Inside the Collection

Who was John Slade?

New South Wales Conditional Pardon document
Collection, Powerhouse Museum

Slade was an errand boy and in 1825 sentenced to be transported to the Colony of New South Wales for the period of his natural life. We know his crime was house breaking and after serving 22 years of a life sentence he was given a conditional pardon for good behaviour.

This kind of pardon meant individuals were not allowed to leave the penal colony to which they had been transported until the term of their original sentence had expired, from 7 or 14 years to life.

Convicts were transported to New South Wales for a wide variety of offences. Most commonly it was theft which included pick-pocketing, sheep and horse stealing, highway robbery, burglary, housebreaking and receiving stolen goods.

This image of the pardon you see above is part of the Museum’s celebration of this years theme for History Week – scandals, crime and corruption.

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