1603 : Robert Pluckrose is locked up in the Gatehouse Prison

Title: The Athenæum: Journal of Literature, Science, and the Fine Arts , 1839 277b
Date: 1603
Place: Westminster


We are again indebted to the kindness of Mr. Devon for this curious and interesting paper. There will be found many names among the prisoners, of whose sufferings history has left no record. It is made, says Mr. Devon, from “the original returns from the Tower of London, and Gate-house at Westminster, which were made up every quarter, and signed by the Lieutenant, or prison keeper, also by several Lords of the Council.”

. . .


Thomas Atkinson (Gate-house).
Bartholomew Brookesby and Servant.
Francis Brunswick (Gate-house).
The late Lord Cobham and two Servants (the allowance is 8l. per week).
Antony Copley.
William Clerk, a priest.
James Earl of Desmond (in the Fleet).
Late Lord Grey, of Wilton, and Servant, (the allowance 6l. 13s. 4d. per week).
Roger Gwynne, a priest.
Lawrence Kemishe, Esq.
Nicholas Kendall, gentleman.
Edward Lingen.
Sir Griffin Markham and Servant.
Robert Pluckrose (Gate-house).
Patrick Ruthven, Esq.
John Riding (Gate-house).
Sir Walter Rayleigh and two Servants.
James Standiche.
Valatyne Thomas.
William Watson, a priest.

I have no idea why Robert Pluckrose was imprisoned in the GateHouse Prison.  Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603 and was succeeded by
James I (James VI of Scotland) but have no evidence that this was significant.   As we can see,
Sir Walter Raleigh (Rayleigh) was imprisoned in the Tower during the same year on suspicion of being involved in a plot against the new King James I.

The Gatehouse Prison was built in 1370 as the gatehouse of Westminster Abbey and was first used as a prison by the Abbot.   Sir Walter Raleigh was held here the night before he was beheaded in Old Palace Yard, Westminster on 29 October 1618.  Another famous prisoner was Samuel Pepys. The Gatehouse prison was demolished in 1776 and its site, in front of the Abbey's Great West Door, is the Westminster scholars' Crimean War Memorial.


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