Victorian London - Prisons and Penal System - Prisons - escapes

AN ESCAPE FROM NEWGATE. - Early on Tuesday morning Philip Krause, a sailor, awaiting his trial on a charge of robbery in the gaol of Newgate, made his escape, and for the present he remains at large, "with the world before him where to choose." Such a feat had scarcely been supposed by any one familiar with the prison and its present arrangements within the range of possibility. At all events, under any circumstances it would be fraught with imminent peril to life and limbs, and has always been of rare occurrence there. Krause is a native of Hamburg and about twenty-four years of age. He is a little above the average height, with light hair and complexion, and rather stout. He had been committed from the Thames Police Court. By a series of ingenious expedients and great daring he regained his liberty. He was confined, it is said, in a new wing of the prison, and he effected his escape by cutting a panel out of his cell door. He had previously taken down from the interior of his dormitory about ten feet of gas piping, with which, and his blankets, he appears to have made a sort of ladder. Then eluding the "vigilance," as the phrase goes, of the night watchman, he passed on to one of the airing yards, and, scaling a wall, clambered over the roof of an adjacent building to one of the lower level, and by degrees worked his way down to the open street, landing in the Old Bailey, near the governor's private entrance, and getting clear off. After escaping from his cell he had torn down another piece of gaspiping of considerable length, breaking it off near an angular joint and making thus a sort of crook, which he afterwards used with great effect in scaling the wall and letting himself down on the further side. A reward has been offered for his recapture.

The Penny Illustrated Paper, 10 May 1862

RECAPTURE OF A CONVICT - On Friday fortnight, three notorious convicts effected their escape from the county gaol, Horsemonger-lane. On Thursday week, two detective officers of the M division, whilst looking after a thief, espied one of the escaped convicts, named G.Brunell, emerging from a small gardener's cottage in a gentleman's garden at Highbury. The detectives pounced upon him, but they met with a desperate resistance; for the man being, armed with a life-preserver, made a desperate attack upon the two policemen, but they succeeded in securing him, and handed him over to the governor of the gaol. When the convict found he was in the hands of the police, he coolly remarked, "If you had come five yards nearer the cottage I would have settled both of you." Upon searching the cottage, a pistol loaded with ball was found therein, which, if the detectives had entered, would no doubt have been discharged at them.

The Penny Illustrated Paper, 5 July 1862