The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.
§ 15. Further pamphlets on social reform
The years 1749 and 1750 found Fielding assiduous in his duties as magistrate. In May of the former year, he was chairman of quarter sessions; and, in the following month, he delivered a famous charge to the Westminster grand jury. His published works for the two years consisted only of pamphlets: one, in defence of his action in sentencing one Bosavern Penlez to death for rioting and theft; the other, the weighty Enquiry into the Causes of the late Increase of Robbers, which shows how earnestly he studied and desired to remove the causes of crime. Hogarth’s “Gin Lane” is supposed to have been inspired by this pamphlet.