Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Gallery of Victorian Prisoners Online

Two volumes of photographs and case details of prisoners in Wandsworth Prison dating from 1872 to 1873 are now online. Each case gives the prisoner’s physical description, as well as a photograph, their date and place of birth, the crime they committed, their sentence, the place of conviction and often their place of residence.

These records give an immediacy to the horrors of the Victorian penal system and totalling more than 600 records of individual prisoners, they are a rich source for family and social historians alike. The items stolen were often of a very basic nature: tea, coffee, a piece of meat, a coat, a shawl, a pair of boots but the sentences were harsh in today’s terms. Children as young as 13 were whipped and sentenced to a month of hard labour for stealing a box of figs!

This is one of the many projects you can learn more about by coming along to Catalogue Awareness Day

Go to documents online to browse the list of prisoners or to specify exact criteria, use the advanced search
Source National Archives

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