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There were two prisons in Clerkenwell, “Bridewell” (c.1615–1794, on Wikipedia) and the “New Prison” (c.1617–1877, on Wikipedia).

It’s unclear which of the two Pepys refers to, although he usually calls it the “new” prison.

Neither is to be confused with the other Bridwell Prison, formerly part of Bridewell Palace, closer to the River Thames.

5 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link


From The Book of Days (1869)

Adjoining to St. Bride's Churchyard, Fleet-street, is an ancient well dedicated to the saint, and commonly called Bride's Well. A palace erected near by took the name of Bridewell. This being given by Edward VI to the city of London as a workhouse for the poor and a house of correction, the name became associated in the popular mind with houses having the same purpose in view. Hence it has arisen that the pure and innocent Bridget--the first of Irish nuns--is now inextricably connected in our ordinary national parlance with a class of beings of the most opposite description.

Second Reading

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I think Terry's first annotation is correct.

The old Bridewell Palace/Prison in Whitefriars burned down in the Great Fire of 1666. So there was a "New" Bridewell built there during Diary times, but Pepys didn't go there.
But both of these references are in 1664, so they refer to the Bridewell of Clerkenwell…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The new prison at Clerkenwell was built next door to the Clerkenwell Bridewell prison.

There were dozens of Bridewell prisons built around England, for very poor people, loose women (well, that is how they supported their miserable lives), and vagrants.
Pepys notes are ambiguous about visiting the "new Bridewell" in 1664 -- when they were all about 60 years old. It's possible these annotations belong here:…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.