The huge number of capital offences with which the reign began had been pruned to only two, murder and treason, by 1861. When death was no longer the inevitable sentence for minor crimes, what was to be done with the prisoners? The colonies came in useful here. The main receiving territory was Australia: an average of 460 convicts were sent there each year, but some were sent to Gibraltar, or fever‐ridden Bermuda. In 1853 the colonies refused to accept England's convicts any longer, and sentences were converted to hard labour in English prisons instead.