Cuffay in Gaol

After his trial Cuffay was sent to Newgate Goal where his fellow prisoner the Irish Confederate and Chartist supporter William Dowling drew him in their cell. From Newgate he was moved to Millbank Gaol where all transports are held for processing.

Millbank Prison Burial Ground – 1862

From Millbank he was sent to Wakefield Gaol in Yorkshire and from there straight to the convict ship that was to take him to Australia. 

Interestingly as Cuffay's biographer Martin Hoyles writes:

At the end of his stay in Wakefield, Cuffay wrote a letter to his friend and fellow Chartist leader Philip McGrath. This seems to be the only record of Cuffay's actual writing:

Dear Mac, I have the pleasure to inform you that government has remitted the remainder of our probation here: and withdrawn altogether the sending us to public works in England: we (through our good conduct and the strong recommendation of our governor) to almost immediately be sent to Australia, with fourteen or fifteen others from this prison, to Port Philip, on the southern coast, opposite Van Diemens Land.

I spent some hours yesterday with my brother martyrs: we are in excellent health and spirits; we are to go with tickets of leave, consequently, shall be comparatively free on landing. Under such circumstances, it will be very awkward to be entirely penniless; therefore, I am compelled to solicit my chartist friends to raise a few shillings for me, as I cannot bear the idea of being under an obligation to anybody else, not even my own sister.

Have the goodness to show this to Grassby as soon as you can. He will do all he can for me; we are to go from here in a week or ten days, direct to the ship - there is no time to be lost. If we start from the port of London, I shall endeavour to let you know, so that I may see some of my friends before we part for ever. Give my best respects to all friends, and believe me still the same.

William Cuffay
Wakefield Convict Prison
July 20th 1849.

The Chartists may have been told they would disembark at Port Philip but when the Victorian Government realised there were convicts on board they refused them permission to land and thus the ship sailed on to Hobart in Van Diemen's Land.