Norfolk Island. British Australasian penal settlement antique print. Guaranteed original antique print of ‘the convict system’ on Norfolk Island published in the Illustrated London News in 1847.
Norfolk Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia, 877 miles directly east of mainland Australia’s Evans Head, and about 560 miles from Lord Howe Island. Together with the two neighbouring islands Phillip Island and Nepean Island it forms one of the Commonwealth of Australia‘s external territories. Its capital is Kingston.
The first settlers in Norfolk Island were East Polynesians but they were long gone when Great Britain settled it as part of its 1788 settlement of Australia. Norfolk Island served as a convict penal settlement from 6 March 1788 until 5 May 1855, except for an 11-year hiatus between 15 February 1814 and 6 June 1825, when it lay abandoned. On 8 June 1856, permanent civilian residence on the island began when it was settled from Pitcairn Island. In 1914 the UK handed Norfolk Island over to Australia to administer as an external territory.
The first issue of The Illustrated London News appeared on Saturday, 14 May 1842, timed to report on the young Queen Victoria‘s first masquerade ball. Its 16 pages and 32 wood engravings covered topics such as the war in Afghanistan, a train crash in France, a survey of the candidates for the US presidential election, extensive crime reports, theatre and book reviews, and a list of births, marriages and deaths. By 1863 The Illustrated London News was selling more than 300,000 copies every week, enormous figures in comparison to other British newspapers of the time. The ILN (as it was affectionately known) appeared weekly until 1971, then less frequently thereafter. Publication ceased in 2003.