JQg/6 Gaol Warrants

JQg/6  Gaol Warrants 1791-1825

“This red tape appears to have arisen from the situation wherein county prisoners were kept in the Borough Gaol since the courts of both jurisdictions were held in Maidstone.

Thus these warrants to “transfer” prisoners from Borough to “County” custody, although no physical transfer can ever have occurred.” (note taken from Maidstone Archives)


A warrant was made (many of which “witnessed” by Edward Lord Ellenborough at Westminster or Lloyd Lord Kenyon) which reads (more or less) as follows:


George the Fourth by the Grace of God of the united Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King Defender of the Faith To the Sheriff of our County of Kent Greeting

Whereas we be willing that the Body of William Pigram being now in our Prison under the Custody of the Keeper of our Gaol or Prison at Maidstone in the County of Kent should for certain reasons be forthwith conveyed from thence to you have lately commanded by our writ our said keeper that he should without delay deliver the said William Pigram to you custody and certify to you the cause of his being taken and detained We therefore command you that you receive him from our said Keeper and without delay cause him to be safely conveyed to our Gaol of your County and cause him to be detained therein under safe Custody until he shall be delivered by due course of Law And this you are not to omit on Peril that may fall thereon Witness Sir Charles Abbott Knight at Westminster the Twenty eighth day of November in the Fourth year of our Reign

By the Court (Lushington?)


A “receipt” (dated 6 weeks later in this particular case)

For the King

Maidstone 12th day of January 1824

Received of the Keeper of His Majesty’s Gaol or Prison at Maidstone in and for the King’s Town & Parish of Maidstone in the County of Kent the body of William Pigram as I am by writ commanded

Witness my Hand : Thomas Agar, Keeper of the Kent County Gaol, Maidstone

(or Keeper of his Majesty’s Gaol at Maidstone)


I picked this record at random, but discovered on www.convictrecords.com.au that William Pigram was convicted at Kent Assizes and was sentenced to transportation for life, leaving England on board the “Minerva” on 8 July 1824.

Contributed by Mary Connaughton