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Index to Tickets of Leave, Certificates and Pardons, 1810-19

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About the records

Tickets of Leave: A ticket of leave allowed convicts to work for themselves on condition that they remained in a specified area, reported regularly to local authorities and if at all possible, attend divine worship every Sunday.

Pardons: Convicts with life sentences generally received pardons. The two main types of pardons were:
Conditional pardon - the convict was free as long as they remained in the colony
Absolute pardon - the convict's sentence was entirely remitted. They were free both within and outside of the colony and could return to Britain.

Certificates of Freedom: A certificate of freedom was a document stating that a convict's sentence had been served.

What records have been indexed?

NRS 1166, Lists of tickets of leave issued, 2 Jul 1810-26 Feb 1811; 9 June 1810-3 Oct 1814, Reel 601, COD 18

NRS 1165, Copies of returns of Absolute and Conditional Pardons granted, Reel 601, COD 18
* Free (absolute) pardons, 7 Mar 1810-18 May 1813; 22 Feb 1814-14 Jun 1819
* Conditional pardons, 15 Jun 1810-4 Oct 1813; 3 Nov-24 Dec 1813; 1 Jan 1814-31 Jan 1815

* In a despatch to Viscount Castlereagh dated 8 March 1810 Governor Macquarie wrote:

The trials which took place during the Usurpation have been annulled by Public Proclamation. The Grants of Lands and of Stock, and Leases, have been revoked in the same manner, and also the All Pardons and Emancipations granted to Convicts... (Historical Records of Australia I Vol 7 p.220 ).

This refers to those pardons issued after the arrest and removal of Governor Bligh. Macquarie examined those surrendered (those issued during the administrations of Johnston, Foveaux and Patterson) and he reissued those which he regarded as valid or warranted.

NRS 12208, Register of Certificates of Freedom (Certificates of Emancipation), 5 Feb 1810-26 Aug 1814, Reel 601, COD 18

NRS 1167, Return of pardons and certificates of freedom surrendered*, 29 Jan 1810-18 Feb 1811, Reel 601, COD 18

Accessing the records

Copies of the remissions of sentences can be viewed in our reading room on microfilm [Reel 601] and in book form [COD18].

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Index to convict pardons