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Prisoners Their Own Warders
A Record of the Convict Prison at Singapore in the Straits
Settlements Established 1825

written by "Bayliss, W. D."
...sed from amongst the convicts themselves fully established, though as the Governor himself said in his letter to the Resident[21] Councillor of Singapore in August, 1854, "I had drawn up these rules as long ago as 1845 in the face of much opposition." The late General Man held the appointment at Penang from 1860 until 1867, when the Straits Settlements were transferred to the Crown, and from Penang he went to the Andaman Islands to introduce there the system of convict management in force in the Straits Settlements;[3] and with the view to uniformity of practice, the Government of India had previously deputed Major, now General, Forlong to prepare a code of rules based on those in force in the Singapore jail. When the transfer was fully effected, the new office of Comptroller of Indian Convicts was created, and the whole of those Indian convicts in the three settlements were placed under his charge. The "Butterworth Rules" remained in force, with certain alterations and improvements, until the disestablishment of the whole department in 1873. As many of the convicts were continued to be employed at Penang and Province Wellesley on roads and works at a distance from the main jail, it was necessary to provide accommodation for them in convict lines, or "commands," as we have said, pronounced "kumman" by the convicts.[4] It will be [22]interesting to give some particulars about them: They consisted of a stockaded fence, constructed of rough poles of wood from four to six inches in diameter, and from ten to twelve feet long, set perpendicularly in a trench about two feet deep, and placed close together, being secured longitudinally by adze-dressed poles nailed securely on the outside and along the top of them. The stockade enclosed an area sufficient for the erection of the dormitory, cooking place, and sheds for the bullocks employed in carts to convey road material, and for protection also against the possible attacks of wild animals....

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