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Proposed buildings for prisoners under the system of confinements & discipline entertained by Captn. Maconochie, R.N. [cartographic material] : drawn to accompany Major Barney's letter to the Honble. the Colonial Secretary dated 20th Febr. 1840 / Geo. Barney, Majr. R.E. Cors. ; [drafted by] H.H. Lugard, Lt. R.E
Bib ID 4611410
Format MapMap
Maconochie, Alexander, 1787-1860
Scale Scale [1:240] - [1:120], 20 feet to an inch [and[ 10 feet to an inch (E 167°56'/S 29°02') 
Printer (John Arrowsmith, Lithog.)
Description [London] : James & Luke J., Hansard Printers [1841] 
1 map in 6 sections : col. ; 45 x 60 cm., on sheet 50.8 x 61.7 cm. 

Parliamentary paper (Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons) ; 412 (1841)

Full contents
  • Sections on map: Elevation of a range of building to contain 240 cells
  • Plan of 1st floor, no. 1
  • Plan of Ground Floor, no. 1
  • Plan of the Top Floor, no. 2
  • Range of buildings containing 240 cells
  • Section on the line CD
  • Section on the line A. B.

Alexander Maconochie (11 February 1787-25 October 1860) was a Scottish naval officer, geographer, and penal reformer. He joined the Royal Navy in 1803 and as a midshipman he saw active service in the Napoleonic Wars and was a prisoner of war from 1811 to 1814. He later saw service in the British-American War against the United States. He was a founder, and first secretary, of the Royal Geographical Society in 1830, and in 1833 became the first Professor of Geography at the University of London, and was a knight of the Royal Guelphic Order. According to his biographer John Barry, Maconochie "was a deeply religious man, of generous and compassionate temperament, and convinced of the dignity of man". Based on his own experience as a prisoner of war, his two basic principles of penology were that firstly, that punishment must not vindicative or cruel but aim at reform and retraining on understanding social constraints and responsible behaviour ensuring a convict's dignity is respected, not crushed, and secondly, time in prison should be task-based, not timed sentences with release dependent on their performance at labour. In 1836 he sailed to the convict settlement at Hobart in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) as private secretary to the Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Franklin. Here he wrote a report strongly critical of the state of prison discipline. The convict system, being fixated on punishment alone, released back into society crushed, resentful and bitter expirees, in whom the spark of enterprise and hope was dead. Maconochie's report "can be said to mark the peak and incipient decline of transportation to Australia" when it was given to Lord Russell, the Home Secretary and ardent critic of transportation, claims Robert Hughes. Although this report was used by the Molesworth Committee on transportation in 1837-38, the criticism of this work forced Franklin to dismiss him.

Following the Molesworth Committee's report, transportation to New South Wales was abolished in 1840, although it continued to other colonies. Disturbed at reports of conditions on Norfolk Island, Lord Normanby, Secretary of State for the Colonies, suggested that a new system should be used, and the superintendence given to an officer deeply concerned with the moral welfare of the convicts. Maconochie was recommended to put this new system in place. In March 1840 he took up duties as commandant of the penal settlement at Norfolk Island and applied his penal principles. Convicts were awarded 'marks' to encourage effort and thrift. Sentences were served in stages, each increasing in responsibility. Cruel punishments and degrading conditions were reduced, and convicts' sense of dignity was respected. However, British authorities would not let him institute his full system. Firstly, he was not permitted to apply his principles to the 1200 hardened twice-sentenced convicts, but only to the 600 newcomers sent directly from the UK and who were separated from the 'old hands'. His 'mark' system was not permitted to reduce a convict's sentence, and it was difficult to find other incentives. His reforms were also resisted by military guards, supervisors and constables (many of whom were ex-convicts) at his command. Criticism of his methods in Sydney and England led Governor Sir George Gipps to visit the island in 1843. He was favourably impressed with the condition of the convicts and the effectiveness of the 'marks' system, and reported that Maconochie's System of Moral Reform could work if carried through to its conclusion. However, the order had already been given in the UK for Maconochie to be replaced. Under the commandants who followed him, Norfolk Island reverted to being an object of terror under brutal masters. Almost 1400 convicts had been discharged during Maconochie's term, and he always claimed that a high percentage did not offend again. Maconochie returned to the UK in 1844 and two years later published a book outlining his system. This had an immense influence on the development of penology. He is known as the "Father of Parole".


This plan is for a proposed prison to be built on Norfolk Island under the command of Captain Alexander Maconochie. The prison plan is based on the 1821 remodelled Female Factory first set up in 1796 at Parramatta, and incorporating some recent changes circa 1839. The map was an accompanying document to a letter written by Major George Barney, a highly regarded and experienced engineer, who in his address to the Colonial Secretary, provided detailed estimated costings for the new guard house, sheds for 500 men, a chapel, 120 cells plus a cookhouse, clergyman's quarters and a keeper's quarters. It totalled just over 1200 British pounds based on the assumption that it would be built using local stone and wood and undertaken by prison labour, who were also primarily occupied with the raising of their subsistence crops for their food. Permission was given to build his prison facility at Longridge where he could institute his 'mark' system of social reform on the condition that he did not interfere with the traditional penal management of the 1200 men at Kingston.

"Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 15 June 1841"

At top right corner of the sheet: Correspondence relative to Secondary punishment 3.

Cited In

HC session 1, 1841; v. 17., p. 40-42.

Subjects Prisons -- Norfolk Island -- Designs and plans.  |  Norfolk Island -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- Designs and plans.
Time Coverage 1840 
Other authors/contributors Barney, George, 1792-1862  |  Lugard, H. H  |  Arrowsmith, John, 1790-1873


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