print button

An industrial Nation Timeline
Basic Timeline 

1776 Hulks first used to hold prisoners who were put to work cleaning the river Thames.

1823 Gaol Act. This was an attempt to improve conditions in prison. For example, alcohol was forbidden and women prisoners now had to be supervised by female guards.

1829 Metropolitan Police Force established. They replaced local parish constables and night watchmen.

1838 Parkhurst Gaol became the first prison just for juveniles.

1840 The last public hanging.

1842 Pentonville prison opened. It cost 84,000 to build and was based on the US system of separating prisoners and preventing any communication between them.

1856 The County and Borough Police Act. Local authorities at County and Borough level now had to form police forces if they had not done so already.

1857 Use of hulks ended. There were growing complaints about the conditions on board and the hulks themselves were falling to pieces!

1859 Reformatory Schools Act set up reform schools for juvenile offenders up to the age of 21.

1861 Offences against the Person Act abolished the death penalty for all offences other than murder and high treason.

1862 The flogging of offenders in public ended.

1868 Last convict ship arrives in Australia. A total of 160,000 British and Irishmen had been transported to Australia over an eighty-year period.

1878 Local and Convict prisons were put under one central government system of control.