The Convict King

Being the Life and Adventures of Jorgen Jorgenson

James Francis Hogan (1855–1924) wrote several histories of Irish colonisation in Australia. His family emigrated to Melbourne in 1856 where he became a respected author. After returning to Britain in 1893 he was elected a Member of Parliament, and he later became Professor of Irish History at University College Cork. This book, first published in 1891, retells the extraordinary life of Jorgen Jorgenson (1780–1841), a Danish adventurer, accomplished fraudster, amateur playwright and freelance preacher, who once declared himself the ruler of Iceland and eventually became Constable of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). Working from Jorgenson's autobiography (originally printed in the Van Diemen's Land Annual 1835 and 1838), Hogan describes his early adventures as a sailor, his 'liberation' of Iceland from Denmark in 1809, his employment as a British spy, his imprisonment at Newgate and arrival in Tasmania as a convict, and his participation in the infamous Aboriginal clearances there.