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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 Cobourg Gaol in the 1830's was quite unlike many of the country club type institutions of present day. An interesting list is provided of the furnishings in: (1) The Debtor "Apartment" Two tables, six bedsteads, six bedticks, two blankets, one rug, one cooking stove and pipes. (2) The Criminal's "Apartment" One long table, two cooking stoves and pipes, nine rugs, sixteen blankets, seven bedticks, six bedsteads. 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 Chatham jailor nicknamed 'Grampus' is described as a brutish biped, a cruel bestial Englishman.
Brown has numerous sketches in his 'autobiography' including the jail turn-key assaulting an old insane woman (examination of the register records shows this is likely 60 year old Sarah Corbit).
Among these prisoners are recorded the insane, whose first stop on the way to the asylum was often the County jail.
There were of course the 'criminal' offenders, jailed for assaults, rapes, robberies, and murders.
The would have received its prisoners from Oshawa in the east, through Pickering, and the northern townships of Old Ontario county.
The Whitby Jail register recorded name, age, white/colored, religion, place of birth, trade or occupation, education,by whom committed, offence, date of imprisonment, sentence, where and when discharged.
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!