William Smith O’Brien was an Irish politician, Member of Parliament and leader of the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848. When the social movement for nationalism failed, O’Brien was condemned to death for treason. Public support helped get his sentence commuted to imprisonment. After a short incarceration at Maria Island in Tasmania, he was transferred to Port Arthur. He was treated far better than most convicts. Authorities converted this 1845 stable into O’Brien’s Cottage. Within a year, he was released and exiled in Brussels before getting a pardon in 1856.