Front Page Titles (by Subject) William Wilberforce to Bentham. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index)
Return to Title Page for The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
William Wilberforce to Bentham. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 11.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
William Wilberforce to Bentham.
“Kensington Gore, or New Pal. Yard.June 1, 1809.
“My dear Sir,—
Though the incessant bustle in which I live during my residence in the neighbourhood of London is such as to render it impossible for me to bestow much thought on any but urgently-pressing business, yet I can truly declare that you, and the treatment you experienced, have been often in my mind; and that the sense of it, which I have formerly so often expressed to you, remains utterly unaltered. But, in truth, I always felt that it was more than could be expected (I might almost say out of nature) for you to think that I had not neglected opportunities of pushing forward your business; and therefore I was impressed with the persuasion, that however your good nature might prevent your opening your mind to me, you must number me among those who had used you ill, and, consequently, not much relish my society. I therefore satisfied myself with speaking of you, of your merits and cruel sufferings, in the way which justice appeared to me to require, as often as opportunities occurred. At length an occasion arose the other day in the House of Commons for publicly noticing your plan; and some private conversation (though but a few words) with one of the Treasury people, confirmed the opinion which various circumstances had led me to form,—that the present was a favourable moment for carrying into execution your great project, and obtaining for the public all the benefits it is calculated to produce. I have been therefore, ever since, intending to write to you, that I might learn whether you had still the heart to go forward after all your former disappointments. Indeed, I hoped that what I said in the House would have attracted the public attention. But according to the usual treatment which, on principle, I experience from the reporters of our debates, (and which I expect will at length have the effect intended—of ruining me with those of the public to whom I am not personally known,) not one word of what I said on this subject was mentioned in any newspaper I saw; and in one, The Times, I was not even mentioned as having spoken at all, though my speech was (I will not say anything of its quality) more in quantity than that of any other speaker. I should be glad to confer with you on the business at any time, and would either call on you, or be happy to see you at the hôtel or Kensington Gore. At the former I often am from about three to four o’clock; and at the latter till twelve o’clock in the day from half-past ten, unless the House has sat beyond twelve o’clock the night before, in which case I sleep in Westminster. Excuse the effects of extreme haste; and believe me, with esteem and regard, my dear Sir, yours most truly.”
The Report of the Select Committee on Penitentiary Houses, in 1811, is mentioned above (p. 103) as having been designed for finally crushing the Panopticon project. It is thus alluded to by Romilly:—