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BOUNTY IMMIGRANTS

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Bounty immigrants were free immigrants whose passage was paid by the colonial government under the `bounty scheme'. Under this scheme, an incentive or reward (i.e. bounty) was paid to recruiting agents in Britain to find suitable skilled labour and tradespeople, then ship them out to the new colony which urgently needed the working class people to do the manual labour in this new and untouched land.

Bounties were paid to the ships' masters for the safe delivery of their passengers under the scheme. The typical bounty was 19 pound ($38) for an adult and 5 pound for a child. Bounty for the amount of 4,956 pound was claimed for the agent, AB Smith & Co. of Sydney, for the safe and healthy arrival of the immigrants on the "England" in July 1841.

Under the `bounty scheme' newly married couples, or single men and women were given preference. Large families were rarely accepted. Selected immigrants were generally shepherds, ploughmen and agricultural labourers, with a lesser number of tradespeople such as brickmakers, carpenters, blacksmiths, tailors and needlewomen.

 

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