Oldham Historical Research Group

William Rowbottom's Diary as published in the Oldham Standard


Manchester, Salford and their Environs. (Shows the New Bailey Prison)

"For many years the house of correction at Hunt's Bank, now occupied partly as the Castle Inn, had served for a common gaol, as well for the town of Manchester as for the hundred of Salford; but in the year 1782, an act of parliament was obtained for the erection of the New Bailey prison, on the right bank of the Irwell; and on the 22d of May, 1787, the foundations of this gaol were laid by Thomas Butterworth Bayley, esq., the chairman of the quarter sessions, the foundation-stone bearing this inscription —

'On the 22d May, 1787, and in the 27th year of George III. King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, this Gaol and Penitentiary House, (at the expense of the hundred of Salford, in the County Palatine of Lancaster,) was begun to be erected, and the first stone laid by Thomas Butterworth Bayley ; and that there may remain to posterity a Monument of the affection and gratitude of this County to that most excellent person, who hath so fully proved the wisdom and humanity of separate and solitary confinement of Offenders, this prison is inscribed with the name of John Howard.'

In three years the building was completed; and in April, 1790, it was opened for the reception of prisoners. The New Bailey prison is conducted on the penitentiary Bailey system; the prisoners are classed according to their sex, age, and delinquencies; and, instead of being allowed to congregate in idle groups during the day, recounting their criminal exploits, and hardening each other in vice, they are employed under task-masters, according to their several abilities, in the mechanical arts, as shoemakers, tailors, &c. or in the different branches of the cotton business."

From: 'History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster, Vol 2' by Edward Baines, Exq. M.P. pub. 1836


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Gallery pages sourced & created by Sheila Goodyear.
William Rowbottom's Diary as published in the Oldham Standard - Transcribed by Mary Pendlbury & Elaine Sykes
Courtesy of Oldham Local Studies & Archives - Not to be reproduced without permission of Oldham Local Studies & Archives

Header photograph © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for re-use under the C.C. Licence.'Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0'

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