“Punishment is all the charity that the law affordeth them”: penal transportation, vagrancy, and the charitable impulse in the British Atlantic, c.1600-1750

Journal article


Hitchcock, D. 2018. “Punishment is all the charity that the law affordeth them”: penal transportation, vagrancy, and the charitable impulse in the British Atlantic, c.1600-1750. New Global Studies. 12 (2). https://doi.org/10.1515/ngs-2018-0029
AuthorsHitchcock, D.
Abstract

This article examines the policy of penal transportation to the colonies which underpinned the first British empire in the Atlantic. It argues that the transportation and indenture of the criminal poor came to be justified by empire’s architects as a charitable reprieve from a life course of decaying indigence and idleness. “Charity” of this nature serviced the needs of the British imperial state and its elites, particularly the need for the malleable biopower of indentured labor, but also the demand for increasingly rigorous carceral control. Transportation also created a clear distinction between the poor so reprieved and those still deserving of traditional relief at home.

The article names these justifying discourses of judicial punishment-as-charity as ‘welfare colonialism’. We might view this regime as an early forerunner of the terrible paternalisms of “philanthrocapitalism”, and its operation as fundamental to the first British “Empire of Charity”.

Year2018
JournalNew Global Studies
Journal citation12 (2)
PublisherDe Gruyter
ISSN1940-0004
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1515/ngs-2018-0029
Publication dates
Online29 Jun 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Jun 2018
Accepted15 Jun 2018
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Permalink -

https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/88v6w/-punishment-is-all-the-charity-that-the-law-affordeth-them-penal-transportation-vagrancy-and-the-charitable-impulse-in-the-british-atlantic-c-1600-1750

  • 1
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

‘Rogues, devilry and strange wonders’: re-presenting early modernity in Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602
Hitchcock, D. 2019. ‘Rogues, devilry and strange wonders’: re-presenting early modernity in Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602. in: Drawing the Past: Histories of the Pre-Modern World in Comics Chicago University Press.
'He is the vagabond that hath no habitation in the Lord' the representation of Quakers as vagrants in interregnum England, 1650-1660
Hitchcock, D. 2018. 'He is the vagabond that hath no habitation in the Lord' the representation of Quakers as vagrants in interregnum England, 1650-1660. Cultural and Social History. 15 (1), pp. 21-37. https://doi.org/10.1080/14780038.2018.1427340