Crime and Punishment in Wales

Items relating to Crime and Punishment in Wales, 1700 to the present day
Law Court, Cathays Park, Cardiff; measured drawing showing north and south elevation views, produced by Lanchester Stewart and Rickards, 1899.
RCAHMW digital colour oblique photograph of Usk viewed from the south-east with the prison and the site of the Roman fort. Taken on 07/07/2005 by T.G. Driver.
RCAHMW colour transparency showing Swansea Police Station taken by I.N. Wright, July 2005
The Swansea Police Force came into being in 1835. The introduction of the Metropolitan Police Force in London in 1830 started forcing criminals into the provinces to escape detection, and towns across the UK had to introduce their own properly organised...
Made from freshly cut, supple twigs from the tree of the same name, the Birch was a common punishment, administered by policemen, for minor crimes in the 19th century. This cat o' nine tails, made out of a goat's foot, was used to whip the inmates of...
Used by Scene of Crime Officers in the 1970s.
He was convicted at Ruthin on 20 March 1869 for highway robbery with violence and sent to prison for 7 years. He was discharged on 12 October 1874 and gave his destination as Wolverhampton. His description reads: height 5 feet 4½ inches, complexion...
The full title reads: 'County of Denbigh. Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Gaol, and Female Prison, at Ruthin, made at the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, held in Denbigh, in and for the said County, On Tuesday, 4th Day of April,...
This 'Misconduct Book' provides details of offences committed by prisoners at Beamaris Gaol between 1847 and 1874. The names and ages of the offenders are noted, along with the date of the offence, the nature of the offence and the punishment. Two of...
This report was presented before the Court of the Great Sessions at Conwy on 6 April 1795 by John Hughes, coroner for the county of Caernarfonshire. The coroner reported upon two separate 'inquisitions' or post-mortems which had taken place in the county....
This ballad relates the story of William Murphy who was the last man to be executed at Caernarfon Gaol on 15 February 1910. Murphy was executed for the brutal murder of Gwen Ellen Jones at Holyhead on Christmas Day 1909. He was sentenced to death at...
On 17 February 1903, William Hughes, a Wrexham miner originally from Denbigh, was found guilty of shooting his wife and was hanged at Ruthin prison. The condemned cell shows William Hughes waiting to be led to his execution. On the day of the execution...
Ruthin Gaol was built in 1775 to the designs of architect Joseph Turner of Chester as a model prison. The building served as a county jail until 1866. When the Prison Act of 1865 was passed it was decided that the existing gaol would be extended and...
Some prisoners spent a part of their sentence isolated in a "dark cell". There was no window nor light in this cell. If a prisoner committed a serious crime, e.g. trying to escape, he could be put in the dark cell as a punishment. They could spend days...
Ruthin Gaol was built in 1775 to the designs of architect Joseph Turner of Chester as a model prison. The building served as a county jail until 1866. When the Prison Act of 1865 was passed it was decided that the existing gaol would be extended and...
W. J. Parry of Coetmor, Bethesda, was one of the most prominent leaders of the quarrymen of north Wales during the late nineteenth century. He played an important role in the establishment of the North Wales Quarrymens' Union in 1874 and served as its...
This 'Visitors Book' lists the names of individuals who visited prisoners at Beaumaris Gaol between 1862 and 1878. The following pages show the names of those individuals who were allowed to visit Richard Rowlands, a prisoner who had been found guilty...
Oblong gravestone from the grave of Mary Morgan who was tried and hanged for murder in Presteigne. The inscription reads as follows: 'To the memory of Mary Morgan, who young and beautiful, endowed with a good understanding and disposition, but unenlightened...
This court room remains virtually unchanged since 1830.
When the castle served as a prison, several methods of instruments were employed to ensure discipline and compliance of the inmates. A pair of leg irons restricted movement of prisoners. The lock and key shown here were probably manufactured locally....
Inmates who broke prison rules were sent to the punishment cell, where they were kept in absolute darkness and solitude. Three heavy doors separate this small room from the prison corridor. Prisoners were condemned to the punishment cell for up to three...
The prisoners would spend the night (between 8pm and 6am) in cells such as this. During the day, they would be taken to the workrooms and yards to carry out hard labour. Although new prison regulations introduced in 1823 required that prisoners were treated...
William Murphy was sentenced to death at Beaumaris courthouse in 1910 for murdering his mistress on Christmas Day after she had left him for another man. He was hanged at Caernarfon. Those who had been executed were buried within the walls of the prison...
A rare image of the old Radnorshire county gaol in Presteigne, pictured when no longer in use as a prison but only as a local police station. It was built in 1820 and demolished in 1898.
The impressive entourage of carriage and escort ready to convey the judge from the Castle Hotel in Brecon to the county Assize Court at the Shire Hall.
An escort of police and trumpeters for the Assize Court judge, returning by limousine from the Shire Hall to his lodgings in Brecon in the 1930s.
This is the first draft of Saunders LewisÂ’ speech to the Caernarvon court during the court case that followed the attack on Penyberth bombing school. The jury of Welsh speakers failed to reach a verdict, and the case was sent to trial at the Old Bailey...
Four men and a woman viewing the interior.
Group photograph of Radnorshire Constabulary Government Inspection, 2 March 1925.
Portrait photograph of three Radnorshire Constables: From left to right, left - unidentified PC R.15, and right PC R.28, Sidney Williams standing, PC R.1, Herbert G. Davies, sitting
  This prison was closed in 1916, and now holds Denbighshire County Records 
A cell door at Rhuthun Gaol in 1962. Can you see the books visible within the cell? The Prison was being used as a library at this time. 
There are 34 items in this collection
 
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