Catalogue description BEDFORD PRISON

This record is held by Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service

Details of PRIS
Reference: PRIS

The numbers in brackets after the heading for each class of records refers to the HMSO or Prison Service stationery reference code for the specific type of register or volume.


List of classes (with prescribed closure periods)




PRIS 1/1 Governor's orders 1945-1982


PRIS 1/2 Governor's journals (75 year closure) [1852-1877], 1924-1984




PRIS 2/1 Calendars of Prisoners (100 year closure) 1882-1942


PRIS 2/2 Nominal registers (i.e. Registers of Prisoners) 1879-1957


PRIS 2/3 Various records re prisoners 1844-1970




PRIS 3/1 Officers' pay records 1917-1920


PRIS 3/2 Registers of prison officers (50 year closure) 1890-1975




PRIS 4/1 General 1921-1956


PRIS 4/2 Visiting Committee rota books (75 year closure) 1881-1982


PRIS 4/3 Visiting Committee minute books (75 year closure) 1878-1986




PRIS 5 Rules and regulations etc. 1953-1957




PRIS 6/1 Miscellanea, including:


Register of executions (50 year closure) 1895-1962


Prison letterbook 1905-1926


Other miscellaneous records C 20th

Date: 1844-1986
Related material:

For records of Bedford Prison while under the control of Quarter Sessions (i.e. pre-1878) see QG catalogues


Records for the former gaols at Cambridge, Huntingdon and Northampton, found among the material at Bedford Prison have been transferred to the appropriate County Record Office. Lists of material for these prisons appear at the end of this list.




Cambridge gaol closed on 15 June 1916, having been discontinued under s.33 of the Prison Act 1877 on 31 May 1916.


Cambridge Borough Gaol: receiving book 1850 poor


One section only from volume which originally contained over 650 pages. Surviving section includes pp.1-20 and index to whole volume


Cambridge Town gaol: Nominal register 1850-1859 poor


Includes index


Nominal register (Nos. 1329-2823; 1-755) 1885-1887 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 756-2120; 1-904) 1888-1890 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 905-3136) 1890-1892 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 3137-3550; 1-1861) 1892-1895 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 1862-3261; 1-864) 1895-1898 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 865-3139) 1898-1901 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 1849-4087) 1904-1906 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 4089-4372; 1-1971) 1906-1909 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 1972-3637; 1-598) 1909-1911 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 599-2130; 1-731) 1911-1916 poor


Nominal register (female) (Nos. 1-519) 1893-1914 poor


Photographs of inmates (Book CC) [identified as Cambridge by cross reference to the registers] 1883-1901 fair


Photographs of inmates (Book CC) [as last] 1901-1905 fair


Record of two hangings in Cambridge gaol 1910, 1913 poor


Register of officers [identified from internal evidence] 1897-1916 fair




Huntingdon gaol closed in April 1885, having been discontinued under s.33 of the Prison Act 1877 on 25 April 1885


Nominal register (Nos. 1129-2289 - complete except for 1313-1320, 1601-1608, and final page(s)] June 1881 to August 1884 poor


Nominal register (Nos. 2290-2465) 1884-1885 fair




Northampton gaol closed on 20 March 1922, although it was not formally discontinued under s.33 of the Prison Act 1877 until 19 September 1928.


Nominal register (Nos. 1-2240; debtors 1-39) 1884-1886 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 1-2200; debtors 1-34) 1886-1888 poor


Nominal register (Nos. 2201-2328; 1-2087; debtors 1-44) 1888-1889 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 2088-2622; 1-1689) 1889-1891 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 1690-3984) 1891-1893 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 3985-6031; 1-247) 1893-1895 poor


Nominal register (Nos. 248-2503) 1895-1896 poor


Nominal register (Nos. 764-3066) 1898-1901 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 3067-5319) 1901-1902 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 5320-6063; 1-1487) 1902-1904 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 1488-3747) 1904-1905 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 3748-6012) 1905-1905 mouldy


Nominal register (Nos. 6013-8276) 1907-1908 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 8277-8850; 1-1689) 1908-1910 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 1690-3954) 1910-1912 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 3955-5176; 1-1042) 1912-1914 fair


Nominal register (Nos. 3323-3701) 1920-1922 fair


Nominal register (female) (Nos. 1-2253) 1893-1905 poor


Nominal register (female) (Nos. 2254-3339, 1-803) 1906-1922 fair


Form of service at/after execution [used at Northampton gaol] n.d. [1897] good


Calendar of prisoners 1892-1901 tatty


Quarter Sessions, County of Northampton 1892-1901


Calendar of prisoners 1892-1901 fair


Quarter Sessions, Borough of Northampton


Calendar of prisoners 1941-1942


Quarter Sessions, Northampton and Warwick (loose items)


PC Prison.002

Held by: Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Bedford Prison

Physical description: 15 series
Access conditions:

Items reported in 1989 but not seen during inspection by the County Archivist in November 1991 and not deposited in 1994:


Nominal register [which gaol?] 1879-1882 not seen


Nominal register (Bedford) 1933-1935 not seen


Nominal register (Bedford) 1940-1941 not seen


Nominal register 1945-1947 not seen


Nominal register 1951-1957 not seen


Notification of results of application n.d. not seen


Emergency Civil Defence scheme July 1942 not seen


Photographs 1901-1951 not seen


Personal record book, letters etc. [2pp] n.d. not seen


Item seen but not deposited (still in use):


Register of deaths in prison [still in use, e.g. for prison suicides] 1879-1990 fair


Gives register number, name, committal, last admission to hospital, death, illness, health on reception, age at death, cause of death, result of post-mortem, previous admissions into hospital (with dates), previous occupation, occupation in prison

Immediate source of acquisition: 7447


Records from Bedford Prison (mainly post-1878) deposited in the Bedfordshire County Record Office on 24 February 1994.

  • Prisoners
Link to NRA Record:

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