On 15 March 1817 the convict ship the Chapman departed from Cork with 200 male prisoners on board. When it dropped anchor off Sydney Cove four months later, its prison doors opened to reveal 160 gaunt and brutalised men. Twelve were dead and twenty-eight lay wounded in the hospital below deck. As officials pieced together the horrors of the voyage many questions arose. Why did Michael Collins claim that his fellow convicts conspired to take the ship? Why was Captain Drake unable to rein in the violent and sadistic Third Mate Baxter? Was there really an attempted mutiny on the Chapman? Or was this cold-blooded murder? Using daily journals from the crew, detailed testimony from several convicts and official colonial government correspondence, this book unravels what happened during those four months at sea. Tarnished by intrigue, suspicion and mutual hatred, this is the story of one of the darkest episodes in the history of penal transportation between Ireland and Australia.
Offering a unique insight into the habitual inebriate offender class in Ireland, this book examines the inebriate reformatory system in Ireland from its foundation in 1900 until its closure in 1920 and the three institutions charged with punishing or rehabilitating habitual drunkards: The State Inebriate Reformatory, The Certified Inebriate Reformatory and The Voluntary Inebriate Retreat. Using registers of inmates, annual reports, court cases and institutional records, Conor Reidy presents a stark account of the ways in which alcohol addiction and lack of opportunity condemned countless Irish victims to lives of poverty, misery and crime in the early twentieth century. The author also looks at the ways in which institutional staff sought to exact reform over the inmates through education, training, religion and discipline. This book profiles a hitherto little-known system, giving it a place within the historiography of Ireland's complex web of so-called reformative institutions.