Author Topic: Prison records  (Read 1696 times)

Offline blatch2004

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Prison records
« on: Thursday 26 January 12 07:43 GMT (UK) »
Hi I wonder if anyone has any knowledge on prison records.

I am researching a man who went to Newgate before trial, was then sent to Surrey County Gaol Horsemonger Lane and from there was transferred to Bethlam Hospital the year being 1858.

I have looked on a2a, and asked at the LMA and at Kew who both told me to try Surrey Archives but they were quite unsure on what was and wasn't available all they could tell me was that the gaol would have been on Horsemonger Lane.

I have the Record of the calendar of Newgate showing that he was found unable to plead being insane and that he was sent to Surrey County Gaol, which would of been Horsemonger Lane at that time, but would like to know if anything else would be available, I don't want to leave a stone unturned in my research. Would prisons at that time of held many records of its prisoners he would have only been in each prison no more than a couple of weeks.

Sorry if this request makes no sense I find it quite difficult to put it in words what I mean :-)

Thanks in advance for any assistance that may be given


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Offline tilly25

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Re: Prison records
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 26 January 12 13:11 GMT (UK) »

According to the London encyclopaedia- Horsemonger Lane Gaol, Southwark built as a model prison by George Gwilt in 1791-9 the gaol was closed in 1878 and demolished in 1880. Newington Recreation Ground marks the site.

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Offline Valda

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Re: Prison records
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 26 January 12 19:27 GMT (UK) »

The survival rate of prison records is very patchy. Under the Public Records Acts 1958 and 1967 the Home Office has a duty to preserve its records of historical and public interest, including those of prisons, but this understanding of the importance of prison records was a little late in the day to save many records particularly of prisons that had closed. The earlier they closed the less likely any records would survive.
Newgate prison closed in 1902. The prison registers are held by The National Archives.

Horsemonger Lane Gaol Newington Southwark 1799-1878 was Surrey’s principle prison replacing the old county gaol and House of Correction in Southwark. It housed debtors as well as criminals and was Surrey’s place of execution for criminals. Besides Horsemonger Lane Goal opened in 1851 was the Surrey House of Correction in Wandsworth. When Horsemonger Lane Gaol closed in 1878, its execution duties were transferred to Wandsworth.  Wandsworth prison is now the largest prison in London and one of the largest in Western Europe. The registers for Wandsworth prison survive and are held by the London Metropolitan Archives.

In 1889 the metropolitan areas of Surrey such as Southwark and Wandsworth became part of London.

Basically there is nothing that really survives for Horsemonger Gaol and that is borne out by the fact that the three record offices which might hold the records for gaols in the London area have all have come up with nothing. This will be the case for other goals - compters, lockups, bridewells and Houses of Correction/Detention in London particularly when they closed before the start of the C20th.

What you can research however is his records at Bethlem Hospital. The hospital maintains its own archives.


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Offline blatch2004

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Re: Prison records
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 26 January 12 19:32 GMT (UK) »
Thank u for your reply Valda, it confirms I have got all the records I am going to find I just needed to check as I didn't want to miss anything

Thanks again for your time  :)