Page images
PDF
EPUB

gallery to themselves, opposite the pulpit. There is a day-room in every court-yard, with fire-place in each, but no fuel allowed. The sleeping-cells are well ventilated, and fitted up with a wooden bedstead, straw in sacking case, and a blanket each, for every prisoner, laid on the boarded floors. Not withstanding the work-rooms and hemp-blocks, here is seldom any employment in this prison; yet the keeper told me he had at one time 64 prisoners under his care. If they can procure work, they receive half of their earnings, and the County has the other half, deducting only one penny in every shilling, which is allotted to the keeper for his trouble. Out of his salary of 1001. per annum, the keeper furnishes conveyance of all prisoners to and from the Quarter Sessions. These are held successively, at the Devizes in January, Salisbury in April, Warminster in July, and Marlborough in October. Also conveyance to the Assizes, held at Salisbury in March and July. At the Summer Assizes in 1801, the number of prisoners conveyed by him out of his salary amounted to twenty-six. He likewise, from the same, provides straw, mops, brooms, pails, and brushes, for lodging the prisoners and keeping the gaol clean; and he has no allowance for a turnkey. His expenditures in 1803 were, I understand, as follows: L. s. d. At the Lent Assize 4 8 1 6 Easter Sessions Trinity Sessions

Summer Assize,

Michaelmas Sessions

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

990

9 10

6

5 16 6 660

Christmas Sessions at Devizes, and for turnkey, straw, mops, &c. 86 0 0

75 3

6

Leaving a clear salary of only 24 16 6

L.100 0 0 The Corporation provides no bedding for debtors, nor is any fuel allowed even in winter.

Of the six court-yards, that only which is for the felons can be viewed by the keeper from his windows. The area of one of them is nearly occupied by sleeping-cells. Each court-yard has a sewer, and water. The prison is white-washed once a year. Here is a bath of stone, with a boiler for supplying water warm or cold. An oven also is provided for purifying the pri

soners' cloaths; but, according to cre keeper's account, it has never beetr used. No rules and orders. The Act for preserving Health is printed, but not hung up; but the Clauses against the use of Spirituous Liquors are. A palisaded fence was wanted before the back-door of the keeper's house. If a latticed partition and door were made in the criminals court, about six feet from the keeper's door, it would prevent prisoners from tushing out, of which, as he told me, he was sometimes afraid. As this ill-constructed building, however, is expected to be taken down, and ground is purchased to erect a new one in a better situation,

more ample description of every particular is needless.

SALISBURY County Gaol, and Bridewell. Keeper, formerly James Waight, now John Willis; salary, 1501. Fees, as per Table; besides which the Undursheriff demands 6s. 8d. for his Liberate! Garnish for debtors on the Master's side, 25. Common side, 1s.— Chaplain, late Rev. John Malham, now Rev. Mr. Harrison. Duty, Sunday, prayers and sermon; salary 507. (see Remarks.)-Surgeon, heretofore Mr. Still, now Mr. Fisher. Salary 211.

Al

The average number of prisoners in the last 6 or 7 years: debtors, 14; felons, 16; petty offenders, 6. lowance (see Remarks), formerly to debtors, none; but in 1804 the Magistrates humanely granted to the poor or common side 1lb. of bread each per day, and at Easter Sessions increased it to 13lb. It is sent in loaves to that amount from the baker's, and I found them full weight. Felons and petty offenders have a loaf daily of best wheaten bread, weight 1lb. 10 oz.

Remarks. The prison of this City, called Fisherton Anger Gaol, takes its name from the parish in which it stands, near a fine stream; and is also one of the County Bridewells. On the outer gate, towards the street, is painted, Pray remember the poor Debtors' box. Their court-yard, which is separated from that of the felons by a doubleiron palisade (placed at such a distance as to prevent their conversing with each other) is sufficiently large to admit of the debtors' playing at tennis, fives, &c. There is no day-room either for them or felons, but two might very conveniently be made where the cart-house and stables now stand.

For Master's-side debtors there are four

four rooms in the keeper's house; one of which, 17 feet square, has a fireplace in it, and four beds at 2s. 6d. per week; two sleep in a bed. If any 3 debtor has a room and bed to himself, he pays 5s. per week. Common side debtors have only one room to eat and sleep in; size, 20 feet by 16; formerly without bedding, or even straw: but in 1804 the County kindly allowed a straw-in-canvas bed, and two blankets, to every poor debtor gratis. There is a fire-place, but no firing allowed: the room was extremely dirty, not having been white-washed for many years. Over this are, two rooms (to which the ascent is by a stone stair case from the court-yard) set apart for infirmaries; they also have fire-places, but were equally dirty as the former, and filled with lumber. In the smaller one women-debtors are confined. At my last visit in 1807, I found this room clean, and a woman in it.

ters.

:

The felons' court-yard is separated from that of the debtors, on one side by a wall, and on the other by palisades, as above noticed. It is 65 feet by 34; and at the upper end of it are four small arches, for the prisoners to stand under, if it be rainy when they are let out. Their sleeping-wards are close to the river, and consist of three stories that on the ground-floor has 12 cells, of about 10 feet 6 inches by 9 feet 6, and 9 feet high to the crown of the arch. Each cell has two wooden doors, the inner one, with an irongrated aperture, of 7 inches by 4; and on the opposite side of the cell is an iron-grated window, with inside shutEach cell contains a wooden bedstead, straw-in-sacking bed, and one or two blankets. The floors are of brick, and the cells open into a narrow passage, hardly three feet wide. The next story contains 16 cells, and the upper story the same number. In the centre of each story is a sewer, with a water-pipe well supplied, to prevent its being offensive. On the two upper stories the turnkeys have their sleeping-rooms; and at the top of the whole building is an alarm-bell. The Chapel is on the debtors' side of the prison, and has a pew for the gaoler, but no gallery. The debtors are placed ou one side, the felons on the other, and the women in the middle; in sight of, and almost close to each other. Any debtor refusing to attend Chapel is locked up during divine service; and it is the custom here

to lock up every debtor in his room from two o'clock on Sunday till four, that the turnkey may go to church. Since the appointment of a new Chaplain, the sacred service has been regularly performed. Previously, however, great complaints were made of re missness in this respect; which, exclusive of other considerations, was doubly cruel, as it deprived the prisoners of wholesome air, by thus being locked up the whole day. In fact, this gaol has received little improvement since Mr. HoWARD visited it in the year 1788; and it still retains all the severities of the old school. This, however, is the less to be wondered at, as the gaol is seldom visited by the Magistrates, The old keeper (now dead) paid no attention to my remarks in the several visits I made for years together. Security from escape by main force seemed to be his chief, and indeed his only object. At my last visit, his widow said, "that during the whole time her husband kept the gaol, which, I think, was 26 years, there had not been one escape." From what I had seen this did not surprize nie; but I was never able to learn the number of deaths within its walls; nor, indeed, could I procure any book or account relative to it. There were no Rules and Orders; and it was with much difficulty that in 1802 I could make out the following useful document, which is now not legible.

"TABLE OF FEES.

For entering and discharging every action, on process, capias or latitat

Entering and discharging of every second action

Entering and discharging every capias utlegat.

[ocr errors]

L. s. d.

100

0 10

[ocr errors]

0

0 10 To the under-keeper, or turnkey, each action or writ 0 1 0 Felons' fees are abolished.” There does not appear to be any examination made either into receipts or disbursements in this gaol; the whole seems to rest with the keeper. I could obtain no account of the several monies arising from donations to the prison, since my visit in 1802, to the last. The Gaoler said they were lost, or destroyed. From the only book ex, tant, I copied as follows:

31st Dec. 1806, Balance

due to the prisoners

Collected by the

1807. turnkey's box

18 0 2/2

10 8 6

Rev.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

L.52 0 8 Of the chaplain's salary of 50l. twenty pounds per annum is paid by Lord Weymouth, as the bequest of Thomas Thynne, esq. who long since bound for the payment of it the manor of Wrobly and Ross, in the county of Hereford. The bequest was recognized by his Lordship in a deed of settlement, dated November 2, 1709. The Bishop of Salisbury sends every Christmas forty shillings worth of meat, and twenty shillings worth of bread. The Earl of Pembroke pays a legacy of 51. a year out of the manor of Swallow-Cliff in this county, part to the chaplain himself, viz. a guinea for a hat; and the remainder to be by him distributed amongst all descriptions of prisoners. The one pound fifteen shillings, being the interest of 50%. left by Mrs. Smith of Salisbury, is likewise divided amongst them. No memorial of any legacy is displayed or hung up in the gaol. Every Christmas one of the turnkeys goes through the city and adjacent parts with the box before-inentioned. The collection, when I was there in 1802, amounted to 91. 18s. 4d.; and it is regularly laid out by the keeper (as he informed me) in purchasing meat

for the felons.

I cannot close this narrative without a few remarks on the felons' gaol. Their cells are very damp, and the lobbies, or passages, only three feet wide. Young novices in vice and inveterate offenders, vagrants, and faulty servants, are alike promiscuously confined here; and when let out for airing, it is but for one hour only out of the 24. I happened to be there during that hour in the wintry month of January 1802. There was a heavy fall of snow, sleet, and rain, and it was most extremely cold; and yet, upon

opening their door, the prisoners (17 felons, and 7 for misdemeanours) rushed out into the midst of it,, eagerly gasping, as it were, for a mouthful of fresh vital air. Some of them were cruelly ironed with a sort of fetterscalled Bolts and Sheers: under the former of these the prisoner cannot move either foot four inches before the other; but the latter having a joint in the middle, he may walk, though with difficulty, but his feet both night and day are kept 13 inches asunder,... I saw here no proportion of punishment for the several offences, and, consequently, no suitable distinction of guilt. A runaway apprentice, only 13 years of age, was amongst those let out for air and exercise, and, like the rest, associated with a number of the worst description. No county clothing is yet allowed; and of course I found the prisoners miserably ragged and dirty. No bath supplied, although one might so easily be made from the adjacent river of fine water; no oven to purify infected or offensive apparel. I understand the Earl of Radnor has determined to bring the subject of clothing before the next Quarter Sessions. The debtors' lodgings are very highly charged, at 2s. 6d. per week, for two sleeping in a wretched old bed, destitute of curtains, and four beds in one room. Since the appointment of the present gaoler, the Clauses against Spirituous Liquors are stuck up, but not the Statute for preserving the Health of prisoners. It has given me great pleasure to find by the papers, that this abominable gaol is to be presented as a nuisance, and that the County intend soon to erect a new one; for whose government it is devoutly to be hoped that good Rules and Orders will be not only established, but enforced,

MARLBOROUGH, Wiltshire, County Bridewell and Town Gaol. Gaoler, William Alexander. Salary 701.-Chaplain, Rev. Mr. Tucker. Duty, prayers and sermon on Sundays. Salary, 20.-Surgeons, Messrs. Pingkenny and Morris. Salary 107.-Number of prisoners: 1801, Dec. 13th, 19; 1806, Oct. 16th, 16.-Allowance, one pound 12 ounces of best bread per day each, in loaves sent from the baker's, which I have regularly found to be of full weight.

REMARKS. This prison was first inhabited in 1787. For men here is a court-yard of 72 feet by 36, and two

day

day-rooms on the ground-floor, about 21 feet by 9, with a fire-place in each, two iron-grated windows, and two sleeping-rooms above them of the same size. One of these is used as a Chapel, and has two beds in it; the other has six beds on the floor, with straw in sacking and one blanket each. For women here is also a court-yard 29 feet square; a day-room with fire-place in it 29 feet by 15; and a room above of the same size, divided into two for their sleeping-rooms, each with straw-insacking beds and a blanket. In 1791, a new court-yard was added, and six cells were built over arcades in the area of it; each cell 10 feet by 6, and 8 feet' 9 inches high, with an iron-grated window of 30 inches by 18, and an aperture in each door 6 inches by 4; ventilated also by a circular grating in the floor, and another in the cieling of each. These cells have iron-frame bedsteads, with straw-in-sacking bed and a blanket each. A small stone trough is in one corner, to which water is laid on by a pipe and cock. Three men prisoners were in these cells at my visit in 1801, very ill of a typhus fever; and, what I could not but think improper, two were in one cell, though several of the other cells had no prisoners at the time. The arcades underneath are very convenient for prisoners in wet weather. A large tub for a bath had been usually placed there; but on my visit in 1806, was judiciously removed to a room over the women's day-room. There is a sewer in every court-yard, and the whole prison is well supplied with water, and kept very clean. The Act for preservation of Health not hung up; Clauses so defaced as to be scarcely legible. No employment provided; but when any can be procured, the prisoners who work receive one half of their earnings. JAMES NEIld.

Feb. 4.

Mr. URBAN,
N to your character for can-

.

of

afraid?" no answer will be made; the dogmatical confidence he assumes as an Antiquary, no notice will be taken; on the classification of his abuse, as it is unintelligible, no remarks will be offered. The reply will attach solely to the facts he states; and if, after this, he shall choose to continue his attacks in the same rude, capricious, and offensive style, totally foreign to the controversy, the field will be left open to him; for no opponent who has respect to decency and propriety of character will enter the lists, or meet him with the same weapons he has adopted for the combat. No Champion will appear.

[ocr errors]

I. His first stricture is pointed against the seats appropriated to the scholars. They sit with their backs to the altar." Would he have them sit with their backs to the choir and the pulpit ? In every congregation throughout the kingdom, those who sit in the Chancel, or in any seat Eastward of the Pulpit, must sit with their backs to the Altar; there is no remedy, unless they were sons of Janus. But the Altar in Protestant Churches is become a Communion table. There is no Pix upon it, no real presence, it requires no reverence but such as is suitable to the office for which it is intended; if more is required, it is superstition, and not religion. We kneel before it to receive the Sacrament, but not to it; we might as well kneel to an image of the Virgin or a crucifix, which no Protestant will submit to. There is no irreverence therefore in turning the back, but much convenience, and the usage of the whole nation, in its favour. The back to the East, West, North, or South, is indifferent.

II. The second stricture is scarcely intelligible, and requires no answer.

III. "But it is a great crime to have pulled down an old rubble wall, and to erect a house on its site." Surely residence is duty,

Idour and impartiality, it is reason- bendary who crets sachy' house is

able to conclude, that as you have admitted Mr. J. Carter's strictures on the Church of Westminster into your Supplement for 1807, you will have no objection to find room for the insertion of the following observations in reply; and in granting this indulgence you will oblige Yours, &c.

AN OLD CORRESPONDENT. In the coarseness of Mr. Carter's language, and his bravado of "who's

certainly not avaricious, a vice attributed too flippantly, and too frequently, to Churchmen. On the contrary, he promotes residence; he confers a service on his successors, and the Church. And as to the wall itself, it would have presented a ruin to the Antiquary, if it had not been repaired within these seven

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

but they unfortunately were in worse state than the rotten wall; they not only nodded to their own ruin, but must have fallen on the roof of the Chapel, and crushed it to the ground. But" they ought to have been restored;" perhaps that restoration may take place, before an Antiquary might expect it. But they ought to have been restored with their own identical stone, and that stone not employed in a different repair;" impossible. The stones had mouldered from their original proportion, though their internal substance was sound. Why not employ this substance where it could be useful? Does superstition attach to a stone? But "little care was taken in raising these stones to their new position ;" and "the Jerusalem chamber was endangered, while the Dean's green-house was protected by a platform." This charge is personally invidious to the Dean, whom the Antiquary professes to respect; but it is worse, it is a direct falsehood. For, unless there be two Jerusalem chambers, and the one in Mr. Carter's contemplation he different from that which in common acceptation bears that name, the fact is exactly the reverse: for the stones were raised to the roof of an apartment in the Deanery, and from thence to their height in the buttress; and the same double labour and expence must have accrued in repairing the second buttress, if the Dean had not resigned his garden for the use and convenience of the masons, who, in consequence of this permission, obtained a single hoist, instead of a double one. But the Dean took care to have a platform over his green-house :" certainly he did, for the expence of protecting it was not twenty shillings, and the expence of rebuilding it might have been forty pounds. Why is the Antiquary so scrupulous in preserving a rotten wall, and so anxious to destroy a green-house? The reason is plain it was built by a Dean, it is not an antiquity, it was but five years old, down with it! Had it been built by an abbot, an Islip, or a Litlington, "O the relick, Heaven!" had spare been the cry.

[ocr errors]

V. "The tracery of the windows in the North Cloister are to be destroyed." Perhaps they are; a trial has been made in the South Cloister; and if it had been completed on that side, it would have added much to the security of the Church at night, and upon all public occasions. The present tracery is not

uniform, it can never again be supplied with glass (the licence of mischief forbids it); it is ruinous, defaced, and framed of mouldering materials; the arches from which it has been removed look better, give better light and air, and carry off the damps sooner; and as to beauty, if the suffrages were taken of Antiquaries on one side, and Architects on the other, the voices would probably be equal.

VI. A graver accusation follows, for destroying a pun or rebus of Eye slip, indicatory of the Abbot Islip, and removing the two monuments raised by Flaxman and Bacon. On this head it is probable that if all the suffrages of all mankind were taken, Mr. Carter would stand alone. Two monuments in the intercolumniations projecting beyond the pillars, breaking the perspective, and totally incongruous to the range, wanted some reformation. "But why were they placed there?"—by Vote of the House of Commons; and perhaps the House of Coinmons never voted a sum of inoney with greater plea. sure than the additional sum for re moving them. "Still it is to be lamented that the removal caused the demolition of an Eye Slip." Good Mr. Carter, puns and rebuses are sanctioned by Antiquity. And if the pious Abbot had no better memorial, it might perish without repining, as well as the gross, grotesque, or obscene decorations, with which he decked Henry the Seventh's Chapel, and which are found in almost every antient religious edifice in the kingdom. Univer sality, antiquity, or usage, can afford no justification for Folly and Indecency; and how they escaped the fury of the Dissolution and the ravages of the Pu ritans is amazing, when so many things, more innocent, were demolished. If these had gone, and the illuminated splendour of the windows been spared, there would have been no loss.

[ocr errors]

not

VII. Mr. Carter's complaint against the removal of the Font is the only just one that has been found in his paper; doubtless it will be attended to, and remedied. We are now come to the conclusion of his specific charges; but we have still an account to settle with him relative to the repair of Henry the Seventh's Chapel. He says, "It is impossible to give way to the idea that the intended repair or restoration could be, or would be, genuine." Why so? why condemn it before it commences? An Antiquary may be allowed to look

back,

« PreviousContinue »