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Source Information

Ancestry.com. UK, Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data:

Home Office: Convict Prison Hulks: Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849. Microfilm, HO9, 5 rolls. The National Archives, Kew, England.

The National Archives gives no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided. Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to the National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU.

About UK, Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849

This collection consists of registers and letter books of prisoners on convict prison hulks in England between 1802-1849. A hulk is a decommissioned ship that is either technologically out of date or cannot make it through the open sea without taking on water, but is still able to float without problems. There were many of these ships available when engines started to power ships instead of sails, so the hulks were moored in harbors and used as floating prisons or for other purposes. The hulks’ place in harbors also made it easier to hold and transport convicts being sent to Australia. The first prison hulks in England appeared after a 1776 act allowed them to be used to house prisoners.

The collection contains a letter book relating to the establishment of hulks written from 1847-1849 and the registers of prisoners on 19 different hulks between 1802-1849. The registers contain:

  • Name
  • Date received
  • Age
  • Birth year
  • Date convicted
  • Where convicted

More about this collection

After the prison hulk named the Captivity was broken up in 1816, convicts were transferred to the Leviathan. The National Archives cites these records as belonging to the Captivity, with reservations. Ancestry.com has cited these records as belonging to the Leviathan, with reservations.

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