19 July 2023, 6pm

Between 1787 and 1868, Britain transported over 167,000 people as convicts to the Australian colonies, starting with New South Wales in the land of the Eora Nation. This system both secured new territory and relieved the overcrowded British prison system, and the health of prisoners was a constant concern.

This talk will use some of the immense volume of colonial administrative paperwork to illuminate experiences of individual prisoners with variable health and permanent disabilities. How did these factors affect their fates in the colonies? How did the British and colonial administrations respond?


Speaker Dr Emily Cock is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at Cardiff University. She joined Cardiff through a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, Fragile Faces: Disfigurement in Britain and its Colonies (1600–1850). Fragile Faces explores the threat, experience and representation of facial disfigurement in Britain and its colonies in Virginia, Massachusetts and Australia from 1600 to 1850.

Chair: Prof John Crichton is a consultant forensic psychiatrist and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.


Medical practitioners who are Fellows or Members of the College will be admitted free of charge. Please email if you are a Fellow or Member of the College and would like to be added to the attendee list.