GAOL is the Property of the Bishop. By Patent from his Lordship, Sir
Hedworth Williamson Bart, is perpetual Sheriff.- The Court-yard
for Master's-side Debtors is only twenty four feet by ten.
Common-side Debtors have none at all: their free wards, the Low
Gaol, are two damp unhealthy rooms by the Gateway: they are never
suffered to go out of these, unless to Chapel, which is the Master-side
Debtors Hall: and not always to that: for on a Sunday I was there and
missed them at Chapel, they told me that they were not permitted to
go thither. No sewers: at more than one of my visits, I learned that
the dirt, ashes &c, had lain there many months. There is an excellent
double-barreled Pump, which raised water about seventy feet.
have no Court-yard: but they have a Day-room and two small rooms for
an Infirmary. The Men are put at night into Dungeons: one seven feet
square for three Prisoners: another, the Great Hole, has only
a little window. In this I saw six Prisoners, most of them Transports,
chained to the floor. In that situation they had been many weeks; and
were very sickly. Their straw on the stone-floor was almost work to
dust. Long confinement, and not having the King's allowance of 2s 6d
a week, had urged them to an Escape: after which the Gaoler
chained them as above. There is another dungeon middle-sized; and for
Women-felons a separate room or two.
Debtors, whom I saw eating boiled bread and water, told me, that this
was the only nourishment some had lived on for near a twelvemonth. They
have from a Legacy two shillings a week in winter, and one shilling
and six pence a week in summer for coals. No memorandum of it in the
Gaol: perhaps this may time be lost; as the Gaoler said two others were,
viz. one of Bishop Crewe, and another of Bishop Wood;
from which Prisoners had received no benefit for some years past. The
clauses of Act against Spirituous Liquors are hung up. Gaol-Delivery
once a year.
a vacant piece of ground adjacent, of little use but for the Gaoler's
occasional lumber. It extends to the river, and measures about twenty
two yaerds by sixteen. I once and again advised the inclosing this for
a Court-yard: but when I was there in January 1776 I had the mortification
to hear that the Surgeon, who is Uncle to the Gaoler, had obtained from
the Bishop in October preceding a Lease of it for twenty one years at
the rent of one shilling per annum. he had a built a little
stable on it.