's life in Australia from his arrival at Port Jackson on the Hillsborough on 27 July 1799; his assignment in 1800 to Mr Palmer, Sydney; a Conditional Pardon in 1815; an Absolute Pardon in 1818; his work in the government lumbar yard; and in 1825 being designated as a housekeeper, Sydney.

If you would like further information on William Noah, or if you are researching a convict ancestor  go to our website at :

Blog prepared by Mary McGuinness

All photos taken June 2013