Prison Ship Records 1811 – 1843 now online
FindMyPast.co.uk has added to their collection 8,900 records of prisoners who were held on hulks or prison ships. Those with ancestors unfortunate enough to be imprisoned on these hulks will find these records will add to their family history considerably.
Hulk is the term used for ships that were used by the British government to house prisoners, often those who were awaiting transportation to the penal colonies as part of their sentence. As can be imagined the mortality rate for those held on these ships was high, disease was rife as was violence between the guards and the prisoners and between the prisoners themselves.
The time period covered by these records is 1811 – 1843, a time when there was much unrest in England because of the invention of agricultural machinery which meant that many farm workers were unemployed. This transcript collection has been provided to FindMyPast by Barbara Chambers who is sister to Jill Chambers the acknowledged expert on the Swing Riots. A link to Jill’s website is in the links below.
The records are for the following hulks; Bellerophon, Euryalus, Hardy and Antelope, there are also a few records from Parkhurst Prison.
Wikipedia has a good article about prison hulks which you may find useful if you haven’t come across the term before. They also have an article in which there is a list of British prison ships which could be very useful if you have ancestors who worked on these ships as well as if you have ancestors who were the poor souls imprisoned on them. Links to these websites is below.
Below is an example of an entry for John Taylor.
|Recieved From||Justitia Hulk Woolwich 19 February 1823|
|Where And When Convicted||Durham 27 February 1822|
|How & When Disposed Of|
|Married Or Single|
|Read Or Write|
|Character From Gaoler||A notorious bad character|