|A perfect pairing!|
As readers, we read everything we can get our hands on. That means at breakfast we peruse the back of the box of cereal. (That reminds me, I’ve been meaning to look up pyridoxine hydrochloride. It sounds positively toxic!) So it seems to follow that when we sit with a bottle of wine in front of us, we read that label, too. This is on the back of the 19 Crimes wine:
“NINETEEN CRIMES turned criminals into colonists. Upon conviction, British rogues, guilty of at least one of the 19 crimes, were sentenced to live in Australia, rather than death. This punishment by ‘transportation’ began in 1788, and many of the lawless died at sea. For the rough-hewn prisoners who made it to shore, a new world awaited.”
That got me to thinking (as wine often does), what were the 19 crimes? I expected a list of serious crimes, such as murder or rape, but those were handled in Britain and punishable by death. Add “impersonating an Egyptian” to that list, too.
So what 19 types of crimes were punishable by “transportation”?
According to the Convict Crimes website <http://www.convictcreations.com/history/crimes.htm>, the 19 crimes included (but were not limited to):
1. All theft above the value of one shilling.
2. Thefts under the value one shilling.
<<ed. note: so does that mean if you stole something for exactly 1 shilling you were not transported?)
3. Receiving stolen goods, jewels and plate.
4. Stealing lead, iron or copper.
5. Stealing ore from black lead mines.
6. Stealing from furnished lodgings.
7. Setting fire to underwood.
8. Stealing letters.
9. Assault with intent to rob.
10. Stealing fish from a pond or river.
11. Stealing roots, trees or plants.
13. Assaulting, cutting or burning clothes.
14. Counterfeiting the copper coin.
15. Clandestine marriage.
16. Stealing a shroud from a grave.
17. Watermen carrying too many passengers on the Thames, if any drowned.
18. Incorrigible rogues who broke out of prison and persons reprieved from capital punishment.
19. Embeuling naval stores. (Yeah, I had to look that one up...that’s a fancy way of saying that someone stole the resin products used in the production of sailing vessels.)
I found that interesting. Hope you did, too. And I want to add that the wine was interesting, as well. And reasonably priced (around $10 in my local area.) I think I’m going to make it a point to read more wine labels, see what other interesting things I can learn. It sure beats reading cereal boxes.
The tag line for the 19 Crimes wine reads, “This wine celebrates the rules they broke and the culture they built.” I’ll drink to that. Cheers!