Evidence that Prisoners in Newgate Prison transported to Virginia

Jeannette Holland Austin
2 min readMay 10, 2021
Newgate Prison in London England

The past is not too far afield. The anciently weathered remains of a 300-year old ship buried in Alexandria, Virginia (old town) was first noticed in December of 2015 at the construction site for a new hotel. This vessel is believed to have been built in Massachusetts after 1741 and traveled to the Virginia coast. As time passed, this ship wreck was used as landfill. Three additional vessels were later discovered in the area, all buried just feet away from one another. The artifacts included jewelry, tokens from Newgate Prison in London and Spanish and Irish coins.

Newgate Prisoners and a New Start

The Famous Newgate Prison was demolished in 1904. Originally located at the site of Newgate, a gate in the Roman London Wall, the prison was rebuilt during the 12th century and stood at the corner of Newgate Street and Old Bailey just inside the City of London. Remnant of cells are said to lie in the basement of a rate Victorian Gin Palace. The tavern was built as a drinking den for labourers working on the nearby viaduct bridge. It played a major role in the colonization of the colonies as certain prisoners were sent to the colonies instead of incarcerated in the crowded cells. Indeed, London found its solution of ridding itself of undesirables. So what happened to the prisoners once they arrived in Virginia? Pardoned felons served from fourteen years to life on the American plantations. Meanwhile, others who could not afford to pay passage to America, indentured themselves into service for periods of seven years onward. At the end of service, they were given 50 acres of land.

Jeannette Holland Austin

Author of 100+ genealogy books. Owner of 8 genealogy websites available by subscription. https://georgiapioneers.com/subscribe/subscribe.html