Prisoners’ Letters to the Bank of England, 1781 – 1827

Edited by Deirdre Palk

In British gaols and on hulks, awaiting transportation to New South Wales, prisoners convicted of forged paper currency offences wrote to their influential prosecutor, the Bank of England. This volume comprises several hundred of such letters held in the Bank’s archives. Many, mainly those written by or for women, came from the depths of abject misery and poverty, begging help to cope with prison conditions and with the journey to Australia. Others offered information to the Bank about forged note traffickers in the hope of gaining some benefit for themselves. The collection reveals an extraordinary story of a surprising relationship between convicted prisoners and a mighty financial institution.

Available to purchase from Boydell and Brewer

Available online at British History Online