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The would have been primarily responsible for criminals along the Lake Ontario shoreline, from Bowmanville in the west, to Brighton Village in the east, the northern townships of Northumberland and Durham counties, and as far north as Peterborough and Victoria Counties prior to 1839, when the new Colborne District Gaol at Peterborough opened.

The Newcastle District Jail register recorded name, age, native of, crime charged with, by whom committed, education, ie reading/writing, date of committment, sentence, date of discharge, conduct in jail/remarks.

Following his release he wrote a memoir of sorts on his 'ordeal' and conditions inside the prison..a pretty picture.

Brown described the rascality practised by soulless creditors, crafty lawyers, plundering sheriffs, heartless bailiffs, 'brutal' jailors and turnkeys, and gouty judges.

The Home District Jail register records name, when committed, crimes, when discharged, by whom discharged, sentence and remarks.

Their are a number of Military prisoners also listed in the Home District indexes, these are noted with an asterisk *.



The York - Peel County Jail register recorded name, age, birthplace, date of imprisonment, by whom committed, offences, date of sentence, court (type), sentence, when discharged, and how discharged. His straw bed was ' a pillow of ease for the heads of dirty, drunken, spewing vagrants.' He described the peppery appearance of the blankets...covered with crawling and nimble-footed fleas. Twelve inch long rats, and rank odours from sewers beneath the jail are described in detail. In other parts of the building there was found: Five common stoves, three tables, fifteen chairs and Judge's chair, chest belonging to Clerk of the Peace, five good padlocks, eighteen bad!


padlocks, two damaged knoblocks, three water pails, two washing tubs, four chamber pots, bread scales and five weights, one pair of leg irons, two pairs of hand cuffs, one iron collar, one pair of hand irons, two chains and staples, twelve candlesticks, two chairs, six hooks, six pair of snuffers, six ink stands, three copies of Statutes, Burns' Justice (4 Vol.), one Bible and Prayerbook, two testaments, two Companions for Pardoned.

The Chatham jailor nicknamed 'Grampus' is described as a brutish biped, a cruel bestial Englishman.


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