Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Newgate Prisoners and a New Start #virginiapioneersnet #vagenealogy

Newgate Prisoners  and a New Start

The Famous Newgate Prison was demolished in 1904.  Originally located at the site of Newgate, a gate in the Roman London Wall, the prison was rebuilt during the 12th century and stood at the corner of Newgate Street and Old Bailey just inside the City of London. Remnant of cells are said to lie in the basement of a rate Victorian Gin Palace. The tavern was built as a drinking den for labourers working on the nearby viaduct bridge. It played a major role in the colonization of the colonies as certain prisoners were sent to the colonies instead of incarcerated in the crowded cells.  Indeed, London found its solution of ridding itself of undesirables.  So what happened to the prisoners once they arrived in Virginia?  Pardoned felons served from fourteen years to life on the American plantations.  Meanwhile,  others who could not afford to pay passage to America, indentured themselves into service for periods of seven years onward. At the end of service, they were given 50 acres of land.  

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