London Crime and Punishment
Many records related to London prisoners are kept in the London Sessions at the London Metropolitan Archives and were printed by journalists in the Old Bailey Sessions. The London Court Records article provides further information.
BridewellOriginally a workhouse-style hospital, by the late 1500s, many prisoners were held at Bridewell. The prison at Bridewell closed in 1855. Most of the buildings have been demolished. Records are kept at the London Metropolitan Archives. Bridewell Chapel also kept records.
NewgateNewgate Prison was founded in 1188. It burned during the Great Fire of London (1666), but was rebuilt. Between 1770 and 1778, a new prison was designed, but burned down in the Gordon Riots (1780). It was rebuilt between 1780 and 1783. The prison closed in 1902 and the buildings were demolished.
A variety of records survive and are held at the London Metropolitan Archives.
Additional Newgate Prison history is available at the Capital Punishments website. Creators of the site have also compiled lists of executions at Newgate from 1783 to 1799, 1800 to 1836, and 1837 to 1902. Before that time, executions took place at Tyburn.
- Griffiths, Arthur. The Chronicles of Newgate. London: Chapman and Hall, 1884. Digital version at Internet Archive - free.
ExecutionsMany Londoners found guilty of capital crimes at the Old Bailey Sessions were publicly executed at Tyburn, although it was possible to be reprieved. A list of executions at Tyburn 1695-1783 is available online.
A list of executions at the Tower of London from 1388 to 1941 is also available online.
Felons found guilty of crimes at sea, such as piracy, were put to death at Execution Dock, near the Tower of London. A list of executions there from 1735 to 1830 is available online.
- Stevenson, Robert Louis. Lives of the Most Remarkable Criminals Who Have Been Condemned and Executed for Murder, Highway Robberies, House-breaking, Street Robberies, Coining, Or Other Offences; From the Year 1720 to the Year 1735, Collected from Original Papers and Authentic Memoirs. London: Reeves and Turner, 1874. Digital version at Internet Archive - free.
- London Prisons ca. 1676 (The University of West Ontario)
- Prison Records, London Metropolitan Archives Information Leaflet Number 59, http://18.104.22.168/NR/rdonlyres/5B8D735B-9FCB-47F4-A9BE-1A45430FF54A/0/59PRISONRECORDS.pdf, accessed 17 January 2012
- Capital Punishment U.K.
- Houses of Correction (London Lives)
- Prisons and Lockups (London Lives)
- Prison Records (London Metropolitan Archives Information Leaflet)