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things are to remain as they are for the presents and in the mean while he does the duty of Chaplain without any remuneration.
Your Committee remark with surprise, that the Magistrates of the City of London have thought fit to nominate a Chaplain, whose ordinary residence is six miles distant from the prison. Mr. Wood, however, the person so appointed, seems to perform the stated duties with regularity. But it is in evidence, that he has not visited the Borough Compter on week-days for the last two or three months.
Mr. Cotton's attendance in Newgate is regular and constant; and though his endeavour to do good is at present but a cheerless task, yet his establishment of a school for boys, and the separation of them from the other prisoners, are important steps taken towards that classification of age and character, so essential to the good government of a prison.
Your Committee recommend, that as soon as possible after any prisoner arrives in Newgate, his age and all that is known concerning him, be communicated to the Ordinary; for at present Mr. Cotton is obliged to hunt out any information he may wish for how he can, there being no system established, by which, as a matter of course, any report is made to him upon those subjects.
Your Committee recommend also to the Magistrates of the City of London to adopt some plan for the removal of their convict prisoners from Newgate, those who, from their advanced time of life, or from other infirmities, cannot undergo their sentence. The Ordinary says, “ that there are in Newgate from 20 to 30 prisoners under sentence of transportation, who are old, infirm, blind, &c. and are deemed incapable of being disposed of to the hulks, or transported.” Prisoners of such description are a great burthen on the prison. Amongst them is an old man, stone blind ; and two old women, of 68 and 70 years
age. Since your Committee sat last year, the Borough Compter has become a prison for felons and persons charged with and convicted of misdemeanors, as well as for debtors. On the 14th of April there were within its walls, 14 debtors, 4 felons, 9 misdemeanors, and one fine. There does not appear to be sufficient accommodation for the different descriptions; the prisoners for misde
meanors are classed with the debtors; the tried and untried felons are mixed together. There is but one water-closet for the men and women. It is stated by the Gaoler, that a boy of eleven
age, by the name of Richard Baldwin, was kept among the female debtors ; though your Committee observe that in the gaol calendar, that boy is said to be 14. All these things ought to be corrected ; and your Committee trust the Magistrates of the City of London will proceed in the great work of reformation which they have begun, placing all the prisons within their extensive jurisdiction in such a state of arrangement and discipline, as shall furnish to the Counties and Cities of the Empire the most beneficial example.
1 May, 1815.
This letter was sent by post to the person, for whom it was
intended ; but as from a cause not difficult of discovery, it never reached him, we feel authorised to give it circulation through the public press.
I have received, my friend, your interesting letter. You require me to answer it frankly and without equivocation. This is no easy commission; for a Frenchman must be susceptible on such a subject. But my task is alleviated by the general opinion, which does justice to your personal conduct, and to those sentiments whereby you have constantly been actuated, under every crisis of fortune and situation. To requite your confidence, I shall trace out the