Friday 24 January 1840 Tomorrow William Hickling, Walter Tunmore and Robert Harrod will leave the prison. Miss Martin meets them for their final exhortation before departure. “How are you to conduct yourselves so that when you meet me I may not feel [...]
Read More »

We need to talk about Walter

23 January 1840 We need to talk about Walter Tunmore because Sarah Martin needs to talk about him. Yesterday was no exception. ‘The boy Tunmore is so quick in movements and manner of speaking and impetuous in temper that it might seem he would be quick in [...]
Read More »

‘And have you brought the combs?’

21 and 22 January 1840 The five young prisoners are listening out for their teacher. They run towards Miss Martin to be the first to carry her Paper Case. “Ma’am, we have been waiting for you!” Endeavouring to keep her face stern, the prison visitor [...]
Read More »

Grey Cotton Shirts

20 January 1840 The five boys in the House of Correction are approaching the end of their month-long sentence but, despite the prison visitor’s efforts, their behaviour is still volatile. Sarah Martin can only spend an hour or so with them each day and [...]
Read More »

Making and Mending

The boys have served more than half their sentences. Less than a fortnight to go. Today they work doggedly on their reading and spelling for over two and a half hours. The teacher is delighted. Since they are keeping to her Rules, she will stay true to her [...]
Read More »


16 January 1840 Walter Tunmore, who has been alone and tearful  in his cell, is back with the boys and the prison visitor finds them bright and cheerful.  ‘They conducted themselves today, quite as I wished’, she writes later. ‘The difference for [...]
Read More »

The Prisoner’s Tears

15 January 1840 Yesterday, when the boys’ lesson was over, Walter Tunmore was sent to bed so the surgeon could treat a puss on his side. Passing by his cell, Sarah Martin heard the boy sobbing and went to speak with him. He pleaded with his teacher to [...]
Read More »

‘Thus were the Rules again broken’

Tuesday 14 January 1840 The Gaoler stops the prison visitor on her way to teach the boys in the House of Correction, informing Miss Martin that, once more, her young scholars have been in trouble. Only yesterday, the boys signed up to a set of rules drawn [...]
Read More »

Making their Mark

Monday 13 January 1840 Today the prison visitor must chide ‘the little boys’ again: ‘it made me very unhappy every day I came to find either one or other had been put into the cell or behaving ill this way or that’.  ‘[I]f they wished me to teach [...]
Read More »

‘They always ask to have the little books’

Sunday 12 January 1840 Sarah Martin gathers her strength to deliver her Sunday morning sermon in the prison chapel. Rarely does she miss a visit to the gaol but yesterday she regretted, ‘I am compelled by a bad cold to remain at home.’ In her absence, [...]
Read More »

Water Ways: Art and Nature on the Broads

Time and Tide 22 November 2014 - 1 March 2015

Life & 6 Months

Academic, writer, tattooist

H.E. History Hub

Where History matters


Katie Rose Guest Pryal On Law, Higher Education, & Justice (Broadly Speaking)

The Social Historian

Adventures in the world of social, economic, and local history


☛ Thoughts on the Eighteenth Century, Daniel Defoe, and Digital Humanities


Recording, photographing, deciphering, analysing and understanding historical graffiti from Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin. This research has been funded by the Irish Research Council (2012-2014)

Romantic Illustration Network

Romantic Illustration Network

Nursing Clio

Because the Personal is Historical

Mark Carrigan

Sociologist and Academic Technologist

That Class of Men

Gay Culture in Scotland 1885-Present (with occasional non-related ramblings)


'Making good use of the things that we find / Things that the everyday folk leave behind'

Victorian Domestic Dangers

An exploration of the hazardous objects and features found in the Victorian home

Voices from Broadmoor

Crime, Madness and the Asylum

Always Wanted to be a Reiter

A blog about writing and historical research, all with two toddlers tugging at my trouser legs

Dr Vicky Holmes

Exploring the Domestic Lives of the 19th Century Working Class

Modern British Studies @ Birmingham

Interdisciplinary research and public events on nineteenth and twentieth century Britain at the University of Birmingham


stories from a nineteenth-century prison


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,862 other followers