Franklin: Record - Female Description Book, 1851-1859.

Franklin: Penn Libraries Catalog

Main Content

Female Description Book, 1851-1859.

Author/Creator:
New Bailey Prison, Salford (Greater Manchester, England).
Publication:
1851-1859.
Format/Description:
Manuscript
2 volumes.
Subjects:
Women prisoners -- England -- Registers -- 19th century.
Prisons -- England -- 19th century.
Form/Genre:
Registers (lists)
Manuscripts, English -- 19th century.
Biography/History:
New Bailey Prison was built in Salford, Greater Manchester, England in 1787, utilizing an octagonal design with four radiating arms. Several additions and extensions were made to the prison in 1816 and later. The old main four-armed prison was used chiefly for women beginning in 1844. New Bailey Prison closed in 1868, two years after Strangeways Prison in Manchester was built.
Summary:
This large two-volume register with the running title "Female Description" is most likely from New Bailey Prison, Salford (Pickering & Chatto). The two volumes hold biographical data and physical details of over 6,000 women spanning an eight-year period: volume 1 dates from 14 January 1851 to 9 November 1854, and volume 2 dates from 9 November 1854 to 22 January 1859. Each two-page spread contains handwritten information on twenty women and is divided into twenty columns, some of which are subdivided. The column headings are: Date; Name; Registers (Felony, Misd. for Trial, Summary, Debtors); Age; Height; Complexion; Hair; Eyes; Trade or Profession; Where born; Last or usual residence; Religious persuasion; Education; State of life (Single, Married, Widow, No. of Children); Country (English, Irish, Scotch, Foreigner, English father Irish); Marks upon person and remarks; If any other prison since last committed here; No. of previous committals; References; Progressive no. Almost all the women are noted as having a "fresh" or "sallow" complexion and were chiefly laborers, such as weavers, servants, knitters, or houseworkers.
Local notes:
Acquired for the Penn Libraries with assistance from the Martin and Margy Meyerson Endowment Fund for Special Collections.
Provenance:
Sold by Bonhams (London, England), 23 November 2010, Lot 205.
Sold by Pickering & Chatto Antiquarian Booksellers (London, England), List 223 (2011), no. 121.
Web link:
The Martin and Margy Meyerson Endowment Fund for Special Collections Home Page
The Martin and Margy Meyerson Endowment Fund for Special Collections Home Page  Bookplate