The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3

Allen, Thomas
1827

Gaol for the City of London and County of Middlesex called Newgate.

Gaol for the City of London and County of Middlesex called Newgate.

It is a massy stone building, consisting of three parts; that on the north was formerly appropriated for debtors, and that on the south for felons; but since the erection of the prison in Whitecross-street, Newgate is wholly devoted to persons committed for criminal acts. In the centre is a dwelling-house, occupied by the keeper. The whole of the front is formed of rustic work, and at the extremities of each face is an arched niche for a statue, but only the two in front of the felon's side are yet occupied.

The first stone of the present prison was laid by alderman Beckford, in 1770, seven years before the original prison was destroyed. Mr. George Dance was the architect. For the building the new prison and the Sessions house adjoining, parliament granted to the city 50,000l. In 1778, the corporation had expended 52,585l. 11s. 11d. upon this building; and they gave up to the public, for the site and the Sessions house, a piece of freehold ground, 600 feet in front on the Old Bailey, and about 50 on Newgate-street, which was worth ten shillings per foot, running measure; the latter was valued at fifteen shillings for building on, and the rent at 300l. per annum. In addition, they expended 14,464l. 13s. 9d. of their own money in erecting the Sessions house, and 6,250l. for the purchase of freehold houses to be taken down for making avenues to the gaol. Many unforeseen expenses attended the execution of this work, amounting altogether to the sum of 19,000l. This prison was nearly completed when it was attacked and destroyed by the No Popery rioters in 1780: 30,000l. was necessary for the repairs; which was chiefly supplied by the House of Commons.

Tins prison is under the jurisdiction of the lord mayor and aldermen of the city, and the sheriffs of London and Middlesex. The expense at which it is supported, including the maintenance of the prisoners, who have a regular allowance of food, is entirely paid out of the city funds.

The interior of the prison consists of three quadrangles, namely, a centre and two wings, independently of the press-yard and condemned wards and cells behind the north wing, which occupy a part of the site of the old gaol. It is a substantial stone building, with extensive vaults, strongly arched with brick, beneath the lower story; several of which contain large cisterns. The first, or northern station, has three yards, with sleeping and day rooms attached: the first yard and rooms are occupied by adult convicts under sentence of transportation; the second yard and rooms by the boys, who have also a school-room, established in 1814; the third yard and rooms are used as the male infirmary and convalescent wards. The second station, or centre of the prison, has also three yards, with attached day and sleeping rooms; the first of which is occupied by criminals under sentence of imprisonment for misdemeanors and felonies; the other two yards and rooms are reserved for the untried male prisoners: the press-yard, with the attached cells, and two wards for condemned criminals, are also locally connected with this station. In the south wing, or third station, which is wholly occupied by female prisoners, are two yards, having sleeping wards and day rooms attached: the first yard and rooms are occupied by females waiting their trials; and there is likewise a school for girls; the rooms of the upper story are used as the female infirmary: the second yard and adjoining rooms are occupied by females under sentence of transportation for felonies and misdemeanors, and with this yard is connected the condemned cell.

The principal wards and rooms in all the stations are each about 38 feet in length, and 15 feet wide; the others are about 24 feet by 15. The two wards connected with the press-yard, for males under sentence of death, are each 31 feet in length, and 18 feet wide. There are three tier of condemned cells, five in each tier, strongly arched, and measuring 9 feet by 7. In the central part, behind the keeper's house, is the chapel, which will conveniently hold about 350 persons; but when condemned sermons are preached, and the public admitted, from six to seven and even eight hundred people have crowded into it at one time. The interior is plain; over the women's seats, which are excluded from the sight of the male prisoners by a curtain, there is a small octagonal skylight, with a moveable top for the admission of air.

The officers of this prison consist of a keeper, three principal turnkeys, eight under turnkeys, an assistant, two watchmen, a matron, and two female searchers.Britton and Pugin's Public Buildings, vol ii. p. 64.

Opposite this prison formerly stood a row of mean houses, which were removed about 1784, when the unfortunate victims to the laws of the country were executed opposite the debtors door, the practice of taking them to Tyburn having been discontinued.

Contiguous to this building, and only separated from it by a square court, is Justice-hall, commonly called the Sessions-house.

This was formerly a plain brick edifice; but was rebuilt entirely of stone, and is brought so much forwarder than the old one as to be parallel with the street. On each of the sides is a flight of steps that lead to the court, which has a gallery on each side for the accommodation of spectators. The prisoners are brought to this court from Newgate by a passage that closely connects the two buildings; and there is a convenient place under the sessions-house in front, for detaining the prisoners till they are called upon their trials. There are also rooms for the grand and petty jury, with other necessary accommodations.

A court is held here eight times a year by the king's commission of oyer and terminer, for the trial of prisoners for crimes committed within the city of London and county of Middlesex. The judges are the lord mayor, the aldermen past the chair, and the recorder, who, on such occasions, are attended by both the sheriffs, and by one or more of the national judges. The offences committed in the city are tried by a jury of citizens, and those committed in the county by a jury formed of the housekeepers in the county.

The crimes tried in this court are high and petty treason, murder, felony, forgery, petty larceny, burglary, &c.

Adjoining to this building is an open space supporting another court, erected in 1826, on pillars of the Doric order; it was originally intended for the convenience of witnesses in waiting, &c. but the wind being admissible through the gates, and there being no fire-place, it was never used. On the site of this building stood the old surgeons' theatre, now totally demolished.

On the east side of Fleet-market, stands the

It is a massy stone building, consisting of parts; that on the north was formerly appropriated for debtors, and that on the south for felons; but since the erection of the prison in , Newgate is wholly devoted to persons committed for criminal acts. In the centre is a dwelling-house, occupied by the keeper. The whole of the front is formed of rustic work, and at the extremities of each face is an arched niche for a statue, but only the in front of the felon's side are yet occupied.

The stone of the present prison was laid by alderman Beckford, in , years before the original prison was destroyed. Mr. George Dance was the architect. For the building the new prison and the adjoining, parliament granted to the city In , the corporation had expended upon this building; and they gave up to the public, for the site and the , a piece of freehold ground, feet in front on the , and about on , which was worth per foot, running measure; the latter was valued at for building on, and the rent at per annum. In addition, they expended of their own money in erecting the , and for the purchase of freehold houses to be taken down for making avenues to the gaol. Many unforeseen expenses attended the execution of this work, amounting altogether to the sum of This prison was nearly completed when it was attacked and destroyed by the

No Popery

rioters in : was necessary for the repairs; which was chiefly supplied by the .

661

 

Tins prison is under the jurisdiction of the lord mayor and aldermen of the city, and the sheriffs of London and Middlesex. The expense at which it is supported, including the maintenance of the prisoners, who have a regular allowance of food, is entirely paid out of the city funds.

The interior of the prison consists of quadrangles, namely, a centre and wings, independently of the press-yard and condemned wards and cells behind the north wing, which occupy a part of the site of the old gaol. It is a substantial stone building, with extensive vaults, strongly arched with brick, beneath the lower story; several of which contain large cisterns. The , or northern station, has yards, with sleeping and day rooms attached: the yard and rooms are occupied by adult convicts under sentence of transportation; the yard and rooms by the boys, who have also a school-room, established in ; the yard and rooms are used as the male infirmary and convalescent wards. The station, or centre of the prison, has also yards, with attached day and sleeping rooms; the of which is occupied by criminals under sentence of imprisonment for misdemeanors and felonies; the other yards and rooms are reserved for the untried male prisoners: the press-yard, with the attached cells, and wards for condemned criminals, are also locally connected with this station. In the south wing, or station, which is wholly occupied by female prisoners, are yards, having sleeping wards and day rooms attached: the yard and rooms are occupied by females waiting their trials; and there is likewise a school for girls; the rooms of the upper story are used as the female infirmary: the yard and adjoining rooms are occupied by females under sentence of transportation for felonies and misdemeanors, and with this yard is connected the condemned cell.

The principal wards and rooms in all the stations are each about feet in length, and feet wide; the others are about feet by . The wards connected with the press-yard, for males under sentence of death, are each feet in length, and feet wide. There are tier of condemned cells, in each tier, strongly arched, and measuring feet by . In the central part, behind the keeper's house, is the chapel, which will conveniently hold about persons; but when condemned sermons are preached, and the public admitted, from to and even people have crowded into it at time. The interior is plain; over the women's seats, which are excluded from the sight of the male prisoners by a curtain, there is a small octagonal skylight, with a moveable top for the admission of air.

The officers of this prison consist of a keeper, principal turnkeys, under turnkeys, an assistant, watchmen, a matron, and female searchers.

662

 

Opposite this prison formerly stood a row of mean houses, which were removed about , when the unfortunate victims to the laws of the country were executed opposite

the debtors door,

the practice of taking them to Tyburn having been discontinued.

Contiguous to this building, and only separated from it by a square court, is Justice-hall, commonly called the Sessions-house.

This was formerly a plain brick edifice; but was rebuilt entirely of stone, and is brought so much forwarder than the old as to be parallel with the street. On each of the sides is a flight of steps that lead to the court, which has a gallery on each side for the accommodation of spectators. The prisoners are brought to this court from Newgate by a passage that closely connects the buildings; and there is a convenient place under the sessions-house in front, for detaining the prisoners till they are called upon their trials. There are also rooms for the grand and petty jury, with other necessary accommodations.

A court is held here times a year by the king's commission of oyer and terminer, for the trial of prisoners for crimes committed within the city of London and county of Middlesex. The judges are the lord mayor, the aldermen past the chair, and the recorder, who, on such occasions, are attended by both the sheriffs, and by or more of the national judges. The offences committed in the city are tried by a jury of citizens, and those committed in the county by a jury formed of the housekeepers in the county.

The crimes tried in this court are high and petty treason, murder, felony, forgery, petty larceny, burglary, &c.

Adjoining to this building is an open space supporting another court, erected in , on pillars of the Doric order; it was originally intended for the convenience of witnesses in waiting, &c. but the wind being admissible through the gates, and there being no fire-place, it was never used. On the site of this building stood the old surgeons' theatre, now totally demolished.

On the east side of Fleet-market, stands the

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Britton and Pugin's Public Buildings, vol ii. p. 64.

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 Title Page
 Dedication
 CHAPTER I: The site, extent, buildings, population, commerce, and a view of the progressive increase of London
 CHAPTER II: List of the parishes and churches in London, with their incumbents, &c
collapseCHAPTER III: History and Topography of Aldersgate Ward
collapseCHAPTER IV: History and Topography of Aldgate Ward
collapseCHAPTER V: History and Topography of Bassishaw Ward
collapseCHAPTER VI: History and Topography of Billingsgate Ward
collapseCHAPTER VII: History and Topography of Bishopsgate Ward, Without and Within
collapseCHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of Bread-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER IX: History and Topography of Bridge Ward Within
collapseCHAPTER X: History and Topography of Broad-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XI: History and Topography of Candlewick Ward
collapseCHAPTER XII: History and Topography of Castle Baynard Ward
collapseCHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of Cheap Ward
collapseCHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of Coleman-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XV: History and Topography of Cordwainer's-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of Cornhill Ward
collapseCHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Ward Within
collapseCHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Yard Without
collapseCHAPTER XIX: History and Topography of Dowgate Yard
collapseCHAPTER XX: History and Topography of Farringdom Ward Within
collapseCHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of Farringdon Ward Without
collapseCHAPTER XXII: History and Topography of Langbourn Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXIII: History and Topography of Lime-street Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXIV: History and Topogrpahy of Portsoken Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXV: History and Topography of Queenhithe Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXVI: History and Topography of Tower Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXVII: History and Topography of Vintry Ward
collapseCHAPTER XXVIII: History and Topography of Wallbrook Ward
This object is in collection:
Edwin C. Bolles papers
Subjects
London (England)--History
Antiquities
Permanent URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10427/44306
ID: tufts:UA069.005.DO.00068
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