Series Details

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Series ID5645
Previous System LocationSRS5645
TitleBook of Public Labour Performed by Crown Prisoners
Parent Series
This series does not have a parent series.
Start Date 7/2/1828
End Date 17/2/1829
Date Statement N/A
Date Notes N/A

"Spicer's Diary" of labour performed by convicts at Moreton Bay Penal Settlement

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Items Total Items: 1
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Departmental NumbersN/A
System of Arrangement Chronological by day of labour
How To Use Series N/A

Creating Agencies

Agency IDTitleFromTo
2753Commandant's Office, Moreton Bay 7/2/1828 17/2/1829
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Access and Restrictions

Access Category0 Years
Access Procedure 
Agency Now Responsible
Agency ID: 168
Queensland State Archives
Restriction DetailsAccess to this series is refused under s.18(3)(a) of the Public Records Act 2002 - Access to original is detrimental to its preservation. Where possible, a copy of the item will be provided.
Regulation Details
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Subordinate Series

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Controlling Series

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Previous Series

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Subsequent Series

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Related Series

Series IDTitleRelationship
5652Book of Monthly Returns of Prisoners Maintained 
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Finding Aids

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Publication Notes

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Physical / Technical Use

Copies Elsewhere

Copyright Status


A copy of this book under the title "Spicer's Diary" is located in the Public Search Room.
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Information Sources

(1) J. B. Steele, Brisbane Town in Convict Days 1824 - 1842, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1975, p. 4
(2) Steele, pp. 123 - 125
(3) Steele, p.93
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This volume provides "A daily account of Public Labour performed by Crown Prisoners at Moreton Bay" in accordance with Governor Brisbane's instructions of 1824. (1)

Under the main heading (as above) and the day and date, the volume is divided into sections under the sub-headings: No., Gangs, Employments, and Remarks.

Details recorded under each sub-heading are as follows:

No.: the number of prisoners employed in each Gang, with the Total at the end of the list (lowest Total: 415; highest Total: 789). A separate entry at the end of the daily account, not included in the Total, records the bullock driver's name, the number of bullocks used and the work done.

Gang: the type of occupation including Clerks, Overseers, Mechanics and Labourers, Splitters and Fencers, Agricultural Establishments, Camp Gang, Stock Keepers and Carters, Light Gang, Barrack Establishment, In Hospital.

Employments: where the labour was performed, how many were employed in each activity (for example, Barrack Establishment : 2 bakers, 2 cooks, 2 wardsmen; In Hospital: 6 attendants, 105 patients)

Remarks: each day this included the rations issued; other entries included thermometer readings, musters for inspection by the Superintendent and Divine Service, names of those who absconded, prisoners tried, names of those who died, schooner arrivals, new plantings and increases or decreases in stock.

NOTE: This volume came to be known as "Spicer's Diary". Peter Spicer was Superintendent of Convicts from 23 August 1826 - 8 May 1839. J.B. Steele states that the register was "evidently maintained by Spicer's office clerk". (2) However, the Commandant's Office has been chosen as the Creating Agency for this series because Governor Brisbane's 1824 instructions, and the 1829 regulations, gave the Commandant overall authority and responsibility for record-keeping and returns forwarded to Sydney. (3)

This series comprises part of a collection which is inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register (The Convict Records of Queensland 1825 - 1842).
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Preferred Citation

Queensland State Archives Series ID 5645, Book of Public Labour Performed by Crown Prisoners
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Last updated 9 September 2016
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
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