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Letter 3

17 Dec 1802

XVI. Improved prisons

Such (Your Lordship sees) is the treatment which Your the Duke
of Portland
Lordships office gives to an Act of Parliament, when Noble Lords have
"examined and understood the object of it". The declared object of this Act
and the object of this Act,
is to cause a Penitentiary House—a House, more one or more
to be created for the whole kingdom for applying the Penitentiary discipline to
Convicts of all descriptions. This not suiting the views of the
Duke of Portland, principles are laid down by him, according to
which, no convicts of any one description whatsoever are ever to be put into
it, except in a case which was never to take place happen+ the happening of
it, except in case of that sort of absolute necessity, which
he neither professes not either to wish or to expect to see
he does not intend shall ever happen
. Parliament has one
plan about these people: the Duke of Portland has another.
Understanding the object of Parliament he declares his makes no secret of his deter
"inclination" to do by it what having power so to do, he has done on by it—
"inclination" to defeat it. Defeat the object of an Act of
Parliament?—why?—because according to the Duke of Portland it would be "very inexpedient"
to pursue it. It would defeat the more expedient plan he has formed
which this servant of the Crown ha formed
for the disposal of the persons in question, in spite of Parliament, viz: which is to
"crowd" the Jails with them: those very Jails in which Parliament
had, by the other of the two Acts of which he so well understands
the object, declared in express terms they should not be put, but in those limited
numbers which it specifies:(a) those very Jails, in which
(as his Grace had been informed but the year before by the Official Report above
quoted)+ and many of those the Convicts, even without
the benefit f any such "crowding" as he consigns them to, and
for terms longer than the legal terms, are
"emancipated many of them by long confinement" (as well
as by debility from former debaucheries)
and that to such
a degree as to be "unable to work", as well as "unfit to proceed
"to Botany Bay", and on that account "rejected".

+ Not a convict is
to be sent out of any one Gaol
will it has been crowded
to the verge of "absolute
"necessity, and this is an state
of things, things that is
which he hopes never

that is never to take place
to see happen, because
according to his
declared expectations
as well as wishes
, before
it does place, the
bare apprehension of it
is to cause a roomier
Jail to be built.

19 G. 3. c.74. §.26
(a) Note on another page
+ Supra p. |^^^|.

Identifier: | JB/116/557/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 116.



Marginal Summary Numbering



Main Headings

panopticon versus new south wales

Folio number


Info in main headings field

letter 3






Number of Pages




Page Numbering



jeremy bentham



Paper Producer


jeremy bentham

Paper Produced in Year

Notes public

letter was never sent; see note 8 to letter 1747, vol. 7

ID Number


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