[ Prisons; Colonies inc. Australia, Canada, West Indies etc.] [Printed Parliamentary] Circular. MS title "Prisons" (in Frederick Peel's hand). Signed at end "Grey"

[ Henry George Grey, 3rd Earl Grey, sometime Colonial Secretary (from 1846) ]
Publication details: 
"Downing Street, 13th March 1848"
SKU: 21121

Printed in italics, 14pp., folio (also [paginated in MS 133-146, extracted from a volume of Parliamentary Circulars with the ownership signature "Frederick Peel", Member of Parliament (from Feb. 1849), dated 1839-1851), very good condition. The context makes it plain that this Circular was sent to all Colonial Governors, a gap in the text indicating where the name of a specific Governor would appear in MS. The opening paragraph anticipates the contents of the Circular: " The Important question of the discipline and construction of Prisons having for some years past engaged the attention of the Government and Magistracy of this Country, and great improvements having been effected, it appears desirable to communicate to [gap in text for name of Colonial Governor] such information upon these subjects as may assist in promoting a sound system of penal discipline in the Colonie, and in estab;lishing (as far as may be consistent with local circumstances, ) some greater uniformity in the administration of Criminla Law than now exists. Although it is not to be expected that Legislative Enactments, or Rules and Regulations framed to meet the circumstances of the Mother Country, can be adopted without alteration under the great variety of local conditions which prevail in the Colonies, yet they contain certain general principles on practical matters which cannot fail to be of material assistance. The merits of three distinct systems of discipline have been under discussion of late years, both in Great Britain and Abroad. [......]" Notes: a. Presumably at least some of the text, if not all, would appear in "Governor's Despatches" (see NL Australia Catalogue entry etc.) and "Historical Records but no full text yet found; b. Presumably relating to the Prisons Act of 1848; c. "In 1848 Grey was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council representing the City of Melbourne[6] despite never visiting the colony; his seat was declared vacant in 1850 due to his non-attendance. This election was a protest against rule from Sydney and in 1850 Grey introduced the Australian Colonies Government Act which separated the district from New South Wales to become the colony of Victoria.[7] "