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Presteigne
Crime and punishment
 
  A "turnkey" for Presteigne county jail
Glossary
 

The entry shown Photo of old keys here from the Radnorshire official records tells of a request to employ a "turnkey" for the county jail at Presteigne in 1848.
"Turnkey" is a wonderful old word for a jailer, who used to turn the key in the cell door to lock in the prisoners.
This was similar to the prison officer of today, though nowadays they get paid a bit more than eleven shillings [55 pence] a week !

Expedient - 'not expedient' means not suitable, or not to any advantage.
 
 
Order Book
entry

1848
Quarter sessions entry
 

This entry from the Order Book of 1848 reads:
"That the visiting Magistrates be empowered to engage a Turnkey in the Gaol until the next Quarter Sessions of the Peace for this County [Radnorshire] if they shall deem it expedient at a Salary not exceeding Eleven shillings per week. It is required that the Turnkey be able to read and write."

The need for the Turnkey to be able to read and write in order to get the job would have ruled out a lot of people at this date.

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