Find your ancestors in Home Office and Prison Commission: prisons records(PCOM2)

Series PCOM 2

Example of record from PCOM 2

There are 430,021 records covering records held by the Prison Commission and the Home Office concerning prisons and prisoners.

These are a very diverse set of records with records covering prisons all over England and Wales as well as Gibraltar prison and some prison hulks. There are registers of prisoners and habitual criminals including several photograph albums. Calendars of prisoners to be tried at assizes and quarter sessions contain records going back to 1774. Prison records include a wide range of records which can include minute books, visitors’ books, order books, journals of governors, chaplains and surgeons, a the records for groups of prisoners on work parties. There are extensive records for Pentonville, Chatham, Portsmouth, Millbank and Wormwood Scrubs prisons among others. There are also army prisoners held in the Savoy prison in Middlesex.

These records can give an incredibly detailed look at your ancestor’s life in prison going far beyond the details of their conviction and prisoner number and since there are several books of photographs of prisoners here you may even be able to view a photograph of them.