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Radio & Podcast

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The floating hell of prison hulks

History Extra Podcast


The focus in this podcast are the 'prison hulks' or floating prisons used by the British to 'house' convicts during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Former navy ships were docked on the Thames (and at other locations) and male convicts were kept on board until they were transported elsewhere in the empire, including Australia.

Boys as young as 8 were kept on board prison hulks, called 'rotten leaky tubs' by reformers.

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