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Therapeutic Relations Redefined

John Frimley (1824-1908)

On 20 August 1839 the barque 'Egyptian' discharged its cargo of runny-nosed runts from the London slums at the boys’ prison on Point Puer. Among them was a tiny 15 year old transported for stealing two pairs of trousers. Clearly a hardened crim, having already a 'prior' for 'apples', young John Frimley did his time (and more) true to such evident incorrigibility, chalking up several 'stripes' and 'hards' and 'solitaries' - once for the heinous offence of 'Most Gross misconduct and highly indecent language'. The mind boggles. But it earned him twenty-five 'Stripes on the Breach'.
Later, one of a 'nest' of Point Puer graduates, he would tenant farm near Port Sorell, then the farming frontier, and here he and native-born Sarah (nee Hulbert) raised a large family. They moved to Melbourne in old age, and John Frimley died there in 1908.
- Pete Hay, descendant of John Frimley, from ‘Myths Floating on the Tides of History’, first published in 42 Degrees South, 4, 1996

In 1834 Governor Arthur initiated Point Puer, the first colonial reforming institution for boys.  Convicted lads were given some trades training and a religious education, in the hope of reforming their ‘immoral habits’.  Some of the boys preferred suicide, jumping off the cliff to their deaths.
In 1834 Governor Arthur initiated Point Puer, the first colonial reforming institution for boys. Convicted lads were given some trades training and a religious education, in the hope of reforming their ‘immoral habits’. Some of the boys preferred suicide, jumping off the cliff to their deaths.

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