Jeremy Bentham

The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 7: January 1802 to December 1808

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Editor’s Note1754To Sir John Anderson18 December 1802 (Aet 54)

Queen's Square Place Westmr

Decr 18 1802.

Sir

In the speech attributed to you in the account given of yesterday's Debate in the Times,2 I observed it stated as matter of complaint 'that the expence of supporting Convicts fell heavily on the City of London:—the charge for bread alone being £3000 a year'. It pg 164may perhaps be not altogether a matter of indifference to you to be informed, that this plan of throwing the expence of Convicts, from the general Funds marked out for the purpose by Parliament, upon those particular funds of which that of the City of London is one, was a plan formed after more than five months study by the Duke of Portland, when Secretary of State: that this exercise of the power of taxation by the single authority of a Lord of Parliament one of his Majesty's servants, was known at the time to be in diametrical opposition to the provision made in that behalf by Parliament—was noticed at the time as being so, and preferred to it for the declared reason that such provision so made by Parliament was in the opinion of his Grace 'very inexpedient'.

This plan of his is developed in an official letter of his to the Treasury dated 14 Octr 1799:3 and it is to the prosecution of this plan that the city of London is indebted for the grievance, which I am happy tofind it remonstrating against by the mouth of its vigilant and intelligent representative.

Of the letter in question, though studiously suppressed, I am fortunate enough to be in possession of an ample extract—a correct copy as far as it goes. So much of it as applies to this purpose will be printed in the 3d of three Letters to Ld Pelham,4 of which the first accompanies this address, and the second is expected from the Printers in the course of tomorrow.

I have the honour to be etc.

Alderman Sr J. W. Anderson Bart.

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1754. 1 BL VII. 669–70. Copy. Docketed: 1802 Dec 18 / Panopt. / J.B. Q.S.P. / to / Alderman Sir J. And ⟨ …⟩ / D. of Portlands Sys ⟨ …⟩ / for throwing Convict / expence on Poor Rates.'
On Sir John William Anderson (1736?–1813), MP for London 1793–1806, see Correspondence, vi. 41 n.
Editor’s Note
2 The debate was on the third reading of the Convicts Transportation Bill.
Editor’s Note
3 Correspondence, vi. 261 n.
Editor’s Note
4 This third letter was never printed (see letter 1747 n. 8).
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