New South Wales
New South Wales is Australia's most populous state. It is located south-east of the country, north of Victoria and south of Queensland. Founded in 1788, it originally comprised much of the Australian mainland including the Islands Lord Howe and Norfolk. During the 19th century large areas were successively separated to form the British colonies of Tasmania (1825) South Australia (1836), Victoria (1855) and Queensland (1859). In 1901 these colonies, along with Western Australia, federated as the Commonwealth of Australia.
Between 1788 and 1842 approximately 80,0000 convicts were transported to the penal settlement of New South Wales. Of these, approximately 85% were men and 15% were women. Almost two thirds of convicts were English, along with a small number of Scottish and Welsh. Irish prisoners made up the remaining one third. For the most part convicts sent to Australia were not violent criminals. Many were supporters of Irish independence or victims of social injustice.