Link back to main ROSSBRET websitePrisons History


Link back to main ROSSBRET websitePrisons History


Early prisons were vile, small cells ~ sometimes just holes in the mud.

Thomas Fowell Buxton described a Prisoner awaiting trial in 1818:-
"The moment he enters prison irons are hammered on to him: then he is cast into the midst of a compaound of all that is disgusting and depraved. At night he is locked up in a narrow cell with perhaps half a dozen of the worst thieves in London, or as many vagrants, whose rags are alive and in actual motion with vermin: he may find himself in bed and in bodily contact, between a robber and a murderer, or between a man with a foul disease on one side and one with an infectious disorder on the other. He may spend his days  deprived of free air and wholesome exercise ..... He may be half starved for want of food and clothing and fuel."

Page updated March 12, 2008

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