The database, which isnt comprehensive, includes:
- Criminals sentenced to transportation to America, about 1705 to 1775
- Criminals executed at York, about 1710 to 1899
- Debtors who pleaded insolvency, about 1709 to 1813
You can download a fact sheet with details about the York prisoners database, how to search it and recommended resources (including a database of 123,000 convicts transported to Queensland, Australia).
The museum doesnt have any original records on the prisoners, but the above-mentioned fact sheet tells you where to look for them.
On the York Castle Prison family history page, you can search the database for a name or keyword. Youll learn the prisoner’s name, date of imprisonment and source of the information, and perhaps a short synopsis of the crime (which may name the perpetrator’s victims).
William the Conquerer built the original York Castle, which included a jail, in 1068. A county gaol and womens prison were added in the 1700s; the whole castle was a prison from 1835 to 1929. Now its a museum with an interesting Web site that lets you explore the prison and introduces you to prisoners and keepers.