Millbank Penitentiary opens (179 words)

Historical Context Note

  • Editors


Millbank Penitentiary was designed on the principles set out by Jeremy Bentham in his Panopticon proposal of 1791 and approved by Parliament for construction in 1794. In the event, competing interests prevented decision on where the prisons would be built and in the end the vexed relationship between Bentham and the House of Commons was resolved in 1813 when funds were voted funds to compensate Bentham and his brother for the time they had spent. The government then took over planning for the penitentiary and eventually decided to site it on low lying marshy ground beside the Thames near Chelsea. <…

Editors. "Millbank Penitentiary opens". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 June 2005
[, accessed 26 October 2016.]