Reports of the Landmark 1729 Investigation of Britain's Prisons by a Committee Chaired by the Founder of Georgia [Prisons]. [Great Britain]. [House of Commons]. A Report from the Committee Appointed to Enquire into the State of the Goals of this Kingdom: Relating to the Fleet Prison. With the Resolutions and Orders of the House of Commons Thereupon. London: Printed for Robert Knaplock, Jacob Tonson, John Pemberton, And Richard Williamson, 1729. [ii], 20 pp. [Bound with] A Report from the Committee Appointed to Enquire Into the State of the Goals of this Kingdom: Relating to the Marshalsea Prison; And Farther Relating to the Fleet Prison. With the Resolution of the House of Commons Thereupon. London: Printed for Robert Knaplock, Jacob Tonson, John Pemberton, And Richard Williamson, 1729. [ii], 29,  pp. Folio (12-1/4" x 8). Stab-stitched pamphlets bound into recent plain paper-covered boards. Moderate toning to interior, occasional faint dampstaining to margins, faint dampspotting to a few leaves, "1" and "2" to heads of title pages, which are lightly soiled. $500. * Only editions. James Oglethorpe, then a Member of the House of Commons, became aware of the horrible nature of England's prisons after one of his friends, a debtor, died in one of them. This experience led him to demand an investigation of the prison system, which resulted with the establishment of the Gaols Committee in 1729. Chaired by Oglethorpe, the committee managed to conduct investigations of the Fleet, Marshalsea and Southwark prisons before it was shut down by political opposition. The work of the committee was important. It established a set of ideas about prison reform that would eventually result in the Penitentiary Act 1779. Oglethorpe's experience with Britain's prison system, especially its treatment of debtors, inspired him to establish the colony of Georgia in 1732. English Short-Title Catalogue T44667, T44668.
Book number 72713