Red Sticker

Discussion in 'Court Records' started by Bay Horse, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Just looking at HMP Wakefield prison records on Ancestry and next to a prisoner's name there is a large red star stickered onto the page, also a red asterisk scribbled at the end of the entry. It's a long shot, but does anyone know what this might mean? It appears only very occasionally next to a prisoner's name, in this case one of my ancestors, so I'm intrigued. It was obviously quite significant at the time but I can't imagine what for.

    West Yorkshire England Prison Records, HMP Wakefield, Nominal Register, 1906 May-July - and the image is numbered 275.
     
  2. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    From something I've just found on line "The Correctional Prisons of London" - I presume the same thing happened in other prisons.

    To induce the prisoners to conduct themselves with propriety during their stay in Coldbath Fields prison, the system of stars, as badges of good conduct, has been adopted; one of these is given for every three months during which a man has not been reported for misbehaviour. These badges are in the shape of a red star, which is stitched to the prisoner's sleeve. We were told that at one time there was a man in the jail who had gained eleven such stars. Half-a-crown is given for each of the good-conduct badges on the day the prisoner is liberated.
    We inquired of one of the warders whether he considered that these rewards had any influence over the prisoners' reformation. He replied that he thought not, and indeed, that he considered the half-crowns given for them as so much money thrown away. "The best-behaved men," he continued, "are the old offenders—those who have been imprisoned before; they know the prison rules and observe them. Do you see that man with four stars on his sleeve?" he added, pointing to a prisoner in the exercising yard; "you observe he has a greater number of badges than any here, and yet it is the third time he has been in jail, as you can tell by the white figure on his other sleeve." Indeed, the prison authorities, examined before the Parliamentary Committee in 1850, one and all admitted that the worst class of offenders outside the prison is invariably the best conducted within the prison walls.
     
  3. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Ann, you're brilliant. Thank you.
     
  4. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    :oops: Once again, I've learnt something new, so thank you too :)
     
  5. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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  6. Bonzo Dog

    Bonzo Dog Still the Mad Scientist?

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    And so say all of us Ann. :)
     
    Chimp and AnnB like this.

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