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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers

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Lord Grey


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Lord Grey : [Dispatch from the Government respecting fate of convicts on ship]

'Lord Grey's despatches have arrived...[prisoners gather to hear proclamation read aloud] when Captain Bance unfolded his papers the burliest burglar held his breath for a time. Neptune to proceed firthwith to Van Diemen's Land; on arrival there prisoners to receive (in compensation for the hardships of their long voyage and detention) her Gracious Majesty's "conditional pardon" - except "the prisoner Mitchel", whose case, Lord Grey says, being entirely different from all the others, is reserved for separate consideration, but special instructions respecting it are to be forwarded to the governor of Van Diemen's Land. When the reader came to the exception of "the prisoner Mitchel", he raised his voice, and spoke with impressive solemnity. In a moment all eyes, of officers, sailors, prisoners, soldiers, were fastened on my face; if they read anything but scorn [in italics], then my face belied my heart.'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Captain Bance      Manuscript: Sheet


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