A Convicts Life #1 – Leonard Hand

Funnily enough, it does not matter how often we return to Port Arthur, there is always something new being done and more information being shared. This time the changes were evident in the separate prison complex. When we went there around 18 months ago, they were excavating this part of the prison and we were unable to go into parts. However this time they had new information displays available on each old cell door.  Very interesting indeed.

This wall shows 171 images of Convicts that were taken around 1873-1874, by an unknown photographer. These images are only a small representation of those men who were subjected to life within the separate prison walls. Upon entry to this prison, Convicts where stripped of their names and whilst in the separate prison they were never again used. These men were put into solitary confinement for around 23 hours a day, only being let out for around 1 hour exercise in a separated exercise area.

This is just one of the separate exercise areas a convict would be able to exercise in - when permission was granted to do so.

At times the convicts may have found themselves allowed to go to Church ( connected to the prison – in the middle) for a mass service. Even under these conditions, convicts were put into individual sections that allowed them to look forward to see the priest and shielded their view of any other person attending the church service.

Inside the Church looking back at where the convicts would have been kept.

Upon reading the information provided about the lives of the convicts that were interned in the separate prison, the life of Leonard Hand was one that struck us as tragic, due to the young age he achieved upon at his death.

Port Arthur Convict - Leonard Hand