Something a little off beat

Discussion in 'Water Cooler' started by jjefferies, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Nothing to do with fencing, at all. But ran across this ad from Lane's Armoury and thought it, uh..., an interesting read of a little known bit of history. Do recommend signing up for the Lanes mailer: [email protected]
    if history intrigues you.
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    Pair of King George IIIrd Tower of London Type Prisoner's Leg Manacles
    Used for prisoners of war in the Napoleonic Wars era, prisoners to be transported to the colonies, or sent to gaols such as Newgate, castle dungeons in the Tower of London. Also used in the slave trade, until it's banning in the 19th century. An intriguing piece from the days of manacled restraint and torture. In iron, with screw bolt locks and link chain. Used for the restraint of prisoners in dungeons, gaols, such as Newgate Prison, or on prison galleys for deportation. One of the first prison reformers of the time, who tried to improve gaol conditions, was John Howard. John Howard was born in Hackney, in east London in 1726, the son of a partner in an upholstery business. On his father's death in 1742, he inherited considerable wealth and settled on an estate in Bedfordshire.

    In 1773, he was appointed high sheriff of Bedfordshire and supervision of the county jail became of one his responsibilities. He was shocked by the conditions he found there and visited others in England, where the situation was no better. Jailers were not salaried but lived off fees paid by prisoners for food, bedding and other facilities. This system meant that poorer prisoners lived in terrible conditions. Many jailers demanded payment before prisoners were released, meaning that some stayed in jail even if they were innocent or had served their sentences.

    Howard's concerns led to two 1774 parliamentary acts - one abolished jailers' fees, the other enforced improvements in the system leading to better prisoner health. Howard, however, felt that the acts were not strictly obeyed. In 1775, he embarked on a tour of prisons in Europe visiting Scotland, Ireland, France, Holland, Flanders, some German states and Switzerland. He travelled on a similar route two years later, and in 1781 added Denmark, Sweden and Russia to the list. He visited Spain and Portugal in 1782. At a time when travel was uncomfortable and frequently dangerous, he travelled nearly 50,000 miles, making seven major journeys between 1775 and 1790, the first two of which are described in his book 'The State of Prisons in England and Wales… and an Account of Some Foreign Prisons'.

    Code: 21238 Price: 695.00 GBP
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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