Marshalsea Prison - more

Written on 10/18/2022
Robert Williams

As you walk through the two grille gates and along what remains of the southern wall of Marshalsea prison, you are reminded that the prison was referred to by Charles Dickens in his novel Little Dorrit. Dickens’ father, John Dickens, had spent time at Marshalsea and so Charles was writing from personal experience. His father served as a model for the fictional character Wilkins Micawber. In David Copperfield. Micawber – who was a revolving-door visitor to another debtor’s prison (The Kings Bench Prison) – was eventually transported to Australia. He thrived there, becoming a magistrate – on the other side of the law!

"As the sails rose to the wind, and the ship began to move, there broke from all the boats three resounding cheers, which those on board took up, and echoed back, and which were echoed and re-echoed."

The scene as Micawber departs for Australia – Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

Stone reference to Dickens