A Failure to Communicate: Authority in Eighteenth-Century Newgate

We are delighted to publish this guest post by Esther Brot, who is currently pursuing her PhD in History at King's College London. She is writing her dissertation on the topic of the Corporation of London and the prisons of the City of London in the long eighteenth century.  In 1717, the Court of Aldermen … Continue reading A Failure to Communicate: Authority in Eighteenth-Century Newgate

Some Recent Calls for Papers

Below are three calls for papers and proposals that have come into our inbox recently. None of these are specifically about early modern prisons, but they touch on related subjects that might interest readers of our blog.  If  you have a call for papers or a conference that you think ought to be publicized on … Continue reading Some Recent Calls for Papers

Radicalism, Respectability, and the Case of the Imprisoned Politician

We are delighted to publish this guest post by John Owen Havard, Assistant Professor of English at Binghamton University, whose forthcoming work includes a book on the origins of disaffected attitudes towards politics and a new project on thinking about politics, freedom, and the end of the world in writings by Byron, Hobhouse, and their … Continue reading Radicalism, Respectability, and the Case of the Imprisoned Politician

Contested records: writing, custom and conflict in early modern prisons

The following post is based on a paper presented at "Writing Prisons: Literature and Constraint in Early Modern England," a mini-symposium held at Birkbeck in July (and kindly written up at the time by Brodie Waddell). In this post, I’d like to explore the role of writings and texts within early modern prisons. That is … Continue reading Contested records: writing, custom and conflict in early modern prisons

England’s Island Prisons

 We are delighted to publish this guest post by David Cressy,  who is Research Professor in Arts and Humanities at Claremont Graduate University, and George III Professor of British History Emeritus at The Ohio State University. He is finishing a history of Gypsies, and beginning a study of England's islands The orders, pamphlets, and petitions … Continue reading England’s Island Prisons

Rethinking the meaning of imprisonment in the 1690s

  What does it mean to be a prisoner? Most of us today would cite confinement within bars or walls as a defining characteristic. But this was not necessarily the case in the early modern period, when some prisoners enjoyed freedom of movement. Debtors in London’s Fleet and King’s Bench prisons, for example, might lodge … Continue reading Rethinking the meaning of imprisonment in the 1690s

The persistent presence of the eighteenth century female debtor

We're pleased to present the following guest post by Alex Wakelam, a doctoral student in the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure studying eighteenth-century female insolvency and the functioning of debt imprisonment. On the 11th December 1742, the young Samuel Foote arrived at London’s imposing Fleet debtors’ prison.[1] At the age of … Continue reading The persistent presence of the eighteenth century female debtor