John the convict child

My name is John. I am a chimney sweep from London. I am 9 years old and have been an orphan ever since I could remember.

Being a chimney sweep is rough work and can be very dangerous sometimes. Take last week for example: It was a Monday and I was cleaning Mr. Jones’ chimney when I slipped and almost fell six feet to my death. But luckily I landed on a small ledge and lived to see another day. But on the bright side I do get paid pretty well. I get heaps more than a lot of orphans my age. Any way back to reality. Two weeks ago, I had no work for a whole week and I was running low on money (I only had a few pennies left). I was walking around knocking on doors asking people if their chimney needed to be cleaned;

when I saw an elderly man selling pistols by the road. I thought to myself that if I could get one of those pistols I could potentially sell it for a whole pound! Just as I was thinking of it,  the old man turned away to count the money that he was just given.

I saw my chance and darted for the table.

I swiped a pistol off the stand and then two aprons from the next stall (you never know when you might need them), and ran for my life. I looked at the pistol, it was a 17th century model quite old but still in pretty good condition. A police man chased after me, I shot him in the leg and he fell down, bleeding.

I was surprised that the old gun actually had bullets in it. But before long, I was caught…

Between then and my trial I was pretty much blanked out from the rest of the world. Where I was awaiting trial in Newgate Prison.

My trial was to be on Friday.

Eventually Friday came along.

I was sentenced to 7 years as a convict in Van Diemen’s Land or as some people call it:                                                    Australia.

I am writing this journal entry on the convict ship Prince of Wales.

Who knows, maybe, I’ll make a better life for myself in New South Wales.

Only time can tell.

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