Autumn at Lincoln Prison in 1848


Lincoln Castle has a wealth of historical records in its archives, including many journals written by the Prison Governor, the Prison Chaplain , and the Surgeon.

Ralph Hewitt, the Surgeon at Lincoln Prison during Victorian times, had the authority to prescribe both medicine and extra food. His journal entry for November 16th 1848 tells of the privations of the prisoners during the autumn months.

Some of the Convicts complain loudly of the thinness and want of warmth of their clothing. Some parts of the male prison are very irregular and deficient in temperature especially the two western day rooms.”

However his journal entry earlier that week, on November 10th 1848, reveals some comfort for the inmates.

“William Poole and John Thompson have complained of the Cocoa not being good – I have examined it and tasted it and find it very good.”