The Isle of the Dead contains the remains of buried convicts and penal colonists who occupied the out-posted penal colony at Port Arthur in Tasmania from 1830-1877. According to legend, banished Irish Convict John Barron, was monarch of all he surveyed on the Isle des Morts (Isle of the Dead). He was the only convict who was free of restrictions and became the official burial provider. All convicts were buried without headstone, whilst free-fellows of Port Arthur were permitted to have such. The stonemasons on the Isle were Thomas Pickering and Thomas Sanders.
- Here rest the remains of John Sullivan who died on the 21 November 1869 aged 65 years. On whose Soul Sweet Jesus have mercy. Erected by the Officers of the Establishment, as a mark of their esteem and regard. (Sullivan was appointed Assistant Overseer at Port Arthur 1st August 1859. He then became Overseer on 20th March 1861).
- [To his left is] Sacred to the memory of Redmond Matus who departed this life November 23, 1853 aged 8 months. May his soul rest in peace. (His birth or death is not recorded in any available records).
- Gloria in Excelsis Deo. Sacred to the memory of Thomas, son of Thomas Farrell Sergeant in the 96th Reg. O.B. 12th September 1845, aged 2 years and 4 months. Gloria in Excelsis Deo Sacred to the memory of Thomas Andrew Farrell departed this life 5th November 1854 aged 7 years and 9 months. Suffer little children to come unto me for such is the kingdom of Heaven.
- [On the very right] Sacred to the memory of Michael Bryan late Private of H.M. 96 Reg. died February 9 1846 aged 51 years.
Eternal rest, grant unto them
O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him them.
May they rest in peace.
For further examples of Church or Cemetery art see my “Dark Art” page.
“Is It Art?”