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"ill Weather they Work but a few hours in the Day.—Encumbered by Chains frequently
"labouring under the Effects of Disease even were they constantly diligent they are by no
"means equal to hired Workmen: but to add to their disadvantages some are averse to Labour
"and only Work while the Eye of their Overseers are particularly upon them".

Of the Circumstances respecting the Employment or Management of the 415 who are dated
to be confined under Sentence of transportation in the Different Gaols of the Kingdom,
Your Committee have at present no distinct Information. It is probable with the
exception of what may take place in one or two Gaols, which have been known to
have been more attended to than others, that little Work is upon the whole obtained from
them, and if the observation above quoted from the Portsmouth return be applicable to the
Prisoners received from the greater Part of our Gaols, the Result is not upon the whole
recommendatory to the Present mode of managing and disposing of Convicts.

Precarious, however, as must at all times be the Value of Labour performed under
such Circumstances, it is obvious that the Possession of so many idle Hands will sometimes be
a temptation to engage in Works, which, but for this the Inducement, would not recommend themselves
by their Intrinsic Utility.

Effects of the System of the Hulks

Among the Circumstances which have the most materially contributed to the Increase of
Crimes, and of Expence consequent thereon, we shall in more than one Passage of these Papers, find
the System of the Hulks pointed out as a principal cause of that Conception of Morals which is the
source of every species of Criminality.

This is much enlarged upon in the Evidence given by Mr Colquhoun in which that observing
and experience Magistrate remarks, "That he has seldom or ever known an Instance of an
"Individual discharged from the Hulks, who had ever returned to honest Industry, but that the
"Indiscriminate mixture of Criminals, which takes place in those Establishments, under them
"a complete Seminary of Vice and Wickedness".

This state of things which there is too much reason to believed to be real, "though not" (as he says)
"imputable as Matter of Blame to the Contractors, but to the System," is the more to be lamented, since
it appears by the returns made, that the number of Persons now confined on Board the Hulks
amount to, 1,449 and that the number of Convicts Sentenced to be transported in the different
Gaols of the Kingdom amounts to at least 415 making in all 1,864 Persons actually confined
under Sentence of Transportation, and we are told in a Note at the bottom of the Paper which
contains these Returns, "That the reason why so large a number of Convicts remain here under
"these Sentences of Transportation is because it has been found inexpedient to send a greater
"number of Convicts than have been already sent to New South Wales, until that Settlement
"shall have attained a greater Degree of Cultivation; and that the Transportation thither has
"always been gradual, and according to the advices received from the Settlement of the Capability
"of receiving them".

Under these Circumstances there remains but little hope that the Individuals who have been
exposed to the Contagion of such Immoral Example whether they shall be finally sent to New
South Wales, or the Periods of their Sentences shall be suffered to expire here, will ere again become
useful Members of Society, but on the Contrary it is to be feared, that whenever they shall again
be discharged on the Public, they will come more in Fraud, and more hardened in Guilt.

Identifier: | JB/149/119/003
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 149.


Marginal Summary Numbering



Main Headings

panopticon versus new south wales

Folio number


Info in main headings field




convicts under sentence of transportation


copy/fair copy sheet

Number of Pages




Page Numbering



tw 1794


Paper Producer

francis hall


Paper Produced in Year


Notes public

ID Number


Box Contents

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