# 34702

[VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. PRINCIPAL SUPERINTENDENT OF CONVICTS]

[TASMANIA; CONVICTS] Two printed sheets bearing six unused Ticket of Leave Passports. Van Diemen’s Land, 1850.

  • Sold

[Hobart Town : Police Office, 1850]. Foolscap folio bifolium, 340 x 205 mm, disbound, printed on [4] sides; each recto with the front sections of three Ticket of Leave Passports; headed Police Office. 185[-], these were to be completed in manuscript by the relevant authority under the sub-headings District, Date, Name, Ship, Date of Ticket of Leave, To the House of, Remain, and Return; each verso has the printed backs of the three Passports to be completed in manuscript supplying details of the prisoner’s physical description (Height, Complexion, Hair, Eyes) and other information including Age, Trade, Sentence, Ship from Europe, and Ship to this Colony; short tear at left edge, toning at margins, else fine.

A Ticket of Leave Passport allowed a convict to travel between certain points, for a specified period of time, usually for the purpose of work, for family visits, or to procure food at local markets. Only convicts who had been granted a Ticket of Leave could receive a Ticket of Leave Passport. In essence, this was a form of colonial passport – an internal document issued to well-behaved Ticket of Leave convicts that endorsed movement between districts within the colony.

Transportation to Van Diemen’s Land ceased in 1853, so this is a relatively late convict document. It closely resembles the earlier VDL templates for Ticket of Leave Passports, the main difference being that there is no locality named (earlier versions included Hobart Town at upper right, and sometimes also in the body of the main text on the front of the document).

Provenance: Robert Muir Old & Rare Books, Perth (Catalogue 69, 1981, #186); ex Peter Dodds (1929-1980)

Peter Dodds was a notable Australian antiquarian book collector and antique dealer, Melbourne-born but based in Perth from 1949, and later York, Western Australia, from 1976. See: Australian book collectors : some noted Australian book collectors & collections of the nineteenth & twentieth centuries / edited by Charles Stitz, volume 1, pp 97-98 (Bendigo : Bread Street Press, 2010).

In 1981 Robert Muir issued two catalogues (69 and 74) that featured 950 lots comprising the cream of Dodds’ private collection, including much Australian colonial material (books, maps, engravings and ephemera) of major significance. In his introduction to the first of these catalogues Muir wrote: ‘The Dodds Collection was certainly one of the most important, extensive and erudite ever to be assembled and shown in Western Australia. It was catholic in taste and direction, though Peter himself had a great knowledge of, and appreciation for, such areas as maritime and land history and exploration (with a bias to Bligh’s Bounty); the convict era; limited editions; early domestic furniture and appliances; and by no means least, West Australiana … This is the first truly substantial and West Australian based Library ever to be assembled then later catalogued for sale in this state.’