PP/GC/LE/117 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, regarding recommendation for honours, and the Smethurst case, 3 September 1859
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Secretary of State for Home Affairs], Home Office, [Whitehall, London], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: Lewis encloses a letter [not present] from Lord Carlisle strongly recommending Captain Crofton and General Larcom for the honour of KCB. "The subject is one on which I hardly know how to express an opinion". He assumes that an opening for new members is connected to the number of existing members. Crofton and Larcom are meritorious public servants. After many interviews, reading and considering the notes of a trial which took five days, and much anxious consideration, "I came to the conclusion that the conviction of Smethurst rested on too doubtful grounds for the infliction of an irrevocable punishment". Lewis has drawn up an explanatory memorandum to send to the Queen, as the prisoner has forwarded a petition to the Prince. It needs to be decided whether the sentence should be commuted to penal custody for life, or whether Smethurst should be indicted for bigamy and perjury in swearing falsely to a special license, both of which are felonies. "There is no doubt that Rollock behaved with great want of judicial calmness and decorum at the trial." 3 Sep 1859
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William Howard, tenth Earl of Carlisle, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Captain Walter Frederick Crofton [?]
General Thomas Aiskew Larcom
Dr Smethurst: accused and found guilty of murdering Miss Bankes, but death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment
Crime; punishment; death penalty
Victoria, Queen of England
Prince Albert, Prince Consort
Mr Rollock
Patronage; honours
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