Benjamin Ayres and John Wyles were both convicted of stealing malt from Edward Hall of Wansford on 21st April at the Peterborough sessions. John Wyles was given three months imprisonment, but Benjamin Ayres, having previously been employed by Mr Hall, received three months imprisonment and was to be publicly whipped once.
An account from 90-year-old Thomas White Holdich in the Peterborough Advertiser in March 1899 recounted his memories of, amongst other things, whipping or flogging in the market place. Mr Holdich claimed that the prisoner would have has hands and feet tied behind him, whilst he was pulled behind a cart, forcing him to kneel. The gaol keeper would climb onto the cart with a cat-o'-nine tails and would whip the prisoner at around 30 second intervals as they travelled around the market place.
A call was made by the Justices of the Peace for Peterborough for plans and specifications to build a new gaol for Peterborough in 1839. The Cambridge Independent Press claimed that the plans of Mr Douthorn of Hanover Street, Hanover Square, London, were chosen and the site was proposed to be 'at the Upper end of Westgate (known as Gravel Close)', but this was not to be the case. 1
A alternate site was suggested on Thorpe Road, but a complicated legal battle ensued over the cost of proposed new land, with the Dean and Chapter fighting the Magistrates of the Liberty of Peterborough to claim fair remuneration for the land they needed to sell them for the gaol. 2
Although the first stone was laid for the gaol in 1840, the first group of prisoners didn't move in until 1844. The first petty sessions held in the new gaol were on Saturday 23rd February 1844, but it was unpopular with the judges who complained at having to walk such a distance to the court rooms! 3
1,Cambridge Independent Press, Saturday 14th December 1839, p3,
2, Lincolnshire Chronicle Friday 17th April 1840 p4,
3, Cambridge Independent Press, Saturday 2nd March 1844, p 3,
HMP Peterborough was opened in March 2005 on the former site of the Baker Perkins engineering works. It is a local category B prison and is the country's only dual purpose-built prison for men and women. The prison also has a 12 place Mother and Baby Unit.
The prison is operated by Sodexo Justice Services.
Benjamin Ayres and John Wyles were both convicted of stealing malt from Edw…
A call was made by the Justices of the Peace for Peterborough for plans and…
HMP Peterborough was opened in March 2005 on the former site of the Baker P…