Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bodmin Prison Registers


County Records holds 24 volumes of the Bodmin prison registers, covering 1821 to 1916.  These volumes are rather large and very heavy.  They are in handsome covers, closed with brass clips.  The pages are in good condition and the handwriting is very neat, if sometimes rather small.  There are 10 records on each page and they contain minute detail about the prisoners including a detailed description of their physical appearance.  Other detail, that is often included, is a list of all the letters sent by the prisoner and details of the recipients.

To photograph them, I use an iPad.  The back camera is good and easy to use.  It doesn't make any noise and hasn't got a flash.  CRO doesn't allow noise or flashes!  You often hear muttered curses from camera users as their flash goes off.  When I started this project, I usually took 4 overlapping pictures to cover a complete page.  However, I now get by with two plus close ups for particularly dense patches of writing.

John Heath has been appointed supremo for transcribing the prison records and has 4 transcribers.  The main problem with transcribing them is the large amount of detail to be recorded.  I expect that most people are aware there is a commercial transcription available, but this is a limited transcript, and as usual, we are going for the full version.  And its free.  Each record is separate, so it is not possible for a researcher to browse the records.  

The registers include 3 for the Bridewell and 2 for debtors.  I have 13 left to do.

Left hand side:

Right hand side:

Please click on the image to enlarge.


Jim Ballantyne said...

If it is possible to obtain a copy of a record from Boden Goal I am looking for George Lovering admitted June 1841 and released Jan 1842. Any help would be appreciated.

J Lovering said...

davebristol7 said...

Hi,the link given doesent give a great deal of information,it would be nice to see actual real page.
Im trying to find Susan Over and her Daughter who were in Bodmin Goal,but cant find much info on them,Dave