Sunday, 21 December 2014

21st December 1814: The death of the prisoner John Baines the elder

'Hulks in Portsmouth Harbour' by Thomas Christopher Hofland, c.1830. The Halifax prisoners were held in ships similar to these at the adjoining harbour at Langstone, immediately to the east of Portsmouth
On Wednesday 21st December 1814, John Baines the elder, one of the 5 men from from Halifax found guilty at the York Special Commission of administering illegal oaths, died on board a prison hulk in Langstone harbour, Portsmouth.

Baines was the third prisoner of the 7 who were sentenced to transportation at York to die since arriving on the south coast. John Lumb had died in an accident within 6 weeks of arrival, and Baines' own son, also called John, had died earlier in the year, in March 1814.

Like with his son, the prison hulk register is the only source of information about Baines' fate, and the cause of death is not recorded there. He would have been aged around 67-68 at the time. Given his age, Baines had done well to survive for almost 2 years - his son was aged only about 35 when he died, and the prison hulks were notorious for their poor conditions.

At this time point, none of the prisoners sentenced to transportation at the York Special Commission had actually been deported.

It is not known where Baines' remains are buried.

The Prison Hulk register is at HO 9/8.

No comments:

Post a Comment