James Hardy Vaux

Pickpocket, gambler, swindler, escapee

Arrived 1801 on Minorca

Some convicts were transported more than once. Vaux was sent to the colony three times, each time arriving under a different name.

London clerk James Hardy Vaux became an expert pickpocket, swindler and gambler. His first sentence to the colony was for seven years, after which he returned to England in 1807 and was soon up to his old tricks. His next sentence, for robbing a jeweller’s shop in Piccadilly, saw him transported to New South Wales for life. After being given a conditional pardon he broke its terms by fleeing to Ireland, where he was caught with counterfeit money and banished to the colony for the third time. During the 1830s Vaux spent short periods at the Hyde Park Barracks. His lasting contribution to convict history was his widely read book on convict slang, A vocabulary of the flash language, compiled in 1812.

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Dr Fiona Starr

Dr Fiona Starr

Former curator

Fiona claims her love of history is hereditary – passed on by her mother and grandmother, each interested in Australian history, genealogy and world history, with a passion for visiting and learning about heritage sites around the world. Her interest took root with degrees in historical archaeology and museum studies, and through internships at the Museum of London and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Paris. Work on archaeological digs, with museum collections and on numerous exhibition and site interpretation projects inspired her PhD research into encouraging the private sector to help conserve cultural heritage sites. As curator of the Hyde Park Barracks Museum and The Mint (Macquarie Street Portfolio), Fiona combines her curiosity for colonial and convict history with expertise in managing and interpreting archaeology to help bring the fascinating stories of these sites to life for visitors.

Convict Sydney

Convict Sydney

From a struggling convict encampment to a thriving Pacific seaport, a city takes shape.

Close up of a ceramic bottle. This item was featured in one of our virtual excursions.

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