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Author Topic: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction  (Read 19157 times)

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Offline ellenkate

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2011, 17:39:11 »

There is a  book:  "Diary of a Prison Governor"  James William Newham 1825-1890.  He was appointed Clerk to Maidstone Prison in 1851 and became deputy Governor there in 1858 and Governor of Canterbury Prison in 1878.   His diary survives in 2 volumes and consists of an account of his early life from memory and previous diaries, and day by day entries from 1874 to 1889.  Includes a wide variety of information on prison life, crime and punishment and his family.  Published by Kent Co.Library,  Kent Co.Council. 1984.  Makes interesting reading.

Ellenkate
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I'm Lincolnshire born and bred

seafordpete

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2011, 16:41:17 »
Found it!! Top of the High St adjoining the OLD Court Hall- preumably now the Town Hall.
From: 'The town and parish of Maidstone: Town and manors', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4 (1798), pp. 260-307. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53808&strquery=maidstone 
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Adjoining to the last mentioned court-hall is the prison belonging to the corporation, formerly called the Brambles. (fn. 5) This prison appears to have belonged antiently to the archbishops of Canterbury, and continued so till archbishop Cranmer, in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. exchanged the prison house of this town with that king. (fn. 6) In king Charles I.'s reign it remained in the king's hands; for by his letters patent, in 1631, he granted the office of keeper of it, and the custody of all prisoners there, to John Collins for his life; who, by his will, in 1644, gave his patent of the king's gaol in Maidstone, with all the irons, implements, fees, and appurtenances to his son of the same name.
The public gaol of the western division of the county of Kent was formerly placed most inconveniently in the very middle of the town, to its great annoyance, where it remained till 1736, when on a petition of its inconvenient situation, near the market place, of its being much decayed, and that there was no gaol for debtors, an act was obtained for erecting another in the room of it, together with a bridewell, in another part of the town. This, after some intermission, was accomplished, and a capacious strong building of stone, with large outlets and conveniences for this purpose, has been erected near the out parts of the town, in East-lane, which has been lately still further strengthened and enlarged at a large expence, at the charge of the western division of the county.


seafordpete

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2011, 16:22:17 »
Seems to be the same place in the 1830s onward, National Archives have lists and records for "Maidstone Jail & house of correction" but http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mrawson/gaolrec.html mentions Brambles Prison. I'll ask a friend who may know.

From http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51128
A Topographical History of England edited by samuel Lewis 1848

 The county gaol, situated at the north end of the town, contains seventeen wards for males; the house of correction for males has twelve wards: the common gaol for females consists of four classes, and the house of correction for females comprises three. New courts, in which the assizes are held, have been built adjoining the gaol. The entire structure occupies fourteen acres of ground inclosed within walls, and is built of Kentish ragstone.

From: 'Mabe - Maidstone', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 208-216. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51128  Date accessed: 20 February 2011.

btluna

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2011, 15:43:55 »
I did copy the history of Maidstone Prison on here a couple of years ago from a book the jail had done for it's 150th (I think). I have since deleted the pages from my photobucket a/c and not got the booklet ;@(. You may be able to find a copy at Maidstone library

Thank you! I live in Canada but Iíll contact the library to see if they can help me.



seafordpete

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2011, 15:10:19 »
I did copy the history of Maidstone Prison on here a couple of years ago from a book the jail had done for it's 150th (I think). I have since deleted the pages from my photobucket a/c and not got the booklet ;@(. You may be able to find a copy at Maidstone library

btluna

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2011, 15:04:18 »
Iím looking for information on Maidstone Prison and the House of Correction (in the 19th century).

Were they at the same location and why two separate places? Iím also very interested in what the differences would have been in the daily lives of the inmates.

Iíve found some info on Google Books but nothing to answer my questions yet.

Any help very welcome!

Offline sheppey_bottles

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2010, 10:02:42 »
A few rules from Maidstone Prison in 1866..

A bell will be rung every morning at a quater before six o'clock, when every prisoner will rise, dress and be ready to leave at Six am, the hour for unlocking the cells. Prisoners will be locked into their sleeping cells every week-day evening at six thirty and every Sunday at 5 thirty. Each prisoner to occupy the night cell corresponding in number with that upon his badge.

No prisoner is to put his head through the bars of his gate, to look up or down his ward.

Standing on stools and looking over the cell partition, are strictly prohibited.

No walking about is allowed in the cells; prisoners are to stand up, or sit still, under the direction of the officer in charge of his ward.

No prisoner is allowed to talk to another prisoner, on any pretence whatever, at any time, or in any part of the prison.

Prisoners are not permitted to talk, or mutter to themselves, or laugh, or sing or whistle or make any noise, at any time.

Each prisoner will bathe once a month, and wash his feet in warm water at least once a week.

Source.. Crime and Punishment, kentish sources 6, Maidstone Kent County Council 1969. Note still a few on Ebay for sale.

seafordpete

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2009, 09:11:20 »
Just found out that there was a Maidstone Gaol exhibition on at Maidstone Museum 28/5-26/7, too late now but I have been given a brochure about it with the gaol history etc. I'll scan it in sometime this week. Pete

seafordpete

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2009, 19:11:19 »
I think on the Capital website it says that it was regulation to carry out male executions within 7 days, female 1 month. Normal practice was charged as soon as caught usually via a Coroners Court then to  next assizes and then whoosh. Guess if you picked the wrong date to murder  the whole thing could happen in less than a month.

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2009, 19:02:26 »
Thomas Wells trial was held at Maidstone Assizes on July 21st 1868, so they didn't keep him hanging about for long did they.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

seafordpete

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2009, 15:03:42 »
William Calcraft  officiated at the last public hangings in Britain - those of Francis Kidder (the last woman) at Maidstone on the 2nd of April 1868 for the drowning of her stepdaughter followed by the last man hanged in public, Michael Barrett - a Fenian (what we would now call an IRA terrorist) for the Clerkenwell prison explosion which killed 12 people and injured over 100, outside Newgate prison on the 26th of May 1868.
He was the exclusive executioner at Maidstone prison, carrying out all 37 hangings there between 1830 and 1872

The first hanging "within the prison" was that of 18 year old Thomas Wells at Maidstone on the 13th of August 1868. Wells was a railway worker who had murdered his boss, the Station Master at Dover. Although the execution was in "private," there were reporters and invited witnesses present and the short drop was used so that they would have been treated to the sight of Wells taking 3- 4 minutes to die

William Calcraft  (b1800 d 1879) was the longest serving executioner of all and was noted for his "short drops" causing most of his victims to strangle to death rather than the long drop which breaks the neck causing more or less instant death. It is not known precisely how many executions he carried out but it is estimated at between 400 and 450, including those of at least 35 women

As the official hangman for London and Middlesex, Calcraft also carried out floggings at Newgate. He received one guinea (£1.05) a week retainer and a further guinea for each hanging at Newgate and half a crown (12.5p) for a flogging.
His earnings were greatly enhanced by executions at other prisons where he could charge higher fees, typically £10 -15. . In addition to these earnings, he was also allowed to keep the clothes and personal effects of the condemned which he could sell afterwards to such as Madame Tussauds for dressing the latest waxwork in the Chamber of Horrors. The rope which had been used at a hanging of a particularly notable criminal could also be sold for good money (up to 5 shillings or 25p an inch).

details on Kidder & Wells on the Personalities site

Taken from the capital Punishment site


seafordpete

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2008, 15:54:39 »
Apparently, according to family stories my GGM (born 1843) used to go to Newgate to watch. Public ex were stopped there 1868.

Offline kyn

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2008, 15:40:12 »
I'd be interested in seeing or reading anything people find!  I can't imagine people watching a hanging today, not in the numbers that they used to!

seafordpete

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2008, 15:05:13 »
Take a look in Maidstone museum, they have a fair bit on hanging including a noose either last one on Penenden Heath or last public one - can't remember. May have info on the gallows, I seem to recall reading they were built onto the front of the building accessed by a window, but might be wrong. P

Maidstone Trooper

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Re: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2008, 12:23:15 »
Wonder if there is any evidence of the hanging place outside Maidstone Prison now??  To my knowledge there is not.

 

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