[ William Fuller Boteler, Recorder of Canterbury. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('W F Boteler.'), regarding 'Mr Peels present Bills', the prison population, and the erection of new prisons in the 'corporate Towns' of Kent and elsewhere 'in the Kingdom'.

William Fuller Boteler (1777-1845), judge, Commissioner of Bankruptcy and Recorder of Canterbury, Kent [ Sir Robert Peel, Tory prime minister ]
Publication details: 
Lincolns Inn [ London ]. 25 March 1824.
SKU: 19956

4pp., 4to. Bifolium. In fair condition, aged and worn. With a number of emendations, indicating that the letter is a draft. The recipient is not identified, but is presumably a senior Home Office official such as the Principal Private Secretary to Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel. Beginning: 'I find that the list which I sent you, of the number of Prisoners in the Gaol of the City of Canterbury, at the times of holding the General Sessions, for the last quarter years, did include the Debtors & Prisoners under the Mutiny Act. | It is clear that the necessities of the City do not require a Gaol upon the Scale directed by the General Act passed last Sessions. Might not the provision intended for the relief of the Counties in Wales, be extended to all the Cities & Towns mentioned in the Schedule to the General Act; or at least to each of them of which the population does not amount to – thousand?' He explains how the non-extension of the provision will leave these places 'in a worse situation than all other corporate Towns in the Kingdom', with reference to 'the Magistrates of the Counties'; the population of various places in Kent. If 'Mr Peels present Bills' are passed as they stand, 'Maidstone, Rochester, Dover, & Sandwich, will be at liberty to contract with the Magistrates of the County of Kent for keeping their Prisoners if they wish it, & can do it, […] Canterbury, on the other hand, must either contract with the Magistrates of the County of Kent for keeping its Prisoners, or, if it will not, or cannot do this, must erect a Gaol out of all proportion to its necessities.' He describes the exemption he should like to see introduced as a clause into Peel's bill, and concludes with comments on 'a Paper' which he is sending (not present) regarding the populations of 'Cities & Towns', with special reference to those of Wales. Boteler became Recorder of Canterbury in 1807. His entry in the Oxford DNB describes him as having previously been 'the leading tithe lawyer of the day'. In 1844 he was appointed Senior Commissioner of the District Court of Bankruptcy at Leeds.