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Duncan Campbell and legislation: "all of my business is to show him hell": The paper trail on convicts: Hypocrisy and the Hulks: Parliament and the Thames in 1776: Hulks Act of 1776: Jealousy of Trinity House: Finding work for non-transportable prisoners: Seaworthy "hulks": Justitia and Tayloe: Campbell's contribution to the 1776 Hulks Act:

 

The Blackheath Connection

Chapter 18

 

"and all my business is to show him hell":

 

"I am the one who comes descending, vale by vale,

To lead this living man," my guide averred,

"And all my business is to show him Hell."

Dante, Hell, Canto XXIX.

 

In 1776 a mad idea about the establishment of a "convict republic" began to flower, taking till 1784 to reach full bloom. In 1776 the Lt.-Governor of Senengambia, Matthias McNamara, made a second suggestion about employing convicts in West Africa, on the River Gambia. ([1]) An earlier, 1769, suggestion from the Recorder of London, James Eyre, had been approved by George III himself. McNamara felt the convicts would form attachments to the local natives and stay, leading to a British expansion into other parts of the area. He also suggested Government could become involved in secret trade. Mcnamara specified, "secret". But since McNamara's administration had been judged disgraceful, the idea lapsed entirely.

 

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During 1775-1776, some 746 convicts were sent to Africa; 334 died, 271 deserted and the rest could not be accounted for. (There is no reference to any such deliveries in Campbell's Letterbooks). ([2]) The matter remains mysterious. Then in January 1779, the governor of Cape Coast Castle, John Roberts, again proposed that convicts be removed from the hulks and sent to the area, becoming an encouragement to trade, at Yanimarew. A 1779 House of Commons Committee looked into this. Roberts was questioned. A slave buyer, Thomas Perkins, backed Roberts' plans, but deponents disagreed. At the time, hostilities broke out among the European powers on the slave coast.

 

Oldham notes that by 3 May, 1781, a list of pardoned convicts sent to the Secretary of War listed three groups for Abroad, Africa and East Indies. In April 1781, Lord Germain had advised the Africa Company that George III had considered the African settlements at risk and decided to send a detachment of 200 men under convoy of two HM ships of war. By 15 June, 1781, the two companies were embarked on board the Mackrel transport, at Gravesend, ordered to meet their convoy. A duel between officers delayed matters with a court martial at Goree. The ships put into Sierra Leone and did not reach Cape Coast Castle till 5 February, 1782. When hostilities were commenced with the French, 38 of the British deserted to the Dutch and fought well against the British. Captain Mackenzie fell ill. Governor Weuves was in despair. Governor Miles arrived at Cape Coast Castle on 19 April, 1782 to find the remaining convicts in a pitiable state, with not a musket between them. Only about 24 of the original 200 had survived. One convict was blown from a cannon-mouth without trial for "conspiring to cut his commander's throat". ([3]) More was to come, as Evan Nepean in October 1782 advised Governor Miles at Cape Coast Castle that more women including convicts would arrive at the area. Nepean said only, they would be well-clothed. From November 1782, Miles had to acknowledge receipt of 13 convicts from the Den Keyser, and Miles expressed fair compassion for the convicts, who were to be disposed of so gruesomely, till about April 1783. He feared the women would end prostituted to the blacks. In December 1782 the Africa Company (which was obviously in contact with government) ordered the convicts to be put on soldier's half-pay. In 1784, convicts continued to arrive on the Gold Coast. By 7 January, 1785, the Africa Company had to protest to government, Lord Sydney, that it could not safely receive any more convicts in its forts.

 

From December 1780, however, Capt. Kenneth McKenzie apparently raised men, including convicts for Africa, and presumably, some from the hulks. ([4]) Weeks, later, Capt. George Katenkamp raised a second company, his moves associated with the transport ship, Den Keyser. ([5]) At the time, J. B. Weuves was governor of Cape Coast Castle. By 1792 Weuves had (probably) returned to London, since he was operating as a merchant with the Africa Company. ([6]) The entire operation became a hellish farce. Katenkamp died. Weuves thought the entire force was composed of convicts. ([7]) Where these convicts came from is not evident from any information source on convictism, including, not from Campbell's Letterbooks. Weuves seems to have believed the convicts were from the hulks. McKenzie once suggested his men had come from the Savoy (military prison), Newgate and the hulks. All indications were, the management of convicts at west African locations was impossible.

 

* * *

 

The paper trail on convicts:

 

On 4 July, 1776 America declared her independence from Britain. The first year of conflict is estimated to have cost 17,000,000. ([8]) Campbell was probably more depressed when he heard of the revolt of slaves in Hanover Parish, and St James Parish, Jamaica. Thirty slaves were executed and the agent for Jamaica in England, Stephen Fuller, suggested the American revolt might have helped prompt this slave revolt. ([9]) About the time the American Revolution broke out, May 1775, merchant Barlow Trethicock was ill and could not assist negotiations, ([10]) though it is doubtful he could have achieved much.

 

At Boston on 4 March, 1775, the British soldier Major John Pitcairn had written to London that one active campaign, the burning of two or three towns, would set the situation to rights. ([11]) Pitcairn was later present at the first military engagement of the Revolution, commanding the British marines. He was "astounded" at the confidence of the Americans, and reported, "The deluded people are made to believe that they are invincible". Three months later as George III read one of Pitcairn's letters, Pitcairn was dead. By 1 January, 1776, George was sitting working, looking over Howe's latest reports and contemplating the details of war (52,000 blankets, 4200 great coats for America.) Then George called in Lord North. ([12]) By 1 January, 1776, the White Boys had been out attacking in Ireland, in Kilkenny. The London upper classes were entranced by the case of Duchess of Kingston, Elizabeth Kingston, one-time mistress of George II; had she committed bigamy or not? Money and property were at stake! ([13]) By 3 January, 1776, Congress was acting as a purchasing agent for stores needed, such as 60,000 blankets. ([14]) By 5 January, 1776, Paul Wentworth managed the British secret service in France, testing fears that Spain and France might assist the American rebels.

 

The commander-in-chief of the British squadron in North America in early 1776 was vice-admiral Molyneux Shuldham. Howe found it incredible the British navy could not properly deliver supplies. Shuldham replaced the non-performing Admiral Samuel Graves, but was still scandalously short of vessels and men to patrol the long American coast. Meanwhile, Howe found the army's coffers short of money. ([15])

 

On 29 February, 1776, Beaumarchais wrote to the king of France, true words, "The famous quarrel between America and England, which will soon divide the world and change the system of Europe..." And he warned the king, if America and England made up, they would attack the French West Indies to make up their losses, so he recommended that France assist the Americans without compromising France. Vergennes meanwhile felt that helping the Americans would reduce the power of England, maybe give back the fisheries of Newfoundland the French had long-resented losing... So Vergennes wanted any French aid to America kept secret.

 

The British had brought off the secretary of the weak-and-despised London French ambassador, Guines, and had planted a renegade Jesuit in the French embassy who knew of Canadian affairs, Roubaud. Roubaud as a double-agent kept in touch with Lord Dartmouth and John Pownall, (an America-hater), the under-secretary for American Affairs. Roubaud gulled Guines about plans for an Anglo-French alliance against the Americans, telling the English it was a French idea. So this fuelled British arrogance against the Americans, and Lord Sandwich at the Admiralty sent copies of such a false document to America as a warning to the Americans. But the upshot was that Louis decided to help the Americans. ([16])

 

(About mid-1776, when Guines the French ambassador was in London, he had tried unsuccessfully to play the stock market, his bankers being the Huguenots Baurieu and Chollet, who threatened to sue the French king for Guines' debts once the courts had found in Guines' favour. Necker soothed them with promises of their handling some millions while he handled France's finances). ([17])

 

Over February-March 1776, America's secret commerce men met with the French merchants Penet and Pliarne, who were eager to supply munitions to America; anything at all, including gunpowder by the ton. The committee chose Silas Deane, aged 39, as representative to go to France. ([18]) By 27 February, 1776, a British peace emissary was in America, a man of frail health, Thomas, Lord Drummond (who was related to Lord chief justice Mansfield in England). Drummond saw members of the Continental Congress including some reconciliationists. But the Secret Committee men behaved as if war was inevitable. ([19])

 

Esmond Wright writing on Benedict Arnold and the British Loyalists has estimated that in 1776, about one in five of all North Americans, including almost all Canadians, stayed loyal to Britain. ([20]) At least 19,000 enlisted in the king's service, and about 56 units used such Loyalists. In June 1776, the mayor of New York and others were plotting to kill George Washington. General Howe when he landed at Staten Island in July 1776 was swamped by Loyalist volunteers. By 1783, about 80,000 Loyalists had emigrated, and over 5000 as "American sufferers" filed claims with the British Government for losses of land, homes and livelihood.

 

Chief of the New York Loyalists was Oliver De Lancey, well-connected with British wealth, business and politics. His sister had married the British naval hero, Admiral Peter Warren, his late brother James was connected with the Caribbean-wealthy Heathcotes, by now a powerful parliamentary family. James had been acting-governor of New York for seven years. His brother Peter married the daughter of Cadwallader Colden, the Lt.-governor of New York. Young Oliver De Lancey Jnr was an officer in the only British cavalry in America. ([21])

 

By 3 June, 1776 the Committee of Commerce had sent William Bingham to Martinique to do business, on an American war ship, Reprisal, Capt. Lambert Wickes. (The ship actually had a mostly British crew!) Wickes had sailed merchant ships for Willing and Morris. At Martinique a British warship challenged Reprisal, which sent a broadside. The ships duelled. The British lost. A minor diplomatic incident occurred, with the British speaking diplomatic tosh, and the French saying so. About now, one American ship operated (half-owned) by Abraham von Bibber was Baltimore Hero. Bingham meantime had a small fleet of privateers and made phenomenal profits he shared with Robert Morris. In one week his men got fourteen prizes! ([22]) By about now, mid-1776, Thomas Burch, the head of Thomas Burch and Company, had shipped 50 tons of gunpowder to Thomas Mumford of Groton, Connecticut, a relative of Silas Deane. ([23]) (These Mumfords evidently were no longer connected to the Mumfords of Kent, into which family whom Duncan Campbell had married. According to IGI records, two Mumford families had earlier settled in Connecticut, where the name Mumford still resides).

 

On 19 April, 1775, nine months of semi-war began at Lexington, Massachusetts; some British power was driven away. ([24]) Some 3763 American "peasants" attacked 2000 British veteran soldiers and beat them. By April 1776, profit on Eustatia gunpowder had jumped 120 per cent, some shipped to America by the Marylander Richard Harrison. Abraham von Bibber spent time on Eustatia. A deal of powder was bought with borrowed French money. The Eustatia merchant Isaac van Dam was active here, admitting he carried out his trade on behalf of Frenchmen; and in London, Lord Rochford the secretary of state for Europe accused France of gunrunning to America. Vergennes of course disagreed about any breach of agreements here. ([25]) William Bingham working in the West Indies, aged 24 in 1776, was assisted in fitting out the American army by Abraham van Bibber, Richard Harrison, Thomas Burch (sic). By mid- 1776, Washington was supplied with enough gunpowder. ([26])

 

Scandal! In early 1776, George Johnstone the former governor of British West Florida began ranting about the infamous cases of jobbery going on, such as licenses granted by the Admiralty Board, rum bought at four shillings a gallon when the going rate was two shillings. One principal in the contract was Sir James Cockburn, a rich Scot and an MP with extensive plantations in the West Indies. ([27]) Another man with a contract to supply the British army with rum was the West Indian planter, "Rum" Atkinson. ([28])

 

By 2 April, 1776, Louis of France had decided he would help the Americans separate from England; the navy was ordered to begin rebuilding, the army to purchase new equipment. On 2 May he agreed to back Beaumarchais' dummy company, Roderigue Hortalez and Co., which would supply munitions to the Americans. But Louis also decided to dispense with Turgot, whereupon Turgot with eerily correct prescience warned Louis of the fate of the necks of kings (Charles II?). And, exit Turgot.

 

Turgot was one of the Physiocrats serving Louis XVI. He believed all wealth came from land, eschewed war for commercial advantage in guise of political rivalry, had little interest in foreign policy, and wanted to see a France with wealth and fertility from the soil surpassing the wealth of perfidious Albion. He did not want paper wealth as "created" by the Bank of England. Meantime the Farmers-General was "a corporate entity which was virtually a state within a state". It had the right to collect the taxes of France, and things were, Turgot's views on tax reform were liable to send the tax-evasive French aristocracy into hysteria. Turgot especially warned the king against war, as any gunshot would drive the state into bankruptcy! So in early 1776 he counselled the young Louis not to assist the American rebels.

 

At the time the French ambassador to England was Count de Guines. There had been diplomatic veerings in 1775 between England and France, the upshot with France's foreign minister Vergennes being that France would assure England, it would not help the Americans. And then it would secretly help the Americans. Vergennes was wanting cheaper loans from the Dutch to offset the murderous interest rate of the Farmers-General, and as Louis waffled scruple about not stabbing George III in the back, Vergennes needed another man and found him in England, Pierre Augustin Canon de Beaumarchais, aged 44.

 

By 1774, Beaumarchais had the confidence of French officials and was unofficial envoy to Spain, a secret agent for Louis XV in London, where (apart from adventures with a strange, gender-mysterious French spy acting [it was said] for Louis XV, Chevalier Charles d'Eon de Beaumont) Beaumarchais met the radicals John Wilkes, Lord Mayor of London, and Arthur Lee the American. (Wilkes by now was liable to say, with his typically infuriating mockery, he had never been a Wilkesite). ([29]) Vergennes (after Turgot's stage exit) then persuaded Spain to assist Hortalez. So in all, the French supported a revolutionary spirit that would later turn like a biting dragon and lead to the re-arrangement of France. ([30])

 

* * *

 

Hypocrisy and the Hulks: Parliament and the Thames, 1776:

 

The Year 1776... If Britain, when she found she could no longer transport criminals to North America, had decided to build prisons to house long-term prisoners, Australian history would doubtless be different. For Britain to have built prisons would have meant that the grip of the cultural obsession with the custom of transportation would have been broken. Even losing the American Revolution was not enough to break the obsession. After 1783, after an outlay of about 100 millions on the American Revolution, only to see the colonies lost, Britain was certainly in no mood to spend money on housing otherwise transportable prisoners. And in general, British writers seem to experience difficulty addressing topics relating to the "founding" of Australia. They produce a mere sentence where a paragraph would suit, merely a paragraph when a chapter might be more appropriate, no index item when several might be appropriate. The only two genuine and respectable cultural highpoints which can be referred to in a British-Australian context are the careers of Capt. James Cook and Sir Joseph Banks. British writers often avoid treating the topic of convict transportation in detail, or, regard it as a bogeyman for the lower orders. ([31])

 

Suffice to say, the British Government by early 1776 thought it needed to house transportable prisoners in hulks. It was unthinkable at the time, of course, that the British army would fail to bring the rebellious Americans to heel. Therefore, convicts could be housed temporarily in "hulks" on the Thames. ([32]) Traditionally, prisoners of war were kept confined in hulks. About 1770 the French kept some of their felons in galleys, a variation of the tradition, as at the Battle of Lepanto, when captured men were put into galleys. The establishment of the hulks was strictly an emergency measure - except that the hulks became a hated institution on the River Thames for over eighty years. Paradoxically, from 1776, the hulks were so loathed by Londoners that the hulks permanently attached the name of their overseer, Campbell, to the very name of the Thames River. One of the reasons the convicts were sent to work about the Woolwich Warren, the Royal Arsenal, as Hogg reports, is that, as war seemed inevitable, more building was being encouraged at the Warren. And from 1776 the Royal Brass Foundry was altered, along with the Royal Laboratory. ([33]) The convicts simply did the muddiest work. When Duncan Campbell first put the hulks convicts to work, and later in the naval dockyard, he was party of the military-industrial complex of the day. Convict labour was simply used as a rather inefficient back-up for London and Thames-based efforts to prosecute an unpopular war in America.

 

* * *

 

The Hulks Act of 1776:

 

To date, most of the published history of the hulks is a strange farrago of fact and tales of brutality, distortion of biographies and bibliographies, misinformation, concern for humanity, outrage, confusion, disbelief, and refusal to conduct detailed research. What was it like in London at the time? In early February 1776, "frost" on the Thames was so heavy it prevented navigation!

 

William Eden had consulted "some learned judges" and conversed with "several eminent gentlemen of the long robe", all of them "unanimously in favour of the [Hard Labour] Bill" to authorise a limited punishment of felons by terms of hard labour. But it should be realised that the creation of the hulks system was supervised at the Home Office by officials who also managed the existing British secret service. William Eden began this tradition, which from 1782 was continued by Evan Nepean. (Nepean had been a fleet purser sailing off the American coast for Admiral Molyneux Shuldham, noted above). As British ambassador to Paris in 1777, William Eden paid informants in the American mission to keep him informed on French negotiations with American rebels. The American mission found this out and turned the tide against Eden. Later, William Wickham was a British envoy to Switzerland, promoting French counter-revolution. ([34]) By the late 1790s, Wickham was listed as a staff member of the Home Office. Aspects of Campbell's career from 1775 cannot be understood except in this context of semi-secret Home Office action.

 

The liason between Campbell and William Eden about the time the Hulks Act of 1776 was passed has not come fully to light. Branch-Johnson, in The English Prison Hulks portrayed Campbell with distaste and disapproval, as crooked. When the hulks contracts were first being considered by May 1776, Burke in Parliament protested vigourously that the magistrates to oversee the matter, the Justices of Middlesex, ("trading justices"), were "the most unfit persons on earth" to be involved with such a duty. ([35])

 

Those justices were notorious. Goldsmith was probably considering them when he described a corrupt magistrate as a "human hyena". Burke once referred to them as "the scum of the earth". Magistrates however were rarely removed in order to preserve respect for the status of their role. ([36]) No one should be surprised at rumours of magisterial corruption in London... ([37]) "The Middlesex Justices Act was introduced in March 1792 with the purpose of ending the age-old scandal of magisterial corruption". Ascoli states that one mover for the 1792 Bill was William Mainwaring, chairman of the Middlesex Sessions, himself a "most corrupt and distasteful character".

 

Considering these "trading justices", The Australian historian, Eris O'Brien in the 1930s, and the American Ekirch in the 1980s have echoed Branch-Johnson's views. ([38]) Douglas Parode Capper in a book of Thames history, Moat Defensive, displayed great distaste for Campbell. ([39]) ([40]) Both Branch-Johnson and Capper noted outrage in London and fear of gaol fever at the placement of the hulks. ([41]) The hulks are also mentioned in Sidney and Beatrice Webb, English Local Government: English Prisons under Local Government, first published in London in 1922, and in Christopher Hibbert, The Roots of Evil: A Social History of Crime and Punishment. London, 1963. Yet few British writers seem to know quite where the first two "hulks" actually came from.

 

The Hulks Act enabled Campbell to rescue two of his ships from idleness and dumb demurrage. The "hulks" first placed on the Thames were the perfectly seaworthy Justitia Capt. John Kidd and Tayloe Capt. Finley Gray, both captains earlier sailing for Campbell. ([42]) From late 1775, both vessels must have languished on the Thames with their convicts probably ironed for security - but presumably eating Campbell's food supplies. (Campbell was paid 126,922/4/32d from prior to 1 January, 1776 to 7 March, 1786 for maintaining the hulks). ([43])

 

On 12 January, 1776, Eden advised Campbell of a decision. Lt-Col Christie was to have 17 named felons delivered to him for military purposes, ([44]) The pardon of those felons was dated 23 January, 1776. The Hulks Act had not yet been passed. ([45]) Until it was passed, the "hulks" prisoners were being held under highly irregular conditions, for which there was no legislative precedent for transportable convicts being put to work on British soil. Therefore their confinement - and employment? - by Campbell was possibly unconstitutional. The legal reformer Jeremy Bentham long suspected that transportation after the passage of the Hulks Act was illegal, or, unconstitutional. Legal delicacies apart, before the Hulks Act was passed, the convicts had been sentenced to transportation. Campbell and government's problem was that they could not be sent anywhere. For Londoners when the Hulks Act was passed, an unsightly paradox presented itself. The factor of distance had been stripped from the punishment of transportation, and all that was left to see was the sight of Englishmen to be put to servile work like slaves. Time on the hulks was worse than transportation. The English were invited to watch at home what their transports did in the colonies. So many of them watched, that Campbell built a wall to block their view.

 

Many observers were merely thrill-seekers, but they included prison reformer John Howard, who was appalled. Civic London maintained an animosity to the situation, constantly carping about escapes and the risk of disease spreading. The newspapers found it all sensationally good copy and reported developments as Campbell worked the felons. ([46]) For a time, the hulks prisoners were one of the more exotic London sights. Then novelty paled. The longer the hulks remained on the Thames the more they were regarded with fear, odium, contempt, loathing and finally hatred, and with them, their overseer. For a nation that profited so much from the slavery of Africans in the sugar-rich West Indies, and exploitation in India, it was a hypocritical reaction. ([47]) Here was English ambivalence. The sight of Englishmen, even if they were convicted criminals set to "slavery", remained shocking. In fact, a kind of sociological implosion had occurred, of high symbolic importance. Facts relating to the custom of transportation could be seen daily by anyone who was curious. Englishmen intensely disliked seeing this close-up. Especially, the Thames ballast men whose wages would be undercut by cheap convict labour. Yet another reason for London to resent the hulks would remain... the convicts would take the labour of free river men and debase it economically and spiritually.

 

Yet, whoever had the property in the service of the bodies of the convicts (Campbell, for a time) had the right to work them for private profit. Previously, this right had never been extended to the working of convicts on British soil. The legalists who wrote the Hulks Act did the only logical thing left to do. They decided that the property in the service of the body of the convict should revert to the crown, and hence in practice the convicts could and would work on public projects on British soil. Legislatively, this had nothing at all to do with Campbell, but he knew his business, and he well knew this was the only thing that could logically be done. Hence all he had to do was wait until legislation was passed, and he would probably be given the contracts once the situation was formalised.

 

Presumably, Campbell would have answered his critics, that by employing his ships as "hulks", he was maintaining a state of readiness for easing a social problem (the "crowded gaols problem") until the American War ended. Like others, he made the understandable error of assuming England would quickly chasten the North American colonies. It might have been traitorous to even consider the possibility the Americans would win the unwelcome war? However, even by 1783, having just lost a war, English authorities assumed their transports would still go to America, and in what seems a sort of political Irish joke, their Irish counterparts assumed the same for much longer. Campbell, however, may never have assumed this. By late 1777, he seems to have considered that the American Revolution might succeed. In which case, if prisons were not built, the hulks system would have to be extended. If he surmised this, Campbell was correct. It was exactly what happened.

 

The Thames after all was silting up... With peculiar goals in propaganda, writers to the newspapers claimed in early 1776 that the bed of the Thames was in poor condition. The stairs at London and Westminster were being made inconvenient by mud and gravel. Campbell proceeded. Before his contracts were actually firm, he ordered the building of lighters to be used by the convicts for raising ballast. The lighters were fitted with a machine for raising ballast, called a "David machine". Each lighter could handle 24 tons of ballast. ([48])

 

* * *

 

The jealousy of Trinity House:

 

Just what happened with the "hulks" convicts from December 1775 to April 1776 is difficult to say. On 1 April, 1776, Lord North moved a Bill to authorize for a limited time the punishment by hard labour of those sentenced to transportation. The Bill mentioned the employment of women only in passing, and women were only ever once placed on the Thames hulks accidentally. Good behaviour would earn remission. ([49]) (Incidentally, as far as patterns of sentencing are concerned, it seems that no historian has ever inquired into what the judges of Britain did with women offenders they might otherwise have transported during and after the American Revolution). The Bill was regarded by its creators, Lord North, Eden and Suffolk, as not especially important; the necessity for it was sure to lapse when the Americans had been chastised. A short-term measure, the Bill catered for an emergency. A small group pushed the Bill, but by about 4 April, surprisingly to the Bill's promoters, a larger group opposed it. ([50])

 

At first the criticisms were of a superficial nature. Would the mode of employment suggests escape would be made? Entail supervision? Discourage serious toil?. ([51]) As it happened, the Hulks Act overturned all previous legislation on transportation. ([52]) If the crown was to now acquire the property in the service of the body of the convict, this represented a revolution in the application of law. Efforts were made to prevent this revolution occurring, and quite properly so. On 4 April, a Whig, the later Lord Sydney, Tommy Townshend in opposition said..."so important a bill led to the alteration of the whole system of our criminal law". In which he was correct. ([53])

 

Once the convicts entered "state ownership" with the 1776 Hulks Act, , a situation which had already always implicitly inhered in the powers of magistrates sentencing, convict labour would be forever removed from the ambit of the "private enterprise" system with which Campbell had been familiar. It was this shift in the "ownership" of this property - and the resulting practicalities, which caused the outcry about the Hulks Act. ([54]) Some Englishmen, even if convicts, were nearer to becoming mere slaves of the crown, and some commentators took alarmed and dismal views of this development. ([55])

 

* * *

 

Finding work for non-transportable prisoners:

 

Townshend spoke Whiggishly of perversions of the law, and further remarked that if Lord North wanted only to extend the power of the Crown, which was already too extensive, he wished him to speak out; if such was not his motive, would he state any one ground of the probability of the Act answering the purposes for which it was intended by its supporters...?

 

Other Whiggish speakers also felt the power of the Crown was being advanced too abruptly. Lord Irnham lent a cello-note of high seriousness by saying "the lower orders would be familiarised with the abject condition of slavery". ([56]) As Londoners would observe, he was correct. As debate went on, some convicts were pardoned. (It is not reported what Irnham thought the convicts transportable had done in the colonies up until then). ([57])

 

On 9 April the debate went further. Indicating a well-planned opposition attack, discussion shifted from more broad-ranging theoretical observations as made by Irnham, to observations on points of law anticipated in the implementation of the Bill. ([58]) On the 13th, more questions arose on the legal implications of the Bill. Sir William Meredith spoke for it. Then began a discussion on the Justices of Middlesex, who would be invested with the power of appointing the overseer of the convicts to be kept in the `hulks' as they were already commonly being termed. ([59]) Burke asserted the Middlesex Justices had become a "standing reproach" and were "the most unfit persons on earth to be trusted with such a power". ([60])

 

Specially created for the purpose, Campbell's office of overseer possessed powers over the convicted similar to those usually held by Sheriffs and Gaolers. Both Capper ([61]) and Branch-Johnson found it "incredible" that Campbell as overseer for the hulks was also allowed to contract for provisioning the prisoners. This was common practice with the running of the gaols of the time. (And not for some time did Campbell run a "tap" or grog supply for prisoners as other gaolers did. One London brewer had a monopoly on the grog for Kings Bench or other prisoners). But Capper was probably correct in identifying Campbell as the one "inventing" the hulks. There had been no great originality in the idea, after all.

 

Sir George Yonge commented on the practical application of the Bill. Yonge noted that Trinity House, (of which Campbell had once been and possibly remained a Younger Brother), had traditional rights on ballast drawn from the bed of the Thames. Yonge said Trinity House did not want any convict labour. He added, one clause in the Bill "looked like a designed insult on the Corporation of London". Lord North went ahead anyway. ([62])

 

Trinity House, a powerful institution, possessed an old guild right for raising ballast from the Thames, by the labour of free men, which entailed also a right to the revenue obtained from distributing ballast. Part of the revenue was devoted to maintaining aids to river navigation; some revenue went to the upkeep of broken-down sailors. Thus the Bill interfered with respectable civil traditions, just one of the reasons the hulks would be so loathed. As Yonge had indicated, Trinity House once it observed what was to happen, did object and express its "jealousy", as the newspapers put it. But this can be misleading. As will be shown, by 1786, Elder Brothers at Trinity House were to express considerable interest in shifting transportable convicts. ([63])

 

Campbell's appointment as overseer of the prisoners was made actually by the Treasury and only nominally through the Justices of Middlesex, on Wednesday, 12 July, 1776. Though Yonge had complained about the unfitness of the Middlesex magistrates to make the appointment, the magistrates never gave Campbell directions as did the Treasury. Yonge may have been complaining about the magistrates in a bid to block the power of Treasury in the matter. If so, he failed. (Meanwhile, the Industrial Revolution rolled on. On 10 July, 1776, an angry mob marched on Shepton Mallet, demonstrating against weaving machines. They ignored the magistrates, attacked the poorhouse where the machines were kept. One man was killed, six wounded.) ([64])

 

Yonge however must have had inside knowledge and advice, for his objections indicated he not only knew of the intended use for the convicts' river labour, (raising ballast), but he knew who would view that with disfavour, and why. He had still been beaten to the punch. And as Oldham reports, while the plans were debated, the "cultural obsession" kept working - voices suggested prisoners should still be transported; to the West Indies, the Falkland Islands, the East Indies. Almost anywhere would do, various parliamentarians thought.

 

* * *

 

On 3 May, 1776, Vergennes in France wrote to Grimaldi the Spanish minister that France intended to advance one million livres aid to the American colonies. ([65]) Government would not appear to be involved, as a merchant would arrange matters. Meanwhile a US arrangement arose as the Secret Committee dealt with Penet, Pliarne and Co., who were interested with the French Farmers-General in American tobacco. Arthur Lee was involved here; Silas Deane continued buying munitions.

 

More of Robert Morris' innumerable contacts were with the French firm De Pliarne, Penet and Gruel, noted as a questionable firm. ([66]) Morris to 1778 was an active member of the Continental Congress, during which period he engaged "successfully and extensively" in trade with his partner, Willing. As noted, one of Morris' partners was Silas Deane, another agent was his "dissolute" half-brother, Thomas Morris. About May 1776, Morris' half-brother Thomas went to London to settle the affairs of Willing and Morris (about 10,000). Overall, he bungled and ended back at Nantes. ([67]) Some of Morris' contacts were now with De Pliarne, Penet and Gruel, rather a questionable French firm, some say. Eventually, Deane complained of Thomas Morris indulging overly in the good life, so Morris finally appointed John Ross, a Philadelphia merchant to replace Thomas as a representative for Willing and Morris. Ross by May 1778 was managing deals worth 70,000 sterling. By May 1776 the French and Spanish had set up a new dummy company, Hortalez and Cie, to conduct clandestine arms and munitions business with the Americans so as not to embarrass their governments. Silas Deane was also involved here.

 

* * *

 

Lord North prevailed about using convict labour, and the Hard Labour Bill received Royal Assent on 23 May, 1776. (Act 16, Geo III c. 43). Branch-Johnson has claimed that Duncan's brother Neil was a co-signer of Duncan's appointment as hulks overseer. But it is hard to see what Neil could possibly have had to do with it; it is unlikely Duncan would have needed a financial guarantor for the performance of the contract, but if he did, nothing is known of Neil possessing any money.

 

A writer in The London Magazine lamented, "The sight of an Englishman transformed into a galley slave is humiliating.... Englishmen, [even] in their most degenerate condition, are designed for a better fate". A member of Parliament complained that "the people have slavery daily before their eyes, it would at length become familiar to them". Still another protested that the Act was "one of the many schemes of the crown for subverting the liberties of the people, and destroying the essence of the constitution"; the usual Whiggish knee-jerk reaction to most things the crown wished, but quite correct in fact this time. ([68])

 

As all legal argument was over by the end of May 1776, Campbell proceeded with greater confidence, though still in an atmosphere of controversy, putting the measure into practice. On 5 June he delivered nine male and five female convicts into circumstances unknown. On 20 May, some 20 convicts were pardoned. At one point, and it seems highly irregular, Campbell, as he told a later committee of inquiry, even sent convicts, in whom he had a property in service, on some of his ships to Jamaica. For whatever reason, he employed 12 in such a capacity. There is no reference to this in his Letterbooks. If those convicts were used on Campbell's own sugar plantation, this would have undoubtedly been corrupt.

 

On 12 July, 1776, Campbell was just getting into his carriage for the country when he received a letter from William Brown of Glasgow on the 7th about insurance on a carriage from Africa to Jamaica. This may have involved a shipment of slaves? The Morning Post on 15 July reported the building at Deptford of Campbell's ballast lighters. These were ready for work by 26 July. On 30 July there came 60 convicts from Newgate chained two-by-two to the "hulks". On 15 July, 1776 a reporter wrote, "The law for sentencing the convicts to work upon the Thames is indeed severe, but we trust it will be salutary. They are to be employed in as much labour as they can sustain, to be fed with legs and shins of beef, ox cheek, and such other coarse food.... to be clad in some squalid uniform; never to be visited without the consent of the overseers...." It was noted, the government paid for the new system, not the county rates. Other contemporary notes were that Campbell was well-known in his day, the first convicts behaved "very becoming", time being shaved from the sentence for good behaviour was a good incentive. A few prisoners tried to get out of their irons and made some "slight outrages" to their commander, and were flogged. As punishment, some recalcitrant men were shackled wrist-to-ankle in a bent position; the leg-hand cuff resembled a figure-of-eight.

 

On 5 August the prisoners were out to work about two miles below Barking Reach. Surveys had been taken on the Thames on 1 August for planning prisoners' future work. Perhaps, Campbell on the morning of 1 August was striding about some cobblestones of the Woolwich arsenal with his brother, Neil, or perhaps riding in a carriage, as he headed for the river to see how matters might develop. Otherwise in this crucial month for Campbell, he missed the wedding of his daughter Henrietta. Earlier, from 1774, with her health indifferent, Henrietta had been sent to Jamaica where she had been housekeeper for her uncle John Saltspring. But Henny had come home, to be married in Glasgow to the son of Rev. Colin Campbell, presumably Duncan's own brother Colin. Her father could not attend her wedding, as he was busy attending to important "Publick business" as he usually referred to it - the establishment of the hulks - on which his engagements to Jamaica were dependent. (It does seem, Henrietta's uncle, John Saltspring attended the wedding; he was in Scotland in August 1776). On 14 August, 1776, Campbell wrote to Colin Campbell, merchant of Glasgow, who was that very day marrying his daughter Henrietta, whom Duncan always later referred to as "poor Henny".

 

The Morning Post on 29 August, 1776 reported the "jealousy" of Trinity House over the employment of the convicts at ballast raising. (George Rose of the Treasury was an Elder Brother of Trinity House). Trinity House had forbidden Campbell to take the convicts above London Bridge, and directed they were not to be let below the bridge either. They had to stay below Woolwich at all times. Possibly, Trinity House had been approached by the Corporation of the City of London, or the opposition; nobody wanted the prisoners too near the city. There also arose a strange prediction. Evidently it had occurred to some Londoners that it might be useful to cut a channel across the Isle of Dogs, where the Thames meanders dramatically. ([69]) If this were done, it would have meant the removal of many working class people dependent on river work, a removal which actually occurred later, from the late 1790s, when the massive West India Docks were built; a project in which Campbell invested. On 7 August, 1776, The Morning Post predicted a navigable canal would be cut across the Isle of Dogs. (It was also later oddly prescient, as reported by the Australian writer, Frank Clune, that a poem was once written predicting that an bridging arch would one day be seen across Sydney Harbour, long before the event.)

 

The convicts were located about Woolwich and set to work erecting wharving, creating embankments, digging ditches and raising defences against the sweep of the tides. In time the hulks would become a permanent part of the river scene. Over the decades, thousands of men, women and children sailing up and down the Thames, for thousands of reasons would have passed the hulks and possibly shuddered at the sight of them, dismasted, extra-decked, bloated, fat and ugly on the water, fearfully cold in winter, and scenes of repeated desperate mutiny or escape. The Pits of Hell incongruously afloat on water...

 

* * *

 

The seaworthy `hulks': Justitia and Tayloe:

 

On the Hulks Act of 1776, the historian of Woolwich, Hogg, writes:

 

"Woolwich was one of the places which had the doubtful privilege of receiving these unwelcome visitors who were brought there to undertake the new constructional work contemplated in the Warren and the Dockyard. It must be admitted that these hulks provided as black a spot in national penal history as the common gaols of those days did in local government... The three hulks stationed off Woolwich were the Warrior, the Justicia and the Defence, old battleships capable of housing 600 men each."

 

It is unclear from Campbell's Letterbooks what happened with his ships Tayloe and Justitia between November 1775 and mid-1776. It appears that till the Hulks Act was passed, his ships were let float, while two warships, Warrior and Defence, were used to house the felons Campbell was responsible for. ([70]) Campbell was now in a safer financial position regarding his otherwise-useless ships. Capt. Finley Gray had sailed Justitia in November 1772. And incidentally, no information has been seen, that the government paid Campbell demurrage or any other reimbursements for the use of his ships to house prisoners until the Hulks Act was passed. Gray and Kidd, both experienced with handling convicts on ships, could not stomach the work off-sea, and from late 1775 they lasted less than a year on the "hulks". ([71]) About September 1776, Campbell employed as his deputy superintendent Stewart Erskine, who remained on the Thames hulks until 1803.

 

Mention of Erskine raises a point. Erskine lived in Fludyer Street, Greenwich, not so far from Campbell, not so far from the hulks on the river. London was believed to be riddled with "organised crime". In 27 years, neither Erskine nor Campbell were murdered, nor even assaulted, by any gang of "organised criminals", from revenge or any other motive. In fact, there are no cases registered of any man in London in any official position, handling prisoners before or after sentencing, who was ever killed by elements of "organised crime", except during the Gordon Riots. There were no reported hit men, no contract or revenge killings of magistrates or police or parish patrolmen. (But there are one or two cases on record of local patrolmen being casually killed because they had been unlucky enough to challenge hooligans from the aristocratic classes). All this probably means that apart from the dubious (and by now well-documented) activities of fences and thief-takers, there was little organised crime in London. ([72]) London magistrates are rarely claimed to have made an example of "organisers of crime", presumably since so very few were caught, since few large operators ever actually existed. The belief that London was riddled with organised crime seems to be a product of the fact that action against crime - policing - was so unorganised, that the laws contained so many loopholes. What policing was done was wide-open to corruption, as literature on the "trading justices" of Middlesex attests. So, the deeper problem was not that crime was organised, it was that policing was unorganised.

 

* * *

 

"The era of the hulks produced another change: as judges became confused about the status of transportation, they began to adopt imprisonment as a regular form of punishment for felons, especially those convicted of minor property crimes. In part, the reason for sentencing felons to imprisonment was the reluctance of judges to name the American colonies as a place of destination after 1775, and the requirement of the Act that a destination be stated." ([73])

 

A New Zealand historian, Mackay, reports the hulks could only absorb about 60 per cent of those under sentence for transportation, though some felons went into the armed forces. A later response was to increase the number of hulks. Other responses short of hanging were to house prisoners in "poorly-financed, insecure and inadequate country jails". It never seriously occurred to the British government to build secure and properly managed jails; it remained easier, and far cheaper, to weep that London was riddled with organised crime, bleat about the lack of a place to transport convicts, express frustration. And so, after the American Revolution, men in government engaged in a series of stupid and deeply humiliating exercises in transportation that must have made them a laughing stock after Parliament had been sitting.

 

* * *

 

One of Campbell's letters indicates that many matters had already been discussed by 7 June, 1776.

Campbell Letter 42:

1 Mincing Lane

friday morning, 7 June 1776

William Eden Esq.

I just had the honor of receiving your letter of yesterday's date, by which I find myself exceedingly obliged to you & my mind is impressed with a due sense of the same. I shall with much pleasure wait upon you tomorrow morning 10 Oclock to receive your Commands & I will agreeable to your Directions bring with me a few Notes for the grounds of the Contract you are pleased to mention.

I am ([74])< /p>

 

Campbell Letter 43:

London 19 July 1776

Mr Rich Betham

Yesterday I received your letter of 12th June inclosing Thomas Sisons bill for 203 pounds 14/- which was duly accepted and when paid will be placed to your credit. Saltspring has been in Scotland above a month and as he called at Edinburgh I doubt not he has seen your Daughter.

I observe what you say of the New Act which will not shortly begin to operate and it may be some satisfaction to you to know that the Superabundance of and contract for the same falls to my Lot. I had some time since a letter from Mr Colden dated 26 March when he Mrs Colden and children were in perfect health at Long Island. He tells me he or Mrs Colden had written you by the same conveyance. I thank your cordially for your kind enquiries after my family who thank God are all well and join in affectionate Compliments to your and Yours with Dear Sir ([75])

 

In early 1776, Lord North had put Gilbert Barkly on a secret service payroll as a negotiator-spy. Also paid from secret service funds was Henry Bate, the editor of The Morning Post, which had switched from an anti to a pro-government line ([76]) By December 1776, some 733 British vessels had been lost, mostly due to American privateers about the West Indies, a loss of 2,600,000, In retaliation, although without authority from England, the British West Indians sent privateers out in reprisal. ([77])

 

* * *

 

Campbell's contribution to the 1776 Hulks Act:

 

Campbell made more suggestions to Eden than historians have been aware, since they have not read his Letterbooks. But a trap exists for chronologists. Campbell was in such disarray at the time - early 1776 to early 1777 - that he was not dating his letters properly, as was his usual habit. Therefore, one is forced to guess when some of his letters were written to Eden. It is even possible to imagine that some Campbell letters of 1777 were written a year before in 1776, and that some letters which might have been written in 1776 were written a year later, in 1777.

 

There is another reason Campbell's books may have been in disarray after 1775. ([78]) On 23-25 January, 1776 ([79]) he remarried at Sutton-at-Hone, Kent, at the age of 50, taking as wife Mary Mumford, who was only twenty. The marriage was celebrated by Rev. Edward Faunce; the witnesses included one John Campbell and William Mumford. ([80]) Mary was from a wealthy Kentish family, daughter of John Mumford of Sutton place. ([81]) Her brother John was sheriff of Kent in 1796. Mary brought with her a house at Wilmington, Kent, Mount Pleasant. Nearby was a farm, Shere Hall, previously owned by one Thurston Ford. Mumfords were related to Mr. Sjt. Leigh, who began to figure in Campbell's correspondence. ([82]) Mary soon fell pregnant and was expecting to give birth about 16 November. (Meanwhile, a maybe-ugly mystery exists about the commercial life of the Mumford family. Before 1816, about Cape Coast Castle was a town where slave companies obtained long-term indented Negro labour, Mumford. It was "a town where no fort existed, [it] habitually supplied large numbers of these `pawns' to the English", writes Laurence.) ([83])

 

* * *

 

From early 1776, American financial resentment boiled and later produced a decision. By January 1776 the Virginian government had ordered natives of Great Britain who had been factors, agents, storekeepers or assistant storekeepers, even clerks, to leave within forty days. One issue was a refusal in Britain to accept Virginia's paper currency in payment of British debts. Here, Thomas Jefferson later intervened with a plan designed also to stabilise the Virginian currency, and what became known as the Sequestration Act was passed in 22 January, 1778; by which real and personal property of British subjects was held. The profits went to the Virginian treasury, but the title to property was retained by the owner. The Act failed in its purpose. ([84])

 

* * *

 

[Finis Chapter 18]

Words 8667 words and footnotes 11132 pages 20 footnotes 84

 



[1] Oldham, Britain's Convicts, pp. 68ff.

[2] These figures were quoted later by James Matra, from 1783, cited in Martin, Founding, p. 204, in Alan Atkinson's article, `Whigs and Tories and Botany Bay'.

[3] Oldham, Britain's Convicts, pp. 80-81.

[4] Oldham, Britain's Convicts, pp. 70ff.

[5] One finds chronologies irregular on these matters. But see Oldham, Britain's Convicts, p. 80.

[6] Roger Anstey, The Atlantic Slave Trade and British Abolition, Imperial Studies Series. 1760-1816., p. 6.

[7] Oldham, Britain's Convicts, pp. 72-74.

[8] Richard Ketchum, The Winter Soldiers: George Washington and the Way to Independence. London, Macdonald, 1973., p. 90.

[9] Orlando Patterson, Sociology, pp. 271-279.

[10] Kellock, `London's Merchants', p. 148.

[11] Ketchum, Winter Soldiers, p. 81; Geoffrey Blainey, The Causes of War. Melbourne, Sun Books, 1977., pp. 42-43. Members of this Pitcairn family were known to Duncan Campbell in the 1790s.

[12] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 77.

[13] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 65.

[14] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 90, 117.

[15] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 47, pp. 62-63.

[16] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, pp. 110-113.

[17] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 446.

[18] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, pp. 132-133.

[19] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 132.

[20] Esmond Wright, `Benedict Arnold and The Loyalists', History Today, Vol. 36, Oct. 1986., pp. 29ff.

[21] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, pp. 297-308. By the mid-1780s, some members of the De Lancey family in England were interested in settling Loyalists in "New Holland" or on Norfolk Island.

[22] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 213.

[23] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 211. I have no suitable reference for this information, but it comes possibly from a treatment of Silas Deane by G. L. Clarke, 1913. The Silas Deane Papers are in the New York Historical Society Collection, XIX-XXII, New York, 1883-1891.

[24] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 1, p. 32.

[25] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, pp. 210ff.

[26] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 205.

[27] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 67, p. 203.

[28] American war contractor Richard "Rum" Atkinson (1738-1785) was a London alderman (1784-1785), merchant banker (of Fenchurch and Lombard streets), a director (1783-1785) of the East India Company. By 1774 he was a partner in one of the largest war contractors, Mure, Son and Atkinson, of Nicholas Lane, later Fenchurch St, West India Merchants, supplying rum and victuals to British troops. He also supplied Gibraltar. Among his partners are Sir William James and Abel Smith of Smith, Payne Smiths. He died leaving fortune of 300,000. He was friends with John Robinson of the Treasury. From about 1773 he was one of the minor members of a ministerial group of East India proprietors. He became political friends with John Robinson. Lucy Sutherland, East India Company in Eighteenth Century Politics, p. 275. He was probably linked to the London slaving firm Mure-Dunlop noted in Richard B. Sheridan, 'The Commercial and Financial Organisation of the British Slave Trade, 1750-1807', Economic History Review, Series 2, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1958-1959., pp. 249-263. Namier/Brooke, History of Parliament, Vol. 2, p. 32, p. 229. Valentine, British Establishment, Vol. 1, p. 34. American war contractor, MP Sir James Cockburn, Bart8, (1729-1804) West India trader and an East India company figure in the Laurence Sulivan faction became an agent for the debts of the Nabob of Arcot for Lauchlan Macleane and John Macpherson. He was also an agent for the receiver-general of Scottish land tax. Before 1777 he had a contract to supply 100,000 gallons of rum to the British army in America. An excellent commissary, he was friends with Calcraft, Sir George Colebrooke and Nicholas Linwood. He was related to one John Stewart (probably not the John Stewart partner with Duncan Campbell) and in 1765, Cockburn, Stewart here and Colebrooke bought extensive lands in Dominica. Namier/Brooke, History of Parliament, Vol. 2, p. 229.

[29] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, pp. 102-108ff.

[30] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 113.

[31] Significantly, it seems, at the library of the National Maritime Museum in London, Charles Bateson's title, The Convict Ships, is catalogued with books on slavery, not under Crime or Sociology.

[32] Some hulks records are with the NSW State Archives Office, Sydney on microfilm: A Convict Guide has a listing of hulks during various relevant periods. This list of hulks is from the Campbell Letterbooks and elsewhere: Tayloe was to be withdrawn as an experimental failure in December 1776, but was kept on standby, so that she was depicted in The London Magazine issue of 8 May, 1777. Campbell had bought Censor 731 tons as a hulk by April 1777, in commission by June, 1777. Tayloe was finally discontinued in January 1778 as Campbell had a new contract for hulks management.

[33] Hogg, The Royal Arsenal, p. 457.

[34] Christopher Andrew, Secret Service: The Making of the British Intelligence Community. London, Heinemann, 1985., p. 3.

[35] On the hulks: Christopher Hibbert, The Roots of Evil: A Social History of Crime and Punishment. London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1963. Transportation is treated, p. 139. See also pp. 153-201.

[36] Watson, Geo III, p. 47.

[37] David Ascoli, The Queen's Peace: The Origins and Development of the Metropolitan Police, 1829-1979. London, Hamish Hamilton, 1979., p. 50.

[38] O'Brien, Foundation, p. 90; Ekirch, Bound for America, p. 215.

[39] Douglas Parode Capper in Moat Defensive - A History of the Waters of the Nore Command 55BC to 1961. London, A. Baker Ltd., 1963.

[40] Incidentally, the Thames hulks superintendent following Campbell in 1801-1803 was magistrate Aaron Graham, until 1815. Graham's successor was a Home Office official, John Henry Capper: (Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies, p. 137).

[41] See for example, W. Smith, State Of The Gaols In London, Westminster, And The Borough Of Southwark, To Which Is Added An Account Of The Present State Of The Convicts Sentenced To Hard Labour On Board The Justitia In The River Thames. London. 1776; cited in Gillen, Founders.

[42] See also: The Morning Post, 26 July, 1776; Oldham, Britain's Convicts, pp. 33ff; Branch-Johnson, English Prison Hulks, pp. 4-10; Capper, Moat Defensive, p. 182; Campbell to William Eden, nd, Oct. 1776, "proximity to sentinels of the Warren"; Campbell to Erskine, 8 Oct, 1776.

[43] British Parliamentary Papers - Transportation 1810, Vol. IV, Crime and Punishment, Sessions 1810-1832., p. 103. In contrast to Branch-Johnson's book, D. L. Howard's book on John Howard has no index entry on the hulks overseer, and the hulks are mentioned only, pp. 61ff and p. 109. D. L. Howard, John Howard: Prison Reformer. London, Christopher Johnson, 1958.

[44] Oldham, Britain's Convicts, pp. 34ff.

[45] Oldham, Britain's Convicts, Chapter 3, discussed these matters lucidly in 1933.

[46] The hulks always remained Campbell's private property, as he told Capt. Le Messurier after one of the captain's ships had run into a hulk; Campbell to Le Mesurier, 5 Dec., 1782. Branch-Johnson, English Prison Hulks, p. 5. Newspaper items: The Morning Post, 7 Aug., 1776, predicted a navigable canal would be cut across the Isle of Dogs, which was an old idea for better development of the Thames.

[47] For example, Lloyd's Register: Ditto for 1776, no interest and no list of East India Company ships. Ditto for 1768, Mr. Shoolbred of the Africa Company sent New Britannia Capt. Stephen Dean 170 tons built Ramsgate in 1765 to Senem Gambia.

[48] The organisation of work: The Morning Post, 26 July, 1776; Oldham, Britain's Convicts, Ch. 3; Branch-Johnson, English Prison Hulks, pp. 4-10; Capper, Moat Defensive, p. 182; Campbell to William Eden, nd, Oct. 1776, "proximity to sentinels of the Warren"; Campbell to Erskine, 8 Oct., 1776. One man Campbell consulted about works to be done was Mylne, (Milne). Probably Robert Mylne (1734-1811), FRS, architect, surveyor, engineer, still active by 1795. Milne is noted in Dawson, The Banks Letters, pp. 629, 908. R. Mylne to Sir J. Banks, 14 May, 1795, matter of Smeaton's Reports being printed in chronological order. In 1795, Mylne gave his address as New River Head. Harriott, third daughter of Robert Mylne, died in 1823, having married "Little Duncan", Duncan Campbell II who died aged 40, son of the hulks overseer.

[49] R. A. Swan, To Botany Bay, op cit, p. 67. Oldham, Britain's Convicts, pp. 65ff.

[50] Bolton, 'William Eden', pp. 37ff.

[51] Leila Thomas, `The Establishment of New South Wales in 1788', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. XI, Part 2, 1925., pp. 67-83. Thomas' is an unduly neglected article. Apparently no historian has researched if Sydney continued to hold such opinions, particularly after 1783 when he had the problem of transportable convicts in his hands day-by-day. Either Sydney changed his mind or he accepted what he had once called a perversion of law. By 1803, Bentham had developed views on the non-constitutionality of the New South Wales colony. A copy of Jeremy Bentham, Plea For The Constitution, 1803 is held as ML. 365B in Dictionary Catalog of Printed Books. [Plea - showing the enormities committed to the oppression of British subjects, in breach of the Magna Carta, the Petition of Rights, the Habeus Corpus Act, and the Bill of Rights. several Transportation Acts. Also regarding the design, foundation and government of the penal colony of NSW including an inquiry into the right of the Crown to legislate without Parliament in Trinidad and other British Colonies.] Also, Bentham's `A Letter' To Lord Pelham, 2 Nov., 1802. ML 365B.

[52] 1776: Mackay, Exile, p. 13 reports that the hulks could only absorb about 60 per cent of those under sentence for transp. though some went into armed forces. One response to increase no. of hulks. Other short of hanging to house prisoners in poorly-financed, insecure and inadequate country jails. "The era of the hulks produced another change: as judges became confused about the status of transportation., they began to adopt imprisonment as a regular form of punishment for felons, especially those convicted of minor property crimes. In part, the reason for sentencing felons to imprisonment was the reluctance of judges to name the American colonies as a place of destination after 1775; and a requirement of the legislation was that a destination be stated in a sentence or reprieve to transportation."

[53] Leila Thomas, `The Establishment of New South Wales in 1788'.

[54] Noted in Ekirch, Bound for America, p. 369, citing London Magazine, 1776, p. 369, Remarks On The Convict Act; Candidus, ibid, p. 425; ibid 1777, p. 265;

[55] 1776: Thomas, `Establishment of New South Wales in 1788', especially, pp. 69-70.

[56] Thomas, `Establishment of New South Wales in 1788'.

[57] Thomas, `Establishment of New South Wales in 1788'.

[58] Parliamentary Register, IV, May 9, 1776, pp. 104-106. Ekirch, Bound for America, p. 230 and Note 1 thereto.

[59] O'Brien, Foundation, pp. 89-91; Thomas, Establishment of New South Wales in 1788', throughout. Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies, pp. 42-43.

[60] O'Brien, Foundation, p. 91.

[61] Capper, Moat Defensive.

[62] The Morning Post, 29 Aug., 1776, reported the jealousy of Trinity House over the employment of the convicts. Source this quote.

[63] Some such Elder Brethren of Trinity House were: in 1779, Capt. Anthony Calvert; in 1781, Sir Charles Middleton; in 1790, prime minister William Pitt; in 1793, Rt. Hon Lord Grenville; in 1793, Henry Dundas; in 1795, Lord Hood; in 1799, Capt. George Curtis. I am indebted to London researcher Gillian Hughes for this list.

[64] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 70.

[65] Sumner, Robert Morris, Vol. 1, pp. 158-159.

[66] Ferguson, Purse, p. 88, Note 42, re Pliarne, Penet and Co., Oct. 1777. a dubious company also linked with J. Gruel.

[67] Clarence L. Ver Steeg, Robert Morris: Revolutionary Financier (with an analysis of his earlier career). New York, Octagon, 1972., p. 19, p. 205, Note 31.

[68] Citing The London Magazine, 1776, p. 369, Remarks On The Convict Act; Candidus, p. 425; and in 1777, p. 265; Parliamentary Register, IV, 9 May, 1776, pp. 104-6; Ekirch, Bound for America, p. 230, Note 1.

[69] Such a channel was dug in the late 1790s for the massive West India Docks.

[70] Research by Charles Campbell, the author of The Intolerable Hulks, has clarified this point. Hogg in The Royal Arsenal, pp. 451-453, had noted the 1776 hulks as "simply hulks of old war ships". But these were replaced by Campbell's own ships.

[71] Campbell to Thomas Biggs, Keeper, Fisherton Gaol, near Sarum, Wilts, 25 Aug., 1776. Branch-Johnson, English Prison Hulks, pp. 10-30.

[72] On fences for stolen goods and thief-takers, see Hughes, The Fatal Shore, p. 27 and elsewhere.

[73] Mackay, Exile, p. 13.

[74] Campbell Letter 42: Transcript from Private Letter Books, Vol. 2, p. 22.

[75] Campbell Letter 43: Duncan Campbell Business Letterbooks. Vol. 1: Transcript from ML, A3225, pp. 473-174. Campbell to Richard Betham, 19 July, 1776, mentioning "superabundance" of the new Act falling to Campbell; 19 July, 1776. Mr. Rich Betham. (Transcript from ML A3225, p. 474). Branch-Johnson, English Prison Hulks, pp. 4-10; Capper, Moat Defensive, p. 182.

[76] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, pp. 141-142; on newspapers, pp. 448ff.

[77] Fleming, 1776 Illusions, p. 212.

[78] Emory Evans, 'Private Indebtedness', p. 352.

[79] I am grateful to Clan Campbell genealogist, Dr Lorne Campbell, for providing this date, along with other information on Campbell's background.

[80] Parish Register of Sutton-at-Hone. I am grateful to Edward Linn for this IGI information. One John Mumford was of the parish St Mary Whitechapel, possibly related to Mary. One Richard Mumford of Tottenham Green is listed 1799-1800 in Holden's Directory. There was a Mumford's Hill in Greenwich.

[81] Mary Mumford, born 1756 in Kent. Died, 10 Feb. 1827 in Kent. Daughter of John Mumford. Married Duncan Campbell on 25 Jan. 1776 as his second wife, with the celebrant possibly Rev. Edward Faunce. Witnesses being one John Campbell and one William Mumford, Parish register of Sutton-at-Hone. Mary may have had as many as ten children to Duncan. Her father John Mumford was born at Sutton Place, Kent, in 1723, Kent, and died probably 6 July, 1787, at Sutton-at-Hone. His wife was Anne (?), born 1722, died 1798. (Churchyard Obelisk at Sutton-at Hone, Sutton Place.) Mary's brother was John Mumford Jnr., High Sheriff of Kent, died 1825 at Sutton-at-Hone; he had three wives, Elizabeth, Elizabeth Leigh, Anne Eleanor. Another brother was William, born 1746, died 27 May 1821, Sutton-at-Hone. William married Mary Fleet. Mary had sisters Elizabeth, died, 1810; Anne, born 1756, died 14 May, 1778. Information from Zena Bamping, in litt, and from Zena Bamping, West Kingsdown: The Story of Three Villages in Kent. (Second edition) London, Tyger Press Ltd., 1991.

[82] Extracts from the IGI, Kent and London, mention one Elizabeth Mumford, possibly Bet Mumford, perhaps Campbell's mother-in-law? The name Mumford was already old: there is a Mumford Court in the City not far from Mincing Lane. John Mumford of Sutton Place died in 1787.

[83] Arnold Walter Lawrence, Trade Castles and Forts of West Africa. London, Jonathan Cape, 1963., p. 56. I am indebted to Professor Alan Atkinson for noticing this item.

[84] Thomas M. Devine, The Tobacco Lords, p. 126. In March 1778, by an Act of the Virginia Assembly, all lands, stocks, slaves and implements plus crops now on hand were sequestrated into the hands of a commission. The profits of such assets were applied to the Virginian war effort. Some Glasgow merchants' stores were used as official buildings.




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