Pardons and tickets-of-leave

For those convicts who worked hard and stayed out of trouble there was the prospect of receiving a ticket-of-leave, or even a pardon before the completion of their sentence. The holder of a ticket-of-leave was permitted to work for themself and to acquire property on condition of living within a specified district and reporting regularly to a magistrate. However, the ticket could be withdrawn for any misbehaviour.

Pardons were of two types. A conditional pardon was granted by the governor on condition of living in the colony. An absolute pardon gave a convict freedom unconditionally. Those convicts who failed to qualify for a ticket-of-leave or a pardon were entitled to a certificate of freedom once their sentence had been served.

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 > View a collection of convict pardons in the Library's catalogue Link to catalogue