Criminal activity at Sutherland Library

On the Run: Daring Convict Escapes

Come to Sutherland Library to experience this must see exhibition
20th June to 10th July

Mary Bryant’s story unfolds with her arrival on the First Fleet – she was sentenced for seven years in 1788 for assaulting a spinster and stealing a silk bonnet. Her tale of survival follows a harrowing 10 week journey at sea with her two children, husband and seven other convicts aboard a stolen boat less than 20 feet long, with no space to spare and no shelter. Posing as survivors from a shipwreck, the escapees landed safely in Timor but freedom was short lived and they were sent back to England – a journey that cost the lives of her family. Mary was imprisoned and faced execution - but was spared and finally freed.

Other highlights of the exhibition include:
  • The story of Alexander Pearce, the infamous cannibal
  • Relive the seizure of the Cyprus with William Swallow at the helm and the hazardous journey from Australia back to Old England; and
  • View the dark side of convict life with punishments including flogging, hanging and restraint with leg irons