‘Mutiny at Woolwich Dockyard’ (1802) – attempted escape by hulk prisoners

During the 18th and 19th centuries, many ships no longer fit to sail the seas were converted into floating prisons. In the London area these 'prison hulks' were located in the Thames by Woolwich and Deptford.This account of an  'Mutiny at Woolwich Dock Yard' (Morning Post, 2 August 1802) describes an attempted escape by prisoners ...

Burns Night + Scottish Martyrs at Woolwich

It's Burns Night on Saturday, something I always try and celebrate with some Islay whisky (I got a bottle of Laphroaig for Christmas), a vegetarian haggis and my dad's old bagpipe chanter from when he played in a band on Islay in the early 1950s. Plus my dad's collected poems of Robert Burns that I ...

History Corner: Transportation from Deptford to Australia

The Deptford riverside has been the starting point for  many journeys across the oceans, some of them freely chosen adventures, many of them not. One destination was Australia, where convicted prisoners were shipped off to penal colonies from the 1780s (the practice formally ended in 1868, though it had become rare by that point).Reg Rigden's ...