Hanging Wood and Tothill Fields

Janet Semple

in Bentham's Prison

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780198273875
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191684074 | DOI:
Hanging Wood and Tothill Fields

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This chapter discusses the problems in the acquisition of an appropriate site for Jeremy Bentham's proposed panopticon prison in England. In July 1796, Bentham found a potential site called Hanging wood, which he believed had every advantage except that it was rather far from London. But owner Sir Thomas Spencer Wilson refused to sell the land. Bentham then suggested the Tothill Fields to Charles Long in September 1796 after all hopes of acquiring Hanging Wood disappeared. All concerned government officials including Prime Minister William Pitt signified their approval. Unfortunately for Bentham, the Church authorities were not acquiescent and the Dean of Westminster Bishop Horsley was far from enthusiastic. The fifth potential site at the Salisbury estate was finally acquired in 1798, but not for Bentham's panopticon.

Keywords: panopticon; Jeremy Bentham; prison site; Tothill Fields; Hanging Wood; Charles Long; Bishop Horsley

Chapter.  10360 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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