Tag Archives: brixton

The Surgeon

William Gardner had been the surgeon at Brixton from its beginning. His duties required him to visit the prison every day, see every prisoner at least twice a week, visit all sick prisoners in the infirmary every day and to … Continue reading

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A House in the Country

One of the magistrates at the court in Wandsworth, George Clive, observed a worrying trend in the cases brought before him during the mid-1840s.  Numerous people, it seemed, were committing offences in the Surrey workhouses with the express intent of … Continue reading

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Bad Children, Bad Parents

Children are expensive; in the early Victorian period parents would go to extreme measures to get them off their hands. In May 1836 John Mitchell brought his 14 year old stepson, Frederick Payne, before the Surrey magistrates, alleging the boy … Continue reading

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The Exercise Yard

The journalist Henry Mayhew visited Brixton in the 1850s, when the prison was reserved for convict women.  He wrote this about the exercise (then known as ‘airing’) yards: The airing yards at this prison have little of the bare gravel … Continue reading

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The Flogged Soldier

John Hutchinson was a private in the 1st battalion of the Scots Fusileer Guards when in October 1834 he was sentenced to six months on the Brixton treadmill.  He had been found guilty of desertion. Hutchinson had good reason to … Continue reading

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Whipping Boys

Jack Page was around 12 or 13 years old when, in 1824, he was charged with stealing a rope of onions from a stall on Borough Market.  He was a too familiar face to the court.  The magistrate lamented that … Continue reading

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Oil, Soap, Coals and Beef

The magistrates of Surrey – the men in charge of the house of correction at Brixton – were extremely careful about how the county’s money was spent.  Most of the supplies to the prison were put out to public tender.  … Continue reading

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