Newgate prison

views updated Jun 08 2018

Newgate prison was founded during the reign of Henry I in the west gatehouse of the city of London. It was extensively modified in 1423 following a bequest from the mayor of London, Richard Whittington. Warders were corrupt, as their offices could be bought and sold: drinking, gambling, and prostitution were commonplace in a harsh and squalid environment. It housed mainly serious criminals and from 1783 replaced Tyburn as the place for public executions. The prison was destroyed and rebuilt twice, once following the Great Fire of London in 1666 and again after the Gordon riots of 1780. Newgate, the most famous and forbidding prison in the land, finally closed in 1902.

Richard A. Smith


views updated May 29 2018

Newgate a former London prison, originally the gatehouse of the main west gate to the city, first used as a prison in the early Middle Ages. whose unsanitary conditions became notorious in the 18th century before the building was burnt down in the Gordon Riots of 1780. A new edifice was erected on the same spot but was demolished in 1902 to make way for the Central Criminal Court.
Newgate Calendar a publication issued from c.1774 until the mid 19th century that dealt with notorious crimes as committed by those who were prisoners in Newgate.

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