Sunday, 16 September 2012

16th September 1812: The Home Secretary rebukes Judge Dallas for continually respiting prisoners sentenced to death at Chester Special Commission

Whitehall 16. Sept: 1812

My dear Sir,

Every recommendation contained in your Letter of 29th of August respecting the Convicts are Chester, has been carried into effect, excepting that which relates to Greenhough, Lowndes, and Heywood; concerning whose cases I feel a considerable degree of difficulty.—They were capitally convicted, but their sentences have been commuted for that Species of Punishment, namely Transportation, which was inflicted upon Persons found guilty of Offences of the same description & Character, tho’ attended with Circumstances of less Aggravation.—Against these Persons the Sentence of the Law has been actually carried into execution, and towards them I think it could not be said that strict justice had been done if others who have been convicted of a higher Crime should now be placed in a more advantageous situation than themselves, without any other Circumstance having been stated in their favour than that of having conducted themselves in Prison with Decency & Propriety. I cannot therefore see any ground upon which a further mitigation of the Punishment of these unfortunate men can be justified.

Your Letter arrived whilst I was enjoying a very short recess, and was not put into my hands till this morning.

Believe me to be
&c &c &c

[To] Robert Dallas Esqr.
&c &c &c

Despite Sidmouth's letter, Greenhough Lowndes & Heywood's death sentences were respited and they were transported to Australia.

This letter can be found at HO 42/127.

No comments:

Post a Comment