Middlesex Sessions:
Sessions Papers - Justices' Working Documents

September 1781

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Currently Held: London Metropolitan Archives

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To His Majesty's Justices assigned to deliver the goal of Newgate
of the Prisoners therein being at their General Session of goal
Delivery of Newgate for the County of Middlesex at Justice Hall in
the Old Bailey in the Jabarbs of the City of London

The Representation of His Majesty's
Justices assigned to keep the peace in the County
of Middlesex and also to hear and determine
divers Felonies Trespasses and other Misdeme-
anours committed in the same County in
General Session assembled


That since the late Dreadful Riots and Destruction of the
goal of Newgate , New Prison at Clerkenwell hath been made use of as
the County goal for Middlesex . New Prison originally was designed
only for the Imprisonment of offenders and Malefactors other than
for Capital crimes of Treason, and Felony; and is a Brick building
not calculated for the Reception and safe keeping of so great a number
of Persons as have lately been sent to the said Prison: That since the late
Riots not only all Prisoners of such description as well usually before that
time committed to Newgate for Trial, but also the greater part of those
who have been tried at the Old Bailey Session of Goal Delivery and received the Judgment
of the Law for Capital and other offences, an lodged thereby the Sheriffs, or
their Officers, for Security. That many of those confined in the said Prison, particularly
theseof this last description having received Judgment of Death, but being
Reprieved or having experienced some other mark of his Majesty's. Royal
Clemency, have become most licensious and dissolute, are unduly and
Riotous to a very daring degree, continually committing the most outrageous
acts, endeavouring to effect their Escape, and encouraging others to join with
them in their desperate designs; it being impossible from the construction
of the Prison to keep them separate From their numbers at all times they
are with difficulty controled;and arefrequency not to be governed without
the most coercive exertions,and in their Endeavour's to escapethey are
not to be detered but by the use of Fire Arms In such an attempt lately
made to offence [..] for deal Escape notwithstandingThree Prisoners ever unfortunately Killed and Three more
Notices Sandswounded in preventing a General Escape intended tho [..] the Keeper of the
Prison, who had received Information of their intentions, [..] expostulated
with them, in treated them to remain quiet, and warned them of their
Dunger and the means he must use if they persisted in their designs
three Prisoners of unfortunately Killed and there more

Such being the stake of the Prison, His Majesty's Justices
of the peace for the County of Middlesex think if their duty
to submit to the Consideration of the Justices of Goal delivery,
whether it is not expedient that some other place of
Confinement of Capital felons should be provided apprenhending
the most dreadful consequences may ensue as well from sickness
in the Goal by reason of the great Numbers confined therein as from
the determined Resolution which seems to prevail among thesaid
Prisoners of attempting a General Escape.

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