After sentence, some convicts spent time on a prison hulk awaiting transportation. A prison hulk was a decommissioned ship used for housing prisoners, moored in the Thames, Plymouth Harbour or other ports.
Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849 include lists of prisoners on the hulks. You can search for a name and view the digitised records on Ancestry.com, avalaible in eResources.
Information about each prisoner may include:
- Date received
- Birth year
- Date convicted
- Where convicted
These registers are also available as Criminal: Convict prisons, miscellaneous registers [HO 9] 1802- 1849 in the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) held on microfilm in this Library.
Lists of prisoners on hulks are also available in the records of the UK Prison Commision at Prison books [P Com 2] 1779-1871 in the AJCP. The records are indexed by name in Prison Commission Registers: Index to reels 5971-5991.
Information in the Prison Books includes:
- Name, age, marital status, number of children,
- ability to read and/or write and trade or profession,
- when received and from which prison,
- place and date of conviction,
- description of crime and previous convictions,
- special remarks and accounts of visits
- references to Misconduct Book and Governor's Journal
- when removed and to where.
Accounts of visits can sometimes include names, adresses and ages of family members.
You can view the index and microfilms of the AJCP in the Newspapers and Microforms Reading Room of this Library.