1. What was the case about
The case was about George popjoy who was born and nurtured in the bath area of Somerset. Who happens to be evolved in multi crimes in the 18th century? Looking at his criminal records His first appearance in court happens to be in 1836 at the age of 19, when he was charged with larceny from dwelling house but was found not guilty. In 1849 he was sentenced to four year of imprisonments for stealing leather. This was followed one year later by another conviction for larceny, for which wells sessions court sentenced him to seven years transportation.1 However On 17 December 1851, he was moved to Stirling castle hulk because transporting convicts to America became an impossibility, as to break out of American war for independence and government considered the idea of converting old ships to prison, using the convicts for cleaning of the river Thames or other navigable rivers, furthering passing the act as the Act of Parliament (19th Geo. III. Cap. 74), 1779.2
He however did not face transportation but instead sent to Portsmouth convict prison, serving two more years of his sentence, due to his good behaviour and not breaking any regulation in prison he was released on licence in march 1854.3 Unfortunately George popjoy was back in court, this time at the assizes charged with robbery on 1st may 1856.4 He was this time involved his partner name Harriet and co- accused Thomas Hodges. The court noted George’s two previous convictions for felony and was sentenced for 10 years penal servitude overseas. On the other hand Harriet was sentenced to eight years penal servitude and but their co accused, Thomas Hodges who pleaded not guilty to the crime was acquitted for the charges.5
2. How were they punished To understand the punishment handed out to the convicts, the society perspective of the 18th century needs to be taken into consideration. How society and different classes were at the time and focusing mainly on the working class and the criminal class. Many social classes existed at the time, which shows dissimilarities in regards to power, authority, wealth, lifestyle, education, religion and culture. Criminal class where George popjoy is considered, he was a repeat offender. During the 18th century and early 19th century Britain experienced a period of unprecedented urbanization. Rather than this being a source of pride or expectation, modern viewers feared that the city of London was becoming an area to which there was no geographical significance, a place of medieval stature in regards of punishment. In the 18th century, urbanization compound of the country had existing social problems of sanitation, disease, and housing, which gave rise to new ones that linked to crime, prostitution, and poverty. Cities were seen as sites of moral corruption and violence, the haunts of criminals, drug addicts, prostitutes, homosexuals and dangerous immigrants that the upper classes feared. 6 Punishments or executions carried out in 19th century were held in public, they were a method of deterrence for the general public to commit crimes, understanding the shocking and hideous affairs of the executions were designed as lesson to those who witnessed them in public, the punishment of being hanged raised to 200 in the 19th century and the crimes considered were minor crimes such as theft of food and pick pocketing and other common crimes people would commit who lived in poverty. 7
However, George and his partner Harriet were sentenced to ten and eight years of penal servitude overseas. Penal servitude was introduced in 1857 as an alternative to transportation. Meaning ‘serving a sentence that is meant to punish the prisoner’. It was term of imprisonment that usually included hard labour and was served in this country. This gradually replaced transportation following the 1853 and penal servitude acts.
However penal servitude introduced as an alternative to transportation, George was still