Insolvent debtor records

This guide was last updated in 2012

As insolvent debtors were placed in local jails until they paid off their debts, you can find records for them among prison registers.

The National Archives (TNA) holds records for prisons in the London area in series PRIS. These include records for the famous London prisons such as Fleet and Marshalsea.

TNA also holds records of the Court for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors which was established in 1813. Otherwise, the records will be found in local archives.

The website Access to Archives will explain what records are held locally and it is possible to find contact details for local archives on ARCHON. Imprisonment for them only ended in 1869 although they could declare themselves bankrupt from 1861.


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