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Gaol Fever
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In 1375, a man named William de Rakyer (probably his job title rather than family name - William the |muck| raker) was appointed to clean the lock ups and remove dung from the palace stables. In 1376, Bishop William de Wykeham demolished some older buildings and doubled the length of the hall to the west, using part of the cellar vaults to hold wrongdoers. While the men's and women's gaols had undoubtedly been bad, this new subterranean location was worse. The prison had no sanitation and certainly no washing facilities. The stench inside would have been truly atrocious.


Gaol Fever



In I378 it was recorded that a huge pile of dirt, dust and filth lay in the courtyard for 31 weeks. The nearby river flooded parts of the prison at high tide, bringing in more sewage and waterborne infections including Camp Fever (Typhoid), The Ague (Malaria) and The Flux (Dysentery).
The name ‘Clink’ seems to have been attached in the 14th century and was derived from the sound of the blacksmith’s hammer closing the irons around the wrists or ankles of the prisoners. Though the similar sounding 'clinch' - to connect or to seal - and the Flemish word ‘klink’ meaning ‘latch’ - the latch on the gaol door - must both have added to the term's considerable сurrency.

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