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‘WANTON WENCHES’ AND ‘INCORRIGIBLE ROGUES’ CHAPTER 3: The Bristol First Fleeters

The majority were young men all convicted by the Bristol courts for (usually) petty thefts committed in the city. Most had waited years in Newgate gaol, and suffered further imprisonment and hard labour in...
Newgate Gaol, Bristol: ‘White above and foul below’, John Howard, prison reformer

‘Wanton Wenches & Incorrigible Rogues’ Chapter 2: The inmates of Bristol’s Newgate Prison, 1783-1787

In 1761, John Wesley who was interested in prison reform noted that Bristol’s Newgate Gaol was lately wearing ‘a new face’ and had changed for the better from ‘the filth, the stench, the misery...

‘Wanton Wenches’ and ‘Incorrigible Rogues’ Chapter 1: Two Mutinies: a Horrid set of Miscreants

Peace with the infant republic of America was declared in August 1783. With the small detail that Britain had lost the war apparently discounted, it appears that the arrogant assumption was made that everything...

‘Wanton Wenches & Incorrigible Rogues’ Bristol Men and Women Transported

In 1988 Australia celebrated the bi-centenary of the arrival of the First Fleet to Botany Bay. I cannot claim an exact relationship with the late David Pillinger of Tasmania, and his direct descendant, a...

An Innocent Casualty of the Bristol Riots

The Bristol Mercury of 13 June 1846 tells of a recent event in Gloucester when on Tuesday night at nearly midnight, a girl of abandoned character nicknamed ‘Welsh Nan’ with her hair dishevelled, her...

Mary Kennedy – Adventures on the First Fleet and Beyond

Mary Kennedy of Baptists Mills in Bristol is one of an elite group of people who made landfall at Sydney Cove in January 1788. They numbered approximately 1,373 persons, consisting of convicts, male and...

The Bristol Magdalens

Mary Magdalen (Maudlin) is traditionally, though unproven, the New Testament’s “fallen woman”, who Jesus saved through her repentance, but it was probably by accident rather than design that Bristol’s Female Penitentiary was situated at...