19th Century Debtors Prison Records, London

What was the name of the debtors prison in London?

Marshalsea

Wikimedia | © OpenStreetMap
Location The prison occupied two locations in Southwark on what is now Borough High Street, the first 1373–1811, the second 1811–1842.
Coordinates 51.5018°N 0.0921°W
Population Debtors, pirates, smugglers, those accused of sedition
Notable prisoners

When did Debtors Prison End in the UK?

1869

Over half the population of England’s prisons in the 18th and early 19th centuries were in jail because of debt, and during the same period, some 10,000 people were imprisoned for debt each year. Imprisonment for debt only ended in 1869.

Who went to debtors prison?

A debtors’ prison is a prison for people who are unable to pay debt. Through the mid-19th century, debtors’ prisons (usually similar in form to locked workhouses) were a common way to deal with unpaid debt in Western Europe.

Why were debtors prisons abolished in England?

After the War of 1812, many Americans were in debt and the idea of the new Federation jailing its own people for debt, after throwing the British oppressors out, was not very palatable to the fledgling country. As a result, Congress abolished the practice of jailing bad debtors under federal law in 1833.

What did people do in debtors prison?

“A debtors’ prison is a prison where people who were unable to pay legal debts were incarcerated until they worked off the debt, or they got enough money from the outside to pay the amount,” explained Joe Bailey, operations manager at My Trading Skills.

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