The following publications contain rigorous accounts and analysis of the nineteenth-century penal system, including convict prisons and local prisons.
V. Bailey, ‘English prisons, penal culture and the abatement of imprisonment, 1895-1922’, Journal of British Studies, 36 (1997), pp. 285-324.
A. Brown, English Society and the Prison: Time, culture and politics in the development of the modern prison, 1850-1920 (Woodbridge, 2003)
M. De Lacy, Prison Reform in Lancashire, 1780-1850: A study in local administration (Manchester, 1986)
R. Evans, The Fabrication of Virtue: Prison Architecture, 1750-1840 (Cambridge, 1982)
W.J. Forsythe, The Reform of Prisoners, 1830-1900 (New York, 1987)
W.J. Forsythe, Penal Discipline, Reformatory Projects and the English Prison Commission, 1895-1939 (Exeter, 1990)
D. Garland, Punishment and Welfare: A history of penal strategies (Aldershot, 1985)
U.R.Q. Henriques, ‘The rise and decline of the separate system of prison discipline’, Past & Present, 54 (1972), pp. 61-93.
M. Ignatieff, A Just Measure of Pain: The Penitentiary in the industrial revolution, 1750-1850 (London, 1978)
J. Innes, ‘Prisons for the Poor: English Bridewells, 1555-1800’, in F. Snyder and D. Hay, eds, Labour, Law and Crime: An Historical Perspective (London, 1987), pp. 42-122.
S. McConville, A History of Prison Administration, volume 1: 1750-1877 (London, 1981)
S. McConville, English Local Prisons, 1860-1900: Next only to death (London, 1995)
R. McGowen, ‘A powerful sympathy: terror, the prison and humanitarian reform in early nineteenth century Britain’, Journal of British Studies, 25 (1986), pp. 312-334.
N. Morris and D.J. Rothman, eds. The Oxford History of the Prison: The practice of punishment in Western society (Oxford, 1998)
P. Priestly, Victorian Prison Lives: English prison biography 1820-1914 (London, 1985)
L. Radzinowicz and R. Hood, The emergence of penal policy in Victorian and Edwardian England (Oxford, 1990)
M. Heather Tomlinson, ‘ “Prison Palaces”: A reappraisal of early Victorian prisons, 1835-77’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 51 (1978), pp. 60-71.
S. Webb and B.P. Webb, English prisons under local government (London, 1922)
M.J. Wiener, Reconstructing the Criminal: Culture, Law and Policy in England, 1830-1914 (Cambridge, 1990)
L. Zedner, Women, Crime and Custody in Victorian England (Oxford, 1991)
There have been many studies of specific prisons published over the years. A large number have been written by local historians with a keen awareness of place and a deep knowledge of the institutional records. As far as possible, these studies have been listed alongside the relevant prisons in the database. But many are also useful to read as starting points for understanding penal history and the nineteenth-century prison. These include:
W.J. Forsythe, A System of Discipline: Exeter Borough Prison, 1819-1863 (Exeter, 1983)
R.W. Ireland, ‘A Want of Good Order and Discipline’: Rules, Discretion and the Victorian Prison (Cardiff, 2007)
E. Stockdale, A Study of Bedford Prison, 1660-1877 (London, 1977)
There are very few published studies of lock-ups. Details on lock-ups are sometimes included in local history books and pamphlets, especially those that focus on criminal justice (prisons and policing). Apart from Roy’s Blog (described on the Useful Links page), the only substantial study of lock-ups that I have been able to find is:
Leslie Brooke, Some West-Country Lock-Ups (Castle Cary, Fox Publications, 1985)
Brooke’s book contains detailed sketches of lock-ups, or parts of lock-up buildings, that still existed around the time of publication.