The Jail

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter II (9) | Start of Chapter

In the afternoon I visited the jail, a building, with its appendages, including an acre and a half of land. It contained eighty-one prisoners; seventeen had been that morning sent to Dublin for transportation. They were all at work; some cracking stones, some making shoes, and others tailoring or weaving. Their food is one pound of stirabout, and milk in the morning, and four pounds of potatoes for dinner. There are two hospitals, one for males and the other for females. The drop where criminals are executed is in front; four had suffered upon it within the last two years.

Ireland’s Welome to the Stranger is one of the best accounts of Irish social conditions, customs, quirks and habits that you could wish for. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, was an American widow who travelled extensively in Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine and meticulously observed the Irish peasantry at work and play, as well as noting their living conditions and diet. The book is also available from Kindle.