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   The Felonry of New South Wales

The Felonry of New South Wales

Author: Mudie, James Set In . . .
Genre: Other
Time Frame: None
Description: In 1822, an ambitious but bankrupt mariner named James Mudie arrived in Australia. With the support and patronage of the Colonial Office he was appointed justice of the peace and went on to acquire a reputation as one of the harshest and most brutal magistrates in New South Wales. Published in 1837, as a gesture of protest against Sir Richard Burke's relative leniency, Mudie's account of the 'social, moral and political condition' of the penal colony terrified British readers. Using dramatic imagery and anecdotes to support his argument, the author recommends a three-pronged attack on the 'depraved appetites and vicious courses' of convicts. Advocating strict discipline, the subjection of the will of the prisoner to that of the master, and 'religious impression', Mudie's treatise reveals not only the challenges facing nineteenth-century magistrates, but also the brutal treatment that awaited those whose punishment began with transportation to Australasia.
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