Medal commemorating the Cessation of Transportation to Van Diemen’s Land in 1853
The Cessation of Transportation Medal was struck to commemorate the end of transportation of convicts to Tasmania in 1853. Nine thousand pewter medals were struck and an additional number were produced in bronze for members of various committees. The Sydney token maker, J.C. Thornthwaite is thought to have prepared the dies for the 58mm medal.

SKU SF000828 Category


In 1840, the Molesworth Committee, set up by the British House of Commons, decided to bring an end to transportation to New South Wales. However, following this decision, convicts were sent to Van Diemen’s Land in increasing numbers. To cope with this increase, a ‘probation system’ was established and the assignment of convicts to settlers abolished. Under the new system convicts were placed in government gangs and distributed across the island. Settlers found themselves without the free labour on which they relied.
In 1849 an Anti-Transportation League was established in Van Diemen’s Land. Although there was some support for the continuation of transportation, mainly from large landholders who stood to benefit from cheap labour, the anti-transportation movement was ultimately successful. The last transport of convicts arrived in 1853. Only Western Australia remained a convict colony until 1868.

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