Laboring at Newgate
Naming of Newgate
Before the town of Centreville was created in 1792, the area was named after places in London. Newgate Tavern may have been named after the infamous Newgate Prison. A property adjacent to the tavern was called Wapping after a district in east London. The small stream that divided the two was named after the River Thames.
Convicts to Virginia
From 1718 to 1775 over 20,000 convicts were shipped from England to Virginia under the authority of the Transportation Act of 1718. The British Treasury paid merchants a subsidy to transport convicts to the British colonies in North America. Most of the people were transported for stealing and were typically banished for a period of 7 years, although some were exiled for 14 years or life depending on their crime.
Merchants preferred transporting young, able-bodied men who they could sell as indentured servants. Skilled tradesmen brought the highest prices. Sales were conducted on board ship by the local agent who sold the convicts in lots to local buyers. The purchase price of convicts was substantially less than that of slaves. Irish convicts were also sent to Virginia.
Convicts and Slaves at Newgate
William Carr Lane and James Lane operated a nearby store and engaged in the sale of transported convicts. Early tax ledgers list some of the convicts that resided on this property. John Barnard was transported for stealing wheat and Charles Clarke for stealing five geese. William Carr Lane also had from two to four slaves laboring at Newgate at any given time.
Most of the convicts sent to Virginia landed at ports on the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers, including the ports of Alexandria and Dumfries.
Comments 0 comments