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Author Topic: Faversham Gaol (1813)  (Read 653 times)

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Offline smiffy

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Re: Faversham Gaol (1813)
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2018, 22:07:32 »
I wonder if he made a clean getaway?


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Faversham Gaol (1813)
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2018, 21:44:28 »
Escape from Prison.

On the night of Thursday week a man named Henry Horne, who had been confined about five months in Faversham gaol, on a charge of stealing a fowling piece, made his escape from the above prison through most extraordinary means, with the use only of a spike gimlet, an iron spoon, and the iron handle of a teakettle. The gaol has been built within these few years, the walls are of stone, and full two feet thick, lined within and throughout with strong oak planks, thickly studded with large nails. The prisoner contrived, it appears, to get part of two of the oak planks away by means of very close boring with the gimlet, and then burning with heated iron the interstices between them, the marks of which he concealed for days by filling the crevice so made with pieces of paper, and then plastering it over with paste and the whitewash of the prison; When he had so far succeeded it appears he commenced his operations on the stonework, always taking care no doubt to close his nightly workshop before morning, with the oak plank secured as above mentioned, in which place also, as an additional blind, he used to hang his towel; he also kept the room clean swept, and by these precautions it escaped the notice of the gaoler that anything improper was going on.

It is obvious to all who have seen it, considering he could only work in the night time, and then, perhaps, not always, that it must have been a work of months' extreme caution, perseverance, and ingenuity, rarely to be met with. The stones which he removed to form the aperture, he concealed under his bed on the floor; they consist of more than would fill a wheelbarrow; the large stone which formed the outside of the wall he managed to get inside, thereby avoiding all cause of alarm from the noise, which must have been heard if there had been any, as the gaoler's rooms are immediately over the prison. The prisoner was generally observed reading the Bible very attentively during the day, and there was found written on the iron door of the room in which he was confined, the following emphatic words, " Many a long day I have passed without thought, but now my days are all thought."

     From the Kent Herald via The Cambrian, 15th March 1823.

Built in 1813, the building consisted of stone built walls on the ground floor with two cells and an exercise yard in the rear. The upper floors served as living quarters for the gaoler and his family. The building now houses Faversham Age Concern.

In the summer of 1821 two members of the North Kent Gang of smugglers were captured by blockade officers at Whitstable and imprisoned at Faversham gaol. Eleven days after their arrest the remaining members of the smuggling gang attacked the gaol with cudgels and pickaxes. The two prisoners were freed and evaded capture despite a £100 reward.


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