Jeremy Bentham

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

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pg 181Editor’s Note1772From Brownlow Forde8 January 1803

It was neither forgetfulness, inattention, nor want of respect, that were the causes of my not giving you my poor opinion (as you requested) on the subject of Executions; but a very unhappy mind, on domestic affairs, which has driven me almost to desperation; and, indeed, it would be no wonder, if such were to be the final issue of the business, which has harrassed me almost to death. In this state, you will not be surprized tofind, that the few thoughts, I have communicated, are crude, hurried, and without method. Such as they are, you have them. I am ashamed of so many erasures and interliniations; but I had neither fortitude nor resolun. to make a fair copy. Your own investigation of the subject will furnish you with many documents, as well as arguments, on the subject of Executions; better calculated than any thing I have said, to do away the disgrace which they are to our country; and from you they will have weight. Pursue them, I beseech you, to the abolishing of Executions, and you will deserve ten thousand times more from that pg 182country, than ever Howard did. My situation in life is too insignificant, to have any attention paid to my opinions. Besides, as one of the Alderman said, when I expressed some such thoughts as I have now given to you, & Pray, be quiet, Doctor, and keep your mind to yourself! If there were no executions, there would be no occasion for an Ordinary.' Verbum sapienti. If the inclosed remarks be worth preserving, please to indulge me either with them, or a copy of them, as soon as you can make it convenient. I am Sir, (with the truest respect) yr. most hum. Servt.

  • Brownw. Forde
  • 8th Januy. 1803.

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Editor’s Note
1772. 1 UC ix. 25. Autograph. Docketed: '1803 Jany. 8 / Panopt. / Dr Forde Newgate Pr / to / J.B. Q.S.P. / Inclosing Observats on Executions / Copy taken and / returned to him 9th Jany / Also returned at same time / 1 Newgate Fees—2d Houses / of Resort for footpads etc. / 3. Unaccountable pardons.' Addressed: 'Jeremy Bentham Esq.' The part of the letter from 'Your own investigation' is copied at BL VIII. I and printed in Bowring, xi 143–4.
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