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Monday, 25 April 2011

Samuel Romilly and Social Reform

Samuel Romilly entered the House of Commons as MP for Queenborough. When Lord Grenville was invited by the king to form a new Whig administration he invited Romilly to became his solicitor-general.

As solicitor-general Romilly advocated reform of the criminal law, especially in the areas of corporal punishment and capital punishment. He also criticised the policy of flogging in the military. Romilly also opposed transporting criminals to penal colonies or confining them in prison ships or common gaols. He led the campaign to restrict the death penalty. In 1808 he obtained the repeal of the law which had made pickpocketing a capital offence. However, most of his colleagues did not share his liberal views and was unsuccessful in persuading them to pass very much legislation. For example, Romilly twice introduced bills to abolish capital punishment for theft to the value of at least 40s. from a house or ship on a river, and on each occasion they were lost or defeated. Similar attempts to reduce the punishment for shoplifting goods of a minimum value of 5s. also ended in failure.

Samuel Romilly played an important role in the passing of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807). Romilly felt it to be "the most glorious event, and the happiest for mankind, that has ever taken place since human affairs have been recorded."

5 comments:

ARMAAN said...

They often focused on protection of various groups of people and their treatment in society.
Avalowerin

ARMAAN said...

Most of the members of Congress didn't even read it and didn't know what the heck they were voting for. Sorry, veto from me all the way.
Genie Bra

ARMAAN said...

Strengths and weaknesses of the National Insurance social reform would also help :) pleaaase.
Aura Vie

PCOOL said...

Strengths and weaknesses of the National Insurance social reform would also help :) pleaaase.
Grow Lean 15 Max

SarahM said...

Samuel Romilly was indeed a hero when he advocated the end of the slave trade in 1807 - amazing to think that it was only 200 years ago. In some ways the world has progressed incredibly since then but 200 years later we still have children working in factories in Asia?
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