Historical Background

Jeremy Bentham's plan for the "Panopticon" prison.

The pages below provide introductions to the historical subjects and places documented in the Digital Panopticon website.

London and Australia

Overviews of London 1780-1900, Convicts and the Colonisation of Australia 1788-1868 and The Australian Colonies 1788-1901.

Crime, Justice and Punishment

Overviews of Crime, Justice and Punishment 1780-1925, along with more detailed pages on Stages of Justice and Stages of Punishment.


In addition to these pages, you may find the background pages of the Old Bailey Online and London Lives a useful source of information on some of the subjects and documents covered by the Digital Panopticon.

For guidance on how to conduct your own research into these subjects using the Digital Panopticon website, and for research findings from the project team, see the Research and Teaching pages.

You can also explore Convict Lives that relate to themes covered in these Historical Background pages.