Bankruptcy of John Turpin, 1813

Northampton Mercury 1 Jan 1814


WE, James Hawley, formerly of Huntingdon,, in the County of Huntingdon, and late of Great Linford, in the County of Buckingham, Baker; John Copus, formerly of Wargrave, in Berkshire, and late of Slough, in the County of Buckingham, Blacksmith; George Jennings, late of Chesham, in the county of Buckingham, Turner; James Minto, formerly of Birmingham, in the County of Warwick, and late of Princes’ Risborough, in the County of Buckingham, Paper-Maker; John Turpin, formerly of Winslow, in the County of Buckingham, and late of Aylesbury, in the said County; now confined in the Prison of the County of Buckingham, and being charged in Custody on the Sixth day of November, One Thousand, Eight hundred and Thirteen, do hereby give this First Public Notice, that we intend to take the Benefit of an Act passed in the 54th Year of his present Majesty’s Reign, entitled "An Act for the Relief of certain Insolvent Debtors in England" and we do hereby give Notice, that our true and perfect Schedules, containing a Discovery of our real and personal Estates, hereafter to be sworn to, are now really to be delivered to any of our Creditors applying for the same to the Keeper or Gaoler of the said Prison.
James Hawley
John Copas
George Jennings
James Minto
John Turpin
Witness – JAMES SHERRIFF, Gaoler, Aylesbury, Dec. 28th, 1813

Notes by Ed Grimsdale

This new Act was passed by Parliament in 1813 in response to the overcrowding in English gaols caused by the increasing numbers of debtors. These debtors were “bed-blocking” through their inability to discharge their debts and thus gain release. Under the Act, which remained in operation until 1861, prisoners could apply to be released from their debts – unless they were in trade, or guilty of fraud / dishonest behaviour – by reaching and publishing agreements with creditors re fair distribution of existing and future assets. Part of the required process was to publish thrice declarations such as the one by John Turpin and others. One imagines that Mr Sherriff was delighted to testify in support of his prisoners in Aylesbury Gaol in expectation that he’d gain some space ready for the next wave of those sent down for “durance vile” at the Bucks Assizes.

John Turpin was one of Winslow's many butchers listed in the Posse Comitatus of 1798. He married Mary Read at Winslow on 20 Feb 1798 (both "of this parish").

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