Archiver > WESSEX-PLUS > 2000-12 > 0976569551

From: Paul Benyon <>
Subject: Re: [WSX] Where are records kept?
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 21:19:11 +0000
References: <F561GkvrSVg83v1kZu800014e38@hotmail.com>
In-Reply-To: <F561GkvrSVg83v1kZu800014e38@hotmail.com>

Hi Doreen

Can't help you with any good books, but the West Midland Police
Museum have an excellent site on Victorian policing, prisons and
criminals at:


and looks at the problem from both sides of the bars: take
links to "Crime and Punishment in Victorian Birmingham"

There is a "not too good" photo of convicts from Portland Convict
Prison working in the quarries which might give you an idea of
the sort of work that prisoners might be "given" at:


and the sort of supervision they were given :-) I understand
that this spectacle entertained our Victorian ancestors and that
they used to travel some distance to watch the convicts at work:
stone and rock breaking for roads etc often formed a major part
of the punishment of hard labour.

There is a current photograph of Bedminster Gaol, which was
closed in 1887 at:


I would have thought that if court records were still in
existence then they would be held by the Bristol Record Office as
I see from the Somerset Records page for Bedminster that this is
where the Parish Registers are held.

It might well be worth asking on the prisons list too: the
subscribe address is:



On Mon, 11 Dec 2000 08:52:14 -0000, you wrote:

>If someone was in Bedminster Gaol during the 1881 census where would I find
>the court records please.
>The prisoner was John Neal, he was a 24 year old labourer from Keynsham.
>He was doing 2 lots of 6 weeks, hard labour, for larceny.
>What would "hard Labour" mean?
>Where would I find any books relating to this Gaol, with photo's if
>possible, please.
>Thank you, Doreen
>Get more from the Web. FREE MSN Explorer download : http://explorer.msn.com
>==== WESSEX-PLUS Mailing List ====
>Do you know about the Free BMD Project? Why not have a look at:

This thread: