Introduction

About the Norwich case study

This case study looks at debtors and prisons in Norwich during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and is the result of the investigations by people living in Norfolk who responded to our appeal for history detectives.

Meet the detectives

The history detectives are people living in Norfolk who responded to our appeal.

Debt and Norwich

The English economy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries relied on informal networks of credit and debt at all levels of society, from wealthy gentry and merchants to shopkeepers and labourers.

A Norwich creditor

John Harrison Yallop was a leading money lender in Norwich in the early nineteenth century.

Debt: the legal position

The recovery of debt was of everyday importance to many people.

Petitions and Parliament

Debtors in prisons throughout the land regularly presented petitions to Parliament requesting relief.

Debtors' Relief Acts

From 1670 onwards, Parliament passed Acts every few years for the relief of imprisoned debtors.

Meet the history detectives on flickr