This thesis addresses the process, drafting and passing of the Penitentiary Act 1779 accompanied by an evaluation of its immediate consequences in the final two decades of the eighteenth century. Through an examination of the social conditions and punishments in the eighteenth century it attempts to determine whether the Penitentiary Act was a product of the enlightenment or individual reformers. This absorbing journey goes through waves of disappointment and optimism and consequently leaves a question as to just how important this Act was to the history of imprisonment.
|Date of Award
|Richard Ireland (Supervisor)