REMNANT OF HANDWRITTEN LETTER1863
Small, rectangular, remnant of a letter dated April 1863. Single page of white, lined, rectangular paper, folded in half to create four pages. A handwritten letter in black cursive script by convict 6070 William Webb is on the front two pages, and the back left page. The letter is addressed, 'To The Honourable/ The Comptroller Genl', and is signed, 'I remain/ Honoured Sir, Your Obedient Humble Servant/ William Webb'. The bottom half of the front right page appears to have the beginnings of a second letter by a different person, and is dated '15th April 1863'. On the reverse side is a printed notice in black, listing the rules of letter writing at the Convict Establishment. In the top left hand corner of the printed page, is a handwritten date, '14.4.63'. The entire bottom section of the page has been eaten away by mould activity, and a thick band of yellow and brown staining appears around the edge of the damage on both sides of the page.
This is the remnant of a letter dated 14 and 15 April 1863, handwritten by convict 6070, William Webb. In this letter William comments on a mistake against his name in the Establishment’s ‘Mark System’.
This letter is written on the back of the standard prison letter form, which was printed inside the Establishment for use by convicts. All personal letters had to follow the strict parameters listed on this page, and were monitored by the Comptroller General.
William Webb was 28 years old when he arrived in Fremantle on board the Lincelles in 1862. He had been sentenced to ten years transportation for robbery with violence.
The Convict Establishment employed a reward system, known as a ‘Mark System’, which enabled convicts to shorten their sentence by acquiring 'marks' for good behaviour and hard work. Similarly, 'marks' could be removed for bad behaviour.