For more from this book, see A SHORT HISTORY OF THE THAMES ESTUARY, PART I.
An angry ballad from the era of the transports – when criminals were sent by ship to Australia to provide free labour rather than imprisoning them at home. It was a particularly hard punishment, for not only was the work damned hard, but it often meant the individual would never see their families, partners and friends again. But I suppose it made money for someone…
The singer and musician here is Geoffrey Lakeman, friend of our golden-voiced chum Jim Causley.
If you’d like to know more about the transports, the Wikipedia has a good page here. It includes this rather fine contemporary of engraving of 1792 showing women mourning the loss of their husbands through being shipped to Australia as a punishment.