Brixton Prison

Overview

Details

Records

Overview

Prison Type   Convict Prison

Date opened   1853

Date closed   1882 [post 1900 (still open)]

Location   Jebb Avenue   Brixton

Map location   exact or closely approximate

County   Surrey

Critical Remarks

Formerly a local prison (Brixton House of Correction, ID 74), Brixton Prison opened as a female convict prison in November 1853. The intention was that Brixton would take all female convicts, but despite having accommodation for c700 prisoners the prison quickly became overcrowded and the pentagons at Millbank were once again put into use for women in the probationary and penal classes. With the completion of the new purpose-built female prison at Woking in 1869 (ID 1015), all the female prisoners at Brixton were transferred to the new establishment by the end of that year. Brixton was reopened for male prisoners in February 1870, the prison receiving both probationary and public works classes of convicts. In September 1882 Brixton was transferred to the War Office and declared a military prison.

Prison Info

Prison Type   Convict Prison

Date opened   1853

Date closed   1882 [post 1900 (still open)]

Location   Jebb Avenue   Brixton

Map location   exact or closely approximate
Lat.   51.451611  Long.   -0.12525

County   Surrey

Image Attribution   'Bird's-eye view of the female convict prison at Brixton', in Mayhew and Binny, Criminal Prisons of London (1862) p. 176

Critical Remarks

Formerly a local prison (Brixton House of Correction, ID 74), Brixton Prison opened as a female convict prison in November 1853. The intention was that Brixton would take all female convicts, but despite having accommodation for c700 prisoners the prison quickly became overcrowded and the pentagons at Millbank were once again put into use for women in the probationary and penal classes. With the completion of the new purpose-built female prison at Woking in 1869 (ID 1015), all the female prisoners at Brixton were transferred to the new establishment by the end of that year. Brixton was reopened for male prisoners in February 1870, the prison receiving both probationary and public works classes of convicts. In September 1882 Brixton was transferred to the War Office and declared a military prison.

Prisoner Statistics

 

Year 1853

Annual Confined   -   75

Daily Census   -   75

 

Year 1858

Annual Confined   -   898

Daily Census   -   632

 

Year 1863

Annual Confined   -   1125

Daily Census   -   584

 

Year 1868

Annual Confined   -   688

Daily Census   -   545

 

Year 1873

Annual Confined   -   1318

Daily Census   -   463

 

Year 1878

Annual Confined   -   637

Daily Census   -   313

Principal Primary Sources

  • Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Hulks, 1853 (Parl. Papers, 1854, XXXIII.181), p.305; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Hulks, 1854 (Parl. Papers, 1854-55, XXV.33), p.365; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Hulks, 1855 (Parl. Papers, 1856, XXXV.1), p.271; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Hulks, 1856 (Parl. Papers, 1857 Session 2, XXIII.65), p.321; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, 1857 (Parl. Papers, 1857-58, XXIX.483), p.253; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, 1858 (Parl. Papers, 1859 Session 2, XIII P.1.191), p.305; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, 1859 (Parl. Papers, 1860, XXXV.429), p.255; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, 1860 (Parl. Papers, 1861, XXX.237), p.263; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, 1861 (Parl. Papers, 1862, XXV.331), p.275; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, 1862 (Parl. Papers, 1863, XXIV.1), p.253; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, 1863 (Parl. Papers, 1864, XXVI.209), p.218; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Criminal Lunatic Asylum at Broadmoor, 1864 (Parl. Papers, 1865, XXV.1), p.282; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Criminal Lunatic Asylum at Broadmoor, 1865 (Parl. Papers, 1866, XXXVIII.1), p.257; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Criminal Lunatic Asylum at Broadmoor, 1866 (Parl. Papers, 1867, XXXVI.1), p.253; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Criminal Lunatic Asylum at Broadmoor, 1867 (Parl. Papers, 1867-68, XXXIV.519), p.324; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Criminal Lunatic Asylum at Broadmoor, 1868 (Parl. Papers, 1868-69, XXX.1), p.353; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1869 (Parl. Papers, 1870, XXXVIII.1), p.387; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1870 (Parl. Papers, 1871, XXXI.1), p.381; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1871 (Parl. Papers, 1872, XXXI.385), p.360; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1872 (Parl. Papers, 1873, XXXIV.1), p.383; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1873 (Parl. Papers, 1874, XXX.55), p.368; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1874 (Parl. Papers, 1875, XXXIX.1), p.12; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1875 (Parl. Papers, 1876, XXXVII.1), p.22; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1876 (Parl. Papers, 1877, XLV.1), p.30; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1877 (Parl. Papers, 1878, XLIII.1), p.34; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1878 (Parl. Papers, 1878-79, XXXV.1), p.36; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1879-80 (Parl. Papers, 1880, XXXVI.1), p.52; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1880-81 (Parl. Papers, 1881, LI.1, 51), p.33; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Pentonville, Parkhurst, Millbank, Portland, Portsmouth, Dartmoor, and Brixton Prisons, and Convict Establishments at Gibraltar, W. Australia and Tasmania, 1881-82 (Parl. Papers, 1882, XXXIV.1), p.37; Directors of Convict Prisons: Reports on Discipline and Management of Millbank, Pentonville, Borstal, Brixton, Chatham, Dartmoor, Parkhurst, Portland, Portsmouth, Wormwood Scrubs, Fulham and Woking Prisons and Convict Establishments in W. Australia, 1882-83¬†(Parl. Papers, 1883, XXXIII.1, 43), p.41

Additional Primary Sources

  • Henry Mayhew and John Binny, The Criminal Prisons of London and Scenes of Prison Life (London, 1862), pp. 172-197

Management

Archive name: The National Archives

Catalogue ref: PCOM 7/222

Collection: Prison Commission

Description: Warrants constituting and appointing Convict Prisons etc. Brixton House of Correction

Dates: 1852-1853


Archive name: The National Archives

Catalogue ref: PCOM 7/224

Collection: Prison Commission

Description: Warrants constituting and appointing Convict Prisons etc. Brixton Convict Prison

Dates: 1856-1885


Prisoners

Archive name: The National Archives

Catalogue ref: HO 8/126-206

Collection: Home Office

Description: Quarterly returns of prisoners in Hulks and Convict Prisons, Brixton Prison, London 

Dates: 1855-1875