A Letter to the Livery of London, relative to the views of the writer in executing the Office of Sheriff. Second edition. Sir Richard PHILLIPS.

A Letter to the Livery of London, relative to the views of the writer in executing the Office of Sheriff. Second edition.

London: T. Gillett, 1808.

Octavo, fine uncut copy in original publisher's boards (rubbed), with old manuscript label to spine; spine worn and joints neatly repaired.

London sheriff denounces the transportation of women

A compassionate and carefully reasoned appeal for clemency, with specific criticism of transportation: 'Phillips points out the cruelty and injustice of transporting female offenders, often for very trifling crimes, to Botany Bay, nominally for a limited period, but in reality for life, no provision being made for their return' (Ferguson).

A compassionate and carefully reasoned appeal for clemency, with specific criticism of transportation: 'Phillips points out the cruelty and injustice of transporting female offenders, often for very trifling crimes, to Botany Bay, nominally for a limited period, but in reality for life, no provision being made for their return' (Ferguson).
Writing in his capacity as a Sheriff of London and Middlesex, Phillips was gravely concerned with the state of prisoners and describes problems of nutrition, heating, and other abuses of detainees in some detail. Conditions in British prisons and the arbitrary role of gaolers came under increasing scrutiny during the early years of the nineteenth-century, as a direct continuation of the work of the great reformer John Howard. This book prints a range of letters from Phillips to gaolers, magistrates and other officials, so describing the individual misfortunes of those who have earned his pity, including women sentenced to transportation to New South Wales.
As a curious footnote to the social history of the era, the author details his expenses, lists members of the Sheriff's fund and itemises disbursements for the year 1808 to the close of March (we learn, for example, that Phillips allowed some £7/15s for 'oatmeal, onions, and leeks, for a daily supply of oatmeal porridge for the female convicts').

Ferguson, 472.

Price (AUD): $725.00  other currencies     Ref: #4111728