Here we offer you the opportunity to explore three receiving books for Usk Gaol 1871 – 1876:
Entries were made volumes 1 and 2 shortly before prisoners finished serving their sentences. The entries in volume 3 appear to have been made on entry to gaol.
Within the pages we find the personal details of the prisoners along with the offences committed and the punishments received. Most entries in volumes 1 and 2 include a photograph, unfortunately in volume 3 this is the case for only a small proportion.
The prisoners were photographed sitting in a chair with their prison numbers around their necks. These photos are of huge interest to us as they probably are the only images remaining – or even ever made - of these mainly poor folk.
On viewing these pictures you may well find yourself wondering about the chain of events that lead up to the offences being committed and how any dependents managed while the sentences were being served. Sentences were certainly hard for what appear today as minor offences.
Our database covers all the entries for prisoners from the Newport area (435 men, women and children). We have not included all the details recorded for each prisoner - in particular we have omitted the information recorded under the heading "Any other distinguishing mark." In many cases this is very detailed and would be of particular interest to anyone researching their family history. (See link, left, to view blank record pages.)
We are most grateful for the help given by the staff of Gwent Archives and for their permission for these records to be displayed here. Please remember the photographs and our means of displaying them and the associated information are subject to copyright.
Our search facility enables the visitor to dig deep into the records. Of course a surname or full name can be typed into the box. This will hopefully lead to one or more results being displayed. By clicking on a photo the researcher is taken to a page displaying a larger picture and the text in a form more easy on the eye. The search results can then be browsed by clicking the ‘next’ and ‘previous’ links.
By entering a space in the search box all records will be displayed and these can be browsed as described above.
Search terms can also include:
Addresses: e.g. Castle Street or Maindee or Caerleon
Birthplaces: eg Devon or Goldcliff or Ireland or Newport
Occupations: e.g. butcher or nobbler or tailor or seaman or labourer
Offences (words connected with): e.g. biscuits or boots or trowsers or rope or coal or stealing from the person or wounding