Sunday, April 15, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 2012
I knew that it said in Grace's convict records that she had one prior conviction for theft of fabric. In the West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser, Friday the 10th of January 1840, it was reported that at the Penzance Quarter sessions of the previous Monday (6th January) Grace STEVENS, 15, pleaded guilty to stealing a piece of cotton print, from the shop of Mr. Tucker, Draper, and was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.
Her second conviction, that earned her the sentence of transportation to Van Diemen's Land, was reported in the Cornwall Gazette on Friday 17th July 1840. This report says her trial had taken place on Tuesday of that week, the 14th of July. This one is not on-line.
On Google Books I found the Sixth Report of Inspectors of Prisons of Great Britain, to the House of Commons, 1841. Prison Inspector for the Southern and Western area, of Great Britain, Dr Francis Bisset Hawkins (an eminent physician and social reformer), visited the Penzance Town Gaol and House of Correction on 16th July 1840.
Born in 1796, Dr Hawkins, wrote the first book on medical statistics in English in 1829. The book was influential in the use of hospital records and in the insertion of cause of death in registration documents. He was a prolific author in the fields of industrial medicine and public health.
He held the important offices of factory commissioner, to which he was appointed in 1833; of inspector of prisons, in 1836; and of metropolitan commissioner in lunacy, in 1842. In 1847-48 he was commissioner for the government of the Model prison at Pentonville, and in 1858 was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Dorsetshire. In his Report on the Health and Condition of the Manufacturing Districts, he strongly recommended the diminution of the hours of labour for children and women; and suggested the creation of public gardens or parks at Manchester.
His picture above is from the British Medical Journal of January 1895, published after his death in December 1894. To think that Grace saw this man in 1840, is really incredible.