Mill prison
Talks & Seminars

Captives and Captors

Join Bar­bie Thomp­son as she shines a light on the fas­ci­nat­ing his­to­ry of Mill Prison in Ply­mouth and the pris­on­ers that passed that passed through it.

Barbie Thompson, History Researcher, Plymouth U3A

This talk shines a light on the fascinating history of Mill Prison in Plymouth. Purpose-built in 1695, the site originally held 300 prisoners overflowing from hulks moored on the Hamoaze. During the American War of Independence, Napoleonic Wars, and War of 1812 some 10,000 prisoners passed through Plymouth.

But what was the experience like for those Mill Prison inmates? A comparatively small number died, indicating that hygiene and food must have been a reasonable standard - in an era not known for its care of prisoners. The French, unlike American prisoners, were treated as Prisoners of War. However, ‘Colonists’ were regarded as rebels against the Crown and branded as traitors, which boded ill for U.S. mariners captured on board an American privateer who would be treated as pirates!
Mill prison