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Fleet prison manuscript

Call Number: MS D114


A compilation of texts concerning governmental salaries, fees, extortion, peculation, and abuse of the public, particularly concerning the Court of Common Pleas and the Fleet Prison for debtors in England. The collection also includes a map of Fleet Prison.


  • Creation: volume compiled approximately 1630; map drawn between 1660-1677

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of Fleet Prison

Fleet Prison was built by the time of King Richard I's reign of England in the late 12th century. It served as a debtors' prison as early as the late 13th century, as well as for those suffering from bankruptcy or found in contempt of the Courts of Chancery, Exchequer, and Common Pleas. Fleet also served the Court of Star Chamber by confining its prisoners until the Star Chamber was abolished in 1641.

Standing on the east bank of the Fleet River in London, the prison was destroyed in the Peasants' Revolt led by Wat Tyler in 1381, burned in the Great Fire of London of 1666 and was then burned again by rioters in 1780. It was rebuilt each time and was then abolished in 1842 by the Queen's Prison Act. Remaining in use until 1844, the prison was sold to the corporation of the City of London and demolished in 1846. The site eventually became Ludgate Station, opened in 1865 by the Chatham and Dover Railway as its London terminus, and is now an office building above a tunnel for the City Thameslink Tube line.

[Information retrieved from "Records of the Fleet Prison," the National Archives and from "The Fleet Prison," British History Online.]


1 volume (1 volume + 1 oversize folder) ; Volume measures no taller than 30 cm.

Language of Materials


Physical Location

MS D114

Physical Location


Custodial History

The manuscript volume came into the possession of the Grosvenor family, at some point after its compilation and before 1876. Hugh Lupus Grosvernor was the 1st Duke of Westminster and grandson of Robert, the 2nd Earl Grosvenor, who rebuilt the family seat at Eaton Hall, Chester.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Hofmann-Freeman Consignment I, June 1969.

Guide to the Fleet Prison Collection
Fleet Prison manuscript
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1975. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Fleet Prison manuscript, MS D114, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States