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called by its conceiver, a “panopticon.” Afterwards it was changed into a regular government prison for criminals, adult and juvenile. It is now the general dépôt for transports, who are waiting to be sent out to the penitentiaries or government cells of Pentonville, Reading, or Wakefield, or placed on ship-board for dock-yard labour. The juvenile convicts are sent to Parkhurst, in the Isle of Wight. Imprisonment at Millbank is, for men or boys, males or females, only temporary. It has no permanent inmates. In this respect it differs from almost every other great criminal establishment in the country, and the circumstance, as every one conversant with the practical working of the gaol system is well aware, very much complicates the management. The usual period of confinement is from two to three months ; a length of time not sufficient to get the convicts into thorough drill, accustomed to the still life of the gaol, and used to the habit of obedience. To Millbank Prison, the very lowest, most reckless, most hardened criminals are sent from all parts of the country : the men who are sentenced to forced expatriation--cast out by the land which gave them birth. Within these walls, the amount and depth of criminality is a thing fearful to contemplate. Every person here has been found guilty of a serious offence, and few of them for the first time. Transportation is seldom awarded now for a virgin crime. Ninety in the hundred of these men, at least, have gone through a regular course of crime, ranging in the moral scale

from the simple theft to burglary and murder. To the men here, nothing in the way of guilt is impossible : their lives have been a long defiance of conscience, moral law, and legal perils. Many of them have been criminals by compulsion—by the overwhelming power, and force of circumstance; some have been such from choice—having entered on their career with forethought, and after calculation of the perils and the profits of a vicious life. That it has been a losing game, the fact of their being here, with punishment as their present, bondage as their future, destiny, proves, to demonstration; though, for them, the demonstration comes too late. They only find out the error of their course, when it is impossible to rectify it. Common fate of all who stray from the straight path of rectitude! But all here have been found guilty of serious and repeated offences against the law; and every now and then some atrocious crime is committed within the prison, which may well startle the isle from its proprieties. Such an incident has occurred while these sheets are passing through the press, and the trial is still pending : the case may be quoted as an apt illustration of the foregoing remarks; but, to avoid expressing any opinion, I will simply copy the report from the morning journals of November 10th :

“ MURDER OF A WARDER BY A CONVICT IN MILLBANK PRISON.-A murder, of a most atrocious description, was committed in the above prison, on Wednesday last, by a-Jew convict, named John Francis, upon


of Thomas Hall, a warder, who died yesterday morning from the effects of the injuries he received. At about half-past four in the afternoon, Francis returned from the hulks to this prison. He requested Hall to let him out of his cell, which request the warder at once complied with ; as he was returning to it a minute or two afterwards, he suddenly rushed upon the warder and felled him to the ground with a heavy weapon, following up his murderous attack with a succession of desperate blows about the head with the same instrument. The attack was witnessed by some of the prisoners from the grating of their cells, but as they had all been locked up, they were unablealthough willing, so much were they excited by the cowardly and ruffianly nature of the attack-to render the unfortunate warder any assistance, but they repeatedly called to Francis and implored him


man's life. Finding their entreaties vain, as the ruffian still continued his murderous attack, they rushed to their windows, and their cries brought some other officers to the spot, who found the miscreant Francis standing over his bleeding and prostrate victim. The ruffian was immediately secured, and conveyed to the refractory cell. Hall, perfectly insensible, was removed upon a shutter to the infirmary, where he was speedily attended to by Mr. Randall, the resident surgeon. Messengers were immediately despatched to Dr. Baley, the superintendent medical officer of the establishment, who found that the unfortunate man's skull was literally

to spare

smashed in, and the brain severely lacerated. Everything that medical skill could devise was adopted, but without success, and the patient expired in about thirty-seven hours. The wretched convict expressed no remorse for his conduct; on the contrary, he said he had been long waiting for the opportunity.' In his jacket pocket the two parts of a pair of scissors, the rivet having been removed, were found, the ends of which had been sharpened to a fine point. They were immediately taken from him, and he was asked his reason for possessing them, when he replied, “that he had carried them about him for the purpose of stabbing Dr. Baley on the first opportunity.”

Millbank Prison is, as we have said, a general dépôt for convicts previous to their being sent off to their place of destination. The very young are sent to Parkhurst, whether their sentences be for periods long or short; the adult short terms, and others who are placed in the same category, for various reasons, are despatched to the hulks of Woolwich, Gosport, and Portsmouth, where they are safe and their labour valuable. Such as are selected for “ exiles,” are forwarded to Pentonville, Reading, Wakefield, or other places where there is a convenient prison on the model system-that of separation. The remainder are expatriated direct. The population of Millbank is thus always numerous and yet always changing ; but its character remains substantially the same under all these movements of the individuals. Year after year, the visitor might drop in and see no difference. There is a certain monotony and family likeness in the criminal countenance, which is at once repulsive and interesting : repulsive from its rugged outlines, its brutal expression, its physical deformity; interesting from the mere fact of that commonness of outward character; the expression and the structure and style of features being so unnaturally alike, as to suggest that there must be a common cause at work, to produce upon these faces so remarkable a result. What is this cause ? Is it mere habit of life ? Intellectual pursuits, it is well known, affect the character, even the material form of the face: why not criminal pursuits ? No person can be long in the habit of seeing masses of criminals together, without being struck with the sameness of their appearance. Ugliness has some intimate connexion with crime. No doubt, the excitement, the danger, the alternate penalties and excesses attached to the career of the criminal, make him ugly. A handsome face is a thing rarely seen in a prison ; and never in person

who has been a law-breaker from childhood. Well-formed heads-round and massive, denoting intellectual power—may be seen occasionally in the gaol; but a pleasing, well-formed face, never. What does this ugliness of the prison-population indicate ? This—that the habit of crime becomes in a few years a fixed organism, which finds expression even in the external form. And is not such a fact full of morals ? Does not every one feel how important it is—in the interests of society, in the interests of the


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