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Gaol Routine

Chaplain's Report

Report of the Reverend John Clay, Chaplain to Preston Gaol, 1844 on the arrival of prisoners at the gaol.

Every prisoner, on his arrival, is taken to the reception ward, and an officer enters in a book a minute description of his person, including his age, height, weight etc.

All property which he may have is taken from him; a list of it entered into the proper register, and the prisoner's signature, or mark, attached to the account. He is then placed in a warm bath, and, after undergoing a thorough cleansing, he is clothed in the dress appropriate to the class to which he may belong.

His own clothing is washed and fumigated, and laid up in a well-arranged store-room, until he may require it again on his discharge. After leaving the bath he is examined by the surgeon (who attends twice daily) and is then passed to his proper department, if in health, or taken to the hospital if otherwise...

From "The Prison Chaplain: A memoir of John Clay - late Chaplain of Preston Gaol" by his son Reverend W L Clay, 1861