A Plan of Newgate Prison in Dublin, 1819

engraved plan of Newgate Prison, Dublin, with accompanying table
May 6, 2022

A new acquisition from Maggs: George Warner, “Paper Relating to the Prisons in Dublin” (London: Luke Hansard, 1819), with an engraved plan of Newgate Prison.

In 1819, the Dublin Alderman, George Warner, wrote this detailed survey of prison conditions in Dublin in order to criticize the proposal for a new jail.  Rather than build a new prison, Warner recommended that the sessions court meet instead on a weekly rather than fortnightly basis: “as our law presumes every one innocent until proved to be guilty of some offense, it appears to be a very desirable object that all persons should be kept as short a time in confinement before trial as the necessary forms of justice will allow.”

The work includes a detailed engraving of Newgate Prison, detailing the venereal hospital; cells, hospitals, kitchens, and yards for women, men, and felons; “dark cells”; and other aspects.  

Warner describes a state of crisis in Dublin prisons, following the terrible famine and typhus epidemic of 1817-1819, and the “general distress which has pervaded the whole country.”  This edition of the paper was printed in London, “Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed, 30 March 1819.”

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