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Presteigne
Crime and punishment
 
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Debtors in Victorian prisons
Glossary
 

The reference to the treatment of debtors in prison shown on the last page goes on to say what they are to be given to eat and drink, with a separate list for men and women.
This is a reminder that women could end up in prison for owing small Prisoners eatingsums of money, as well as men.

As this was meant to be a special diet for these prisoners it gives you some idea of how horrible the food must have been for all the other people in jail at this time !

Pint - 0.568 litre
Oz.- short for ounces. One ounce is about 28 grams.
Gruel - liquid meal of oatmeal boiled in water or milk.
 
 
Quarter
Sessions
document

1847
Quarter Sessions entry
 

This entry sets out the menu for debtors:
"Breakfast, Males - 1 Pint of Oatmeal Gruel, 8oz of Bread
Females - 1 Pint of Oatmeal Gruel, 6oz of Bread.
Dinner on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for Males - 1 pint of Soup, 8oz of Bread, and for Females - 1 pint of Soup, 6oz of Bread.
Dinner on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for Males - 3oz of cooked Meat without bone, half a pound of potatoes, 8oz of Bread. For Females - 3oz of cooked Meat without bone, half a pound of potatoes, 6oz of Bread. Supper same as Breakfast every day".
The new prison rules from 1847 also banned these prisoners from getting hold of any tobacco, wine, beer or spirits unless it was under doctor's orders !

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