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Treasure House

Convict life, penal servitude and prison licensing in Victorian England

A public talk at the Treasure House in Beverley on Tuesday 13 February will offer a new perspective on the lives of those caught up in the convict system in the 19th century.

The talk by Dr Helen Johnston will discuss the rise of long-term imprisonment in England, in the aftermath of the end of transportation to Australia, through the establishment of the convict prison system during the mid-1850’s.

It will illuminate both the operation of the system and the experiences of those who endured a sentence of penal servitude and release on licence - origins of the current parole system.

The talk will draw on extensive research which has reconstructed the lives of 650 convict prisoners from cradle to grave.

“Our criminal ancestors were often just ordinary people, and it’s their stories from the past that can change who we think we are in the present,” said Dr Johnston.  “Not only that, they can change the way we think about the history of our streets, our city and our region.”

Dr Helen Johnston is a Reader in Criminology at the University of Hull and has published extensively on the history of prisons and punishment.

The talk will take place at the Treasure House on Tuesday 13 February, from 6.30 to 7.45pm.  Tickets cost £5 and places must be booked in advance.

To book a place please ring (01482) 392699 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm) or visit www.eastriding.gov.uk/events and click onto view libraries, museums and archives events on the Bridlington Spa website.  Tickets are also available from the archives reception at the Treasure House.

 

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