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Source Information

Ancestry.com. UK, Licences of Parole for Female Convicts, 1853-1871, 1883-1887 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.
Original data: Home Office and Prison Commission: Female Licences. PCOM4. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives (TNA).

Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England. The National Archives gives no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided. Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to the National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU.

About UK, Licences of Parole for Female Convicts, 1853-1871, 1883-1887

About UK, Licences of Parole for Female Convicts, 1853-1887

In 1850, Margaret Bannaghan was convicted of robbery in Edinburgh, Scotland, and sentenced to "be transported beyond the Seas for the term of Ten Years." In 1854, after four years in prison, Margaret was essentially paroled when she was granted a "License to be at large in the United Kingdom" during the remainder of her sentence.

This database contains documentation surrounding the licences to be at large given to Margaret and some 4,400 other female prisoners between 1853 and 1887. The documents include the revocation of some of these licences as well. (Note that licences with numbers 3900 to 6624 are missing in the original collection.)

Using the Records

The records can be searched by:

  • Year of the licence
  • Name
  • Estimated birth year
  • Court and year of conviction

The database includes images of the records themselves, which make up a file on the convict. Their contents varies but can include next of kin, religion, literacy, physical description, a medical history, marital status, number of children, age, occupation, crime, sentence, dates and places of confinement, reports on behavior while in prison, letters or notes from the convict, and (from 1871 forward) a photograph.

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