BLURBPen and Sword Books: The History of Newgate Prison – Paperback
As the place where prisoners, male and female, awaited trial, execution or transportation, Newgate was Britains most feared gaol for over 700 years. It probably best known today from the novels of Charles Dickens including Barnaby Rudge and Great Expectations.
But there is much is more to Newgate than nineteenth-century notoriety. In the seventeenth century it saw the exploits of legendary escaper and thief Jack Sheppard. Author Daniel Defoe who was imprisoned there for seditious libel, playwright Ben Jonson for murder, the Captain Kidd for piracy were among its most famous inmates.
This book takes you from the gaols twelfth-century beginnings to its final closure in 1904 and looks at daily life, developments in the treatment of prisoners from the use of torture to penal reform as well as major events in its history.
This was a very interesting book covering hundreds of years of history. There were points when I wished there was more elaboration on certain points, but only rarely. The book covered the changing social conditions over those years as they affected the prisoners of Newgate, especially the attitude to the death penalty, and corporal punishment, and prison reform.