1789: 29 George 3 c.67: Enforcing laws concerning gaols.

1789: 29 George 3 c.67: An Act for the more effectual Execution of the Laws respecting Gaols.


FOR the more effectual Execution of the Laws now in being for the well ordering of Gaols, and securing the Health of Prisoners, may it please your Majesty, that it may be enacted; and be enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same,

[At the Quarter Session next after this Session of Parliament, and at the Michaelmas Session annually, a Certificate in the Form annexed, to be delivered by every Gaoler to the Chairman, read in open Court, and entered upon Record.]

That at the General Quarter Session of the Peace throughout England and Wales, to be next holden after the End of this Session of Parliament, and at the first Session of the Peace to be holden after Michaelmas in every succeeding Year, the Gaoler or other Officer having the Care or Superintendance of any Gaol within the Jurisdiction of the Court holding such Session, shall, and he is hereby required to deliver, or cause to be delivered to the Chairman or other Magistrate presiding in such Court, a Certificate according to the Form hereunto annexed, subscribed by himself and verified by him, to the best of his Knowledge and Belief, on his Oath, to be taken either before such Court, or in case of Sickness, or Inability from any other Cause to attend, then before some Justice of the Peace for the County, Town, or District in which such Gaol shall be situated, and that such Certificate shall express, after each of the Provisions therein enumerated, whether such Provision is or not complied with or observed within such Gaol; and such Certificate shall be read publickly in open Court in the Presence of the Grand Jury, and entered upon Record as Part of the Minutes of the said Session.

[The Court to take the Certificate into Consideration, &c.]

II. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Court of Quarter Session shall thereupon take the said Certificate into their Consideration, and summon any Person or Persons named therein to appear before them, and shall give such Directions, and make such Orders relative to any of the Matters contained in such Certificate, as to such Justices shall seem meet, and shall and may take Security from any Person or Persons whom the same may concern for his or their due Compliance therewith.

[Penalty on Gaolers neglecting to deliver Certificates.]

III. And be it further enacted, That if any Gaoler or other Officer, having the Care or Superintendance of any Gaol, being a County Gaol, shall neglect or deliver, or cause to be delivered, such Certificate as aforesaid, he shall forfeit for every such Offence the Sum of fifty Pounds, and, not being a County Gaol, the Sum of twenty Pounds, to be recovered by any Person who shall sue for the same in any of his Majesty’s Courts of Record at Westminster, or Court of Great Session in Wales, or the County Palatine of Chester, if the Offence shall arise there, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, wherein no Essoin, Protection, Wager of Law, or more than one Imparlance, shall be granted or allowed.

CERTIFICATE referred to in the Body of this Act.

to wit,

AT the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, for the ________ holden at ________ this ________ Day of ________ in the Year of our Lord ________ the Certificate of ________ in pursuance of the Statute in this Case made and provided, respecting the Gaol of ________.

22 & 23 C. 2. c. 20. enacts, That

Felons and Debtors shall be kept separate, under Penalties upon the Sheriff or Gaoler.

24 G. 2. c. 40. enacts, That

1. No Gaoler shall sell, lend, use, give away, or suffer Spirituous Liquors within any Gaol, under a Penalty.

2. Copy of the Clause last mentioned, as also of two other Clauses respecting the same, shall be hung up in the Gaol, under a Penalty.

32 G. 2. c. 28. enacts, That

The Clerk of the Peace shall cause a List of the Fees payable by Debtors, and the Rules and Orders for the Government of Gaols and Prisons, to be hung up in the Court where the Assizes or Sessions shall be held, and send another Copy to the Gaol; and the Gaoler shall cause the same to be hung up in a conspicuous Place in the said Gaol.

13 G. 3. c. 58. enacts, That

Clergymen may be provided to officiate in Gaols.

24 G. 3. c. 20. enacts, That

Persons acquitted, or discharged upon Proclamation for want of Prosecution, shall be discharged immediately, in open Court, and without Fee.

14 G. 3. c. 59. enacts, That

1. The Walls and Ceilings of Cells in Gaols shall be scraped and white-washed once in the Year at least.

2. That the Cells shall be kept clean; and

3. That they shall be supplied with fresh Air, by Ventilators or Otherwise.

4. That there shall be two Rooms set apart for the Sick.

5. That a warm and cold Bath, or bathing Tubs, shall be provided.

6. That this Act shall be hung up in the Gaol.

7. That a Surgeon or Apothecary shall be appointed, with a Salary.

Source: Ruffhead, Statutes at Large, volume 15.