Wednesday, 5 September 2001

the prison

Winchester Prison stands on the horizon when viewed from the school. Does anyone remember the gruesome significance it seemed to take on when there was to be an execution and how we watched the clock as the time drew near?
 
jim wishart, list manager,

7 comments:

  1. Hello Jim,   I seem to remember that a black? flag was flown after an execution at the prison.  I'm sure that we could see the flag from the school field. Life was very different then.   Does anyone have a photo of EO Jones? I would like to see one if there is one available.   Can you remember someone being sent to the class next door to subdue the unsupervised noise, and shouting ' CEASE TO BELLOW'  to the class. If you can then we were in the same form. Fuuny how some things stick in your mind.   Keep up the good work   John Groves

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  2. Hi jim   I wasn't aware until I started family history research that I may have had a distant relative, Charles Smith, of North Baddesley who was hanged outside Winchester Prison on 23 March 1822 for shooting at Lord Palmerston's gamekeeper near Romsey.  The gamekeeper did not die, but Charles still received a capital sentence.   The trial and sentence were reported in the Hampshire Chronice at the time.   The case of Charles Smith was a cause celebre, being taken up by William Cobbett, the social historian, and again at the turn of the 20th century when the then Vicar of North Baddesley (Dr Bourne) erected a second headstone over Charles's grave in the churchyard giving contrary views to the original, which had emphasised the oppression of the poor and the injustice done to  Charles and others like him who poached to feed their families.   Both headstones are still in the churchyard.   Would that history had been so interesting when I was at school!!    Regards   Peter

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  3. Hi Peter, A really sad story. We visit family in Hampshire occasionally and I would like to visit the grave at North Baddesley. It sounds very interesting. What is the relationship with you, great uncle? I too am doing family history. The nearest I can get to your story at the risk of going 'off topic' is a great grandfather Plillip Mauger who was an able seaman on a barque voyaging to India in the middle of the nineteenth century. I have a copy of the ship's log and my ancestor was insubordinate and mutinous according to the captain, best regards jim wishart, list manager,  

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  4. Hi Jim   Sorry about the diversion.   I haven't been able to determine whether Charles Smith was a cousin of my great great grandfather, Benjamin Smith of Baddesley.   End of story.   My only other contact with the prison is that I once was invited home to Sunday tea by a girl at  a County High dancing class, whose father was a prison officer.   Regards   Peter

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  5. Jim My father was a prison officer at Winchester from '63 to '71. Part of his job involved testing the scaffold and I beieve he attended the last hanging to take place in Winchester. It was a pretty foreboding place at the best of times. I went to a Christmas carol service one year and the sound of the doors echoing through the corridors as they locked up behind us made the hairs on the back of my neck bristle - even knowing that I would be out again in a couple of hours. Sounds just like school on a Monday morning when you hadn't done Latin prep for Mr Cooksey! Happy days. Steve

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  6. I was at PS 71 to 76 and I remember as a boarder that we became very excited when day dreaming one night after prep as we looked at the prison. We saw that there was a light at the prison sending morse code messages. We reported it to the housemaster. A bit of excitement in an otherwise boring day. 

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  7. Incidentally, little did I know that a close relative would end up in that sombre establishment for 4 months several years later.

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