Find your ancestors in Home Office and Prison Commission: female licences

In association with The National Archives, Findmypast is excited to release an extensive collection of records from criminal cases, gaols, hulks, prisons, and criminal calendars. England & Wales, crime, prisons & punishment, 1770-1935 is the largest single collection of British crime records online. Explore the world of courts and prisons, and discover if your ancestor committed a criminal offence and what your ancestor’s sentence was. There are over 20 series available in this collection. The series can be found on the transcript.

Series PCOM4, Home Office and Prison Commission: female licences, consists of 4,435 licenses for female convicts allowed to be released on parole. Each file is rich in detail about the prisoner, her conviction and sentencing, as well as her behaviour in prison. For example, in Julia Hyland’s file we find that she committed numerous infractions while in prison: abusing another prisoner, singing and shouting in the halls, throwing her slops over the floor, attempting to strangle herself, and attacking a medical officer.

Records after 1871 will include a photograph of your ancestor. You will also find details of previous convictions, medical history sheets, and notes of letters written to or by the prisoner.