Saturday, 23 August 2014

Treasures from Worcestershire's Past: ~39~ Calendars of Prisoners

This week's Treasure has been chosen by Teresa Jones, Senior Archive Assistant, who has selected records providing an insight into crime and punishment in Worcester. Here, Teresa tells us more:

If you are researching someone who was tried for a crime at Worcester you may find further information in the Calendar of Prisoners.

Calendars of prisoners give details of those who were held at Worcester Gaol and include information such as the date of the trial, age, details of the charge, sentence and which parish the person was from. An index to our calendars of prisoners from 1839-1849 can be found with our online indexes and databases on ourwebsite.

This invaluable work has been compiled by one of our volunteers who is currently working on indexing the calendars from the 1850s and 1860s.


Calendar of Prisoners from 1864

This page includes the entry for Margaret Brown of Redditch, sentenced to seven years penal servitude for larceny at the sessions on 17/10/1864.

With the information contained in the calendar, it is possible to search local newspapers to see if there is any account of a trial.

Other sources can also be explored online. The Hive, along with all libraries in Worcestershire has a subscription to the website www.ancestry.co.uk. This website has a large amount of databases including parole records of women from 1853-1871, 1883-1887 and a criminal registers database from 1791-1892 Other subscription websites may also have further sources that may be of interest.

Margaret Brown (who had an alias of Shaw) was released on licence in 1869, after serving her time at Worcester, Millbank, Parkurst and Brixton. She is described as being 4'9" with grey hair and blue eyes. She states that her husband 'John Shaw' was serving four years penal servitude at the time. Previous to this conviction she had three summary convictions and three acquittals, including four years penal servitude in 1856 after a trial in Salop.

This item can be found at Ref: b117, BA 772, Parcel 5, (the entry for Margaret Brown can be found on page 97).

You will need to view the calendar of prisoners in our Original Archive Area during staffed hours. Please see our website for our opening times.


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