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Protection, prevention, reformation a history of the Philanthropic Society, 1788-1848

Whitten, Doreen Muriel (2001) Protection, prevention, reformation a history of the Philanthropic Society, 1788-1848. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This study explores the origins and early evolution of the Philanthropic Society with the aim of making a contribution to our understanding of the dynamics of philanthropy. The Society was founded, in 1788, at a time of growing public concern over the failure of existing legal measures to stem a perceived rising tide of crime. Explicitly conceived as a crime prevention enterprise, the Society focused its attention on a constituency of poor children who either seemed destined for or who had already embarked on a criminal career. The Society's educational experiment in moulding them into law-abiding citizens was initially located in a group of family houses scattered around the village of Hackney. It then made a swift transition to a purpose built Institution in Southwark and remained there until a decision to establish a Reformatory Farm School, at Redhill, was taken in 1848. On one level, this study describes how the Society's development was nurtured by Philanthropists with a diversity of interests in the fields of commerce, jurisprudence, medicine, local poor-law and penal administration. It presents new information on the interplay of ideas and influences that helped shape the Society's institutional policy and practice over the period. At another level, this study takes us through a pre-modem policy landscape to the point at which a voluntary enterprise in protection, prevention and reformation attracted the support of the Government and became the subject of statutory action. By examining hitherto underused Philanthropic archival sources and previously overlooked Government documents, it traces a complex network of interaction between informal and formal agencies in the dissemination of reforming ideas and the shaping of social policy. In doing so, it describes how conventional views on the respective roles and relationships between charitable agencies and the State began to change during the early nineteenth century. A revised version of this thesis has been published as 'Nipping crime in the bud: how the philanthropic quest was put into law' (2010), Waterside Press, Hook, ISBN 1904380654

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2001 Doreen Muriel Whitten
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Collections > LSE History of Thought theses

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