Author Topic: Lewes Invalid Prison  (Read 9371 times)

Offline toni*

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Re: Lewes Invalid Prison
« Reply #9 on: Monday 04 February 08 22:02 GMT (UK) »
re Parish Regsiters:~

some registers recorded the names of people who were, hurled, interred or tumbled into the ground. these areliekly to relate to the burials of dissenters without the benfit of Anglican funeral rites, or of an unbaptised or excommunicated parishoner or of a sucide. Burials of executed convicted felons abound in the registers of parishes where the county Assize Sessions sat.



Holman & Vinton- Cornwall, Wojciechowskyj & Hussak- Bukowiec & Zahutyn, Bentley & Richards- Leicester, Taylor-Kent/Sussex  Punnett-Sussex,  Bear/e- Monkleigh Gazey-Warwicks

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Offline forester

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Re: Lewes Invalid Prison
« Reply #10 on: Monday 04 February 08 22:04 GMT (UK) »
Hello Gill,

Take a look at this link (scroll down to the section on the Inkerman Estate):

http://www.housesinwoking.com/pages/stjohns.htm

It gives a bit of background if nothing else.

I'm wondering if there may have been a hospital wing or similar at the main Lewes Prison.
The old House of Correction in North Street had become the Naval Prison by then (1853/54 I think).

Regards,
Phil
Sussex: Satcher (Hamsey) and Gatton (East Grinstead)
Leicestershire: Pratt
South Wales: Evans (Neath)
Poland: Gonet, Deren

Forest Row: War Memorial and Camp WW1
Lewisham War Memorials & WW1 Graves

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Offline Clazy2000

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Re: Lewes Invalid Prison
« Reply #11 on: Monday 04 February 08 22:36 GMT (UK) »
Hi Phil

I went on this website but missed the part relating to the Invalid prison.It is very useful.

 It is interesting that they took prisoners suffering from mental illness as Nehemiah who was my 3xGreat Grandfather had been in prison for a great part of his life and there are numerous references that years of solitary confinement and the silent system for first class prisoners caused mental illness. No proof but a possibility.

300 prisoners were transferred from Lewes and although it would not have included Nehemiah it gives an indication that Lewes was more than cramped and makes you wonder about the conditions for those convicts. I need to check that report on conditions.

I knew it had become a naval prison but I didn't know the date.

Thank you for all your help and although there are no conclusions there are alot more possibilities.

Gill
Adams;Clackson;Cottle;Dunk;Gwatkin;Woodcock

Offline Clazy2000

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Re: Lewes Invalid Prison
« Reply #12 on: Tuesday 05 February 08 23:48 GMT (UK) »
Thanks to all for your help in this.
 Have found a little bit more information on when the invalid prisoners were sent to Lewes.

It seems that they were housed on a prison hulk at Woolwich called the Unite(that e should have an accent, it was an old French vessel).Various inquiry and reports had found this hulk to be virmin infested and the conditions of the patients appalling, viz. the patients were filthy dirty and had no clean clothes for 5 weeks.They had no combs or  towels  for washing. There were no records of washing of blankets etc and bed linen was never changed. Thus its days were already numbered, when 'Defence'another hulk along side it caught fire. The Unite couldn't cope with the influx of semi-invalid prisoners from the Defence and they were all moved to the Invalid Prison at Lewes.

This is taken from W.Branch Johnson's The English Prison Hulks Phillimore 1970 and he quotes a report from the Times that the fire happened on 14th July 1857.So unless Lewes was already taking sick prisoners, it looks likely that it was only in existence for 3 years, 1857-1860 when it moved to Knapp Hill,Woking to a purpose built prison.

Another source is http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~blaker/reminiscences/commence.html

This has a brief description by the Assistant Surgeon of the Invalid Convict Prison in Lewes, of the number of  convicts and their types of ailment. Plus it confirms that it was indeed housed in the Old Jail,now the Naval Prison at Lewes.


Thanks once again
Clazy2000 Gill
Adams;Clackson;Cottle;Dunk;Gwatkin;Woodcock

Offline forester

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Re: Lewes Invalid Prison
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday 06 February 08 22:07 GMT (UK) »
Hello again Gill,

That was a very interesting article.

The Naval Prison has come up before on Rootschat, I'm sure and has an air of mystery about it. I can just about remember it before it was demolished, going for walks past it when visiting my grandparents. My father was born in nearby Sun Street and apparently went to Scouts there.

I had always assumed it was a Naval Prison right from the opening of the new Lewes Prison, but that does not appear to be the case. It is well documented that it housed about 350 Finnish prisoners of war from 1854 to 1856. Now you have discovered it's use from 1857 to 1860. Tonight I found a link I had not seen before that implies that the Navy did not take it over until 1862.

http://www.rootschat.com/links/02o9/

I've also had a look at the NA catalogue and found these references:

http://www.rootschat.com/links/02oa/


Phil

Sussex: Satcher (Hamsey) and Gatton (East Grinstead)
Leicestershire: Pratt
South Wales: Evans (Neath)
Poland: Gonet, Deren

Forest Row: War Memorial and Camp WW1
Lewisham War Memorials & WW1 Graves

Census information is Crown Copyright  http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Clazy2000

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Re: Lewes Invalid Prison
« Reply #14 on: Wednesday 06 February 08 23:42 GMT (UK) »
Hi Phil

Those National Archives references are very useful indeed. A visit to Kew is a must. I would have ordered them but not too sure how many pages they will turn out to be - 300 prisoners can take up an awful lot of paper!!Thank you so much for those. I will be surprised if my 3xGt.Grandfather isn't there somewhere depending on when he was designated as an 'invalid convict'.

The other ref.does indeed imply that it was not used as a Naval prison until 1862. However it was definitely purchased for 5000 by the Lords Commission of the Admiralty on the 3rd April 1854,the conveyance being completed 21 June 1854. A2A ESRO

Perhaps although owned by the Admiralty their needs were not as urgent as other Govt.departments ie. for the Russian and Finnish occupants and then the Invalids from the hulks.

 I think that the convict prisons were at breaking point with the end of transportation as an option and the final end to the hulks.By 1853 when penal servitude was introduced to replace transportation,convict prisons had to send some of their prisoners to local gaols many of which were underused-Higgs,M Prison Life in Victorian England

It therefore seems logical that although the Admiralty owned the prison that it may have been 'commandeered ' or rented temporarily by other departments to ease their problems.

My initial enquiry concerning my 'black sheep' has certainly opened a lot of questions and answers about the old gaol! Thanks for your help.

Will add a postscript when I find him!

Gill






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Offline toni*

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Re: Lewes Invalid Prison
« Reply #15 on: Thursday 07 February 08 09:15 GMT (UK) »
i wonder if Lewes East Sussex RO has any details for the Invalid Prison?

archives@eastsussex.gov.uk
Holman & Vinton- Cornwall, Wojciechowskyj & Hussak- Bukowiec & Zahutyn, Bentley & Richards- Leicester, Taylor-Kent/Sussex  Punnett-Sussex,  Bear/e- Monkleigh Gazey-Warwicks

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Offline Chris in 1066Land

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Re: Lewes Invalid Prison
« Reply #16 on: Thursday 07 February 08 16:11 GMT (UK) »
Toni

That was one of the first places that we checked and the answer was NO

But, if you put in 'House of Correction' or 'Naval Prison' then the answer was YES through the A2A catalogue.

Gill has been looking at and digesting this information - but isnt it strange that 'Invalid Prison' on its own brought up virtually nothing

Chris in 1066

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Offline Clazy2000

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Re: Lewes Invalid Prison
« Reply #17 on: Thursday 07 February 08 17:37 GMT (UK) »
Hi Toni/Chris

All of the records held by ESRO under the heading House of Correction relate to it from its initial coception and building 1792 ,the extensions,alterations,plans etc. to its sale and conveyance to the Commission for the Admiralty in 1854.

It seems after this we have to look to the National Archives which is logical as none of the local agencies were responsible for it after 1854. The convict gaols were funded by and run by central government and thus details of its running costs etc were made to central govt. in the form of quarterly returns etc. and it was included in reports along side the other national prisons such as Dartmoor,Millbank,Wakefield,Leicester etc. All of which are held by the National Archives.

TNA references found by Phil are qtrly returns of prisoners from Lewes Convict Prison. I have asked for an estimate for photocopying references to Nehemiah Gray but for people interested in what they say about the establishment they may be worth consulting. I was trying to keep the cost down as they are all over 150 pages in length.Well worth a look when visiting Kew though.

Gill
Adams;Clackson;Cottle;Dunk;Gwatkin;Woodcock