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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Dorset, England, Dorchester Prison Admission and Discharge Registers, 1782-1901 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data: Dorchester Prison. NG/PR 1. Dorchester, Dorset, United Kingdom: Dorset History Centre.

About Dorset, England, Dorchester Prison Admission and Discharge Registers, 1782-1901

This database contains prison registers from Dorchester Prison for the years 1782 through 1901.

What’s in the Records

This database contains a number of different records documenting prisoners in Dorchester Prison, including prisoner registers, description of prisoners books, and one volume with photographs of some of the prisoners between 1887 and 1901. Most of the records deal with prisoners held at the prison that currently stands on North Square, which was completed in 1795. Prior to this, the prison had been located in High East Street.

Details vary by form type, but you may find the following:

  • name
  • age
  • date received
  • place of origin
  • city of residence
  • dates of warrants
  • parish
  • trade
  • by whom committed
  • marital status or family
  • number of children
  • physical characteristics: height, hair color, eye color, complexion, marks
  • crimes
  • former convictions
  • trial and sentence information
  • discharge details
  • remarks

This database is not a comprehensive record of prisoners at Dorchester Prison during these years. There were pages missing from some of the books, and there are gaps in the years that are covered. For example, years 1807–1808, 1837, and 1880–1886 are missing.