Transportation sentences were for periods of seven years (the most common), ten years, fourteen years or life. The nature of the sentencing policy behind these terms has not been fully researched. Linked with political conflict and agrarian unrest, the view that Irish men and women were transported for trivial first offences such as petty theft, has become part of Irish tradition. See Lloyd Robson, `The origins of the women convicts sent to Australia 1787-1852′ in Historical Studies of Australia and New Zealand, xi, (1963) pp 43-53; Alan Shaw, Convicts and the colonies, a study of penal transportation from Great Britain and Ireland to Australia and other parts of the British Empire, (London, 1966); Portia Robinson, `From Colleen to Matilda’, in Con Costello (ed), Ireland and Australia, (Dublin 1987), pp 96-110; Rena Lohan, The management of female convicts sentenced to transportation and penal servitude 1790-1898, (unpublished TCD thesis, 1989) pp 1-13.
The document reference in each entry below is the National Archives of Ireland reference to the original document in the archives. The microfilm reference number refers to the set of microfilms presented to Australia in 1988.