Nostalgia: Prison ship Success

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Berthed in Scarborough harbour is the former merchant and prison ship Success.

The sign above the rear deck reads ‘Original Convict Ship from Australia’.

The Success was built as a merchant ship in 1840 in Burma and worked the trade routes of the India Ocean.

Around 1852 at the height of the Australian gold rush she was purchased by the state government of Victoria and converted to a prison ship in Melbourne, due to the increase in crime and overflowing prisons.

In 1890, Success was purchased by a group of entrepreneurs to be refitted as a museum ship to travel the world displaying relics and advertising the perceived horrors of the convict era.

After extensive world tours she was destroyed by fire while berthed in Lake Erie near Cleveland, Ohio, USA, in 1946.

Photo reproduced courtesy of the Max Payne collection. Reprints can be ordered with proceeds going to local charities. Telephone 0330 1230203 and quote reference number YRN-160930-121319050.