The privat dungeons

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Not only the towns and the Royal courts had prisons. 
It was normal, that the aristocracy and sometimes also rich merchants, had their own privat prison cell high up under the roof, or a hidden dungeon deep down in the basements. 

Here mostly females, who somehow had disgraced the familie honour,  were kept hidden away.  
The authorities almost never interfered in, what they considered as family affairs. 
Only the holy church shown some interest in, what was happening behind these locked doors.
But for the poor prisoners, it had been better, if they hadnīt !
Some of these prisoners suffered terrible.

Like the young and very beautiful Patricia DīArcy, who together her twin brother, after their parents death, were to inherit the very large family estate .  But her brother, who was born slightly mentally handicapped, and  with a deformed face, didnīt want to share with his sister, whoīs beauty and intelligence, he had always envied, and whom, he in his thoughts, always had given the blame for his misfortune, even she always had been both very loving and helpfull towards him. 

   Bringing along a small bag full of gold coins, he convinced the judge and lawyers at the local Court, that it was a bad idea to split up the estate,  and at the same time he also with his small gift, made the judge declare his sister incurable insane, and make him her guardian. 

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"Get up sis - You know, I canīt hit you in your face, while you are lying like that !" 

Patricia is no longer the beauty, she once was.  
Starved and beaten she spends her life chained 
in complet darkness, lying in her own waistes. 
Only when her dear brother visits her to feed her with scraps, and to beat her, some light comes into her cell.   He comes every day, and each time she has to sit up facing him. 
Then her brother lets the heavy leather strap smack across her face 10 or 20 times. 
It is good, there is no light down here.  
If poor Patricia could see her face now, she would become insane for real. 

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Others were not treated so badly. 

When Annie in the age of 30 still not was married, she was, according to the usual practice in her family, fitted with hand and leg irons and locked into a small room, at a remote part of the large manor house. 

She was fed reasonably, was allowed to wash in cold water, and was given new - used - clothes, when it became to worn. 
But she was forbidden to read or write. 
Allowing her books would give her sinfull thoughts, the priest had told her family. 

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The only interruption from the deadly boredom she lived in, was the regulary visits from the Holy Church. 

Every time the priest came to receive her confession,  she was chained to a ring in the wall, before he entered her cell. 
Annie was a clever girl.  She knew, if only she agreed to everything the priest said, and confessed having naughty dreams if he asked, she would be given 100 Ave Marias, and the priest would be satisfied. 

Other places, the women were not so lucky. 
It was worse for the ateists, who couldnīt see any meaning in their sufferings. 

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"Noo please no, why are you doing this to me?"

You must confess your sins, 
so we can save your immortal soul !" 

"But I have done nothing wrong!
My stepmother has lucked me up here.
Please help me!" 

"Pull her up again, and start heating the irons!" 

It was much easyer for those who believed.

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"No my dear brother, please donīt take me down.  
Let my sinfull body hang like this to tomorrow. 
This night I again had sinfull dreams.  My corrupt fleash must be punished, or my soul will go to hell!" 

"As you can hear for yourself, you must pay us  more.  Your sister is possessed by the devil.  Even she lives locked up down here and never sees anybody, he is tempting her fleash.  Only the most severely punishments and pain can save her soul."

The priest and his helper, went from place to place to save the poor wenches souls.

Some places like here, the believing family permited them do anything they found necessary against the prisoner. 

The longer they tortured the girl, the more the family paid them. 

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" OWWW - STOP!!!" 

"Stop screaming wench, and start praying instead!" 

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Every time, some poor woman or girl, hidden away in a privat prison cell, woke up hearing their cell door been unlocked, she could not know, if it was only someone comming to feed her, or it maybe was today, the holy men had come to chastise her. 


Returning from a trip to the colonies Mrs. Wood brought back with her a black slave woman.

Mrs. Ella Wood had not always been rich.  
But then she had been so lucky, she had been able to marry Mr. Wood,
 who was a very wealthy man who lived alone with his only daughter Jane after his wife had died many years ago.  
When Mr. Wood soon after perished after a hunting accident, Ella inherited the hole fortune. 
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The very same evening after her husbands funeral, 
Ella Wood had her young stepdaughter declared insane
by bribeing the local judge.
The poor girl was stripped naked and chained to the wall in a cold and draughty open dungeon besides the courtyard. 

Here Jane spend the rest of her life 
starving and always suffering from sickness 
because of the bad food and draft, 

All her fatherīs large fortune belongs to her stepmother, 
so nobody will help her. 

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Sally, as the black slavewoman was called, 
smiles happily through the barres in her cell, where 
she spend her time, when she was not working. 

She had been brought up with, that only blackīs were slaves. 

She was happily surpriced to see, that a white girl 
was treated worse than herself. 

Here at Mrs. Woodīs manor, she was even allowed 
to beat and humiliate the white girl, when she 
once a day fed her with rotten scraps.