Back in the middle of the 18th Century, the jails in Britain were absolutely overflowing, there were so many criminals locked up. Believe it or not, but roughly 150 different crimes could get you the death sentence back then, so there were more people waiting for the gallows than could actually be hanged!
You may have heard that Australia was used as almost a prison island – well, this is how that started. Because there simply wasn’t enough room for all the convicts, we started to ship them overseas in specialised “convict ships”. These ships had their own unique tools, which were of course rather different to what we’re used to nowadays. Here are some of the most commonly used ones.
Yes, sadly, we were still into torturing prisoners in those days. A number of the bigger convict ships had a selection of different torture devices built in to them, and the ship masters were often all too keen to make good use of them while they could. Read the rest of this entry »