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From West Yorkshire Prison Records I've just found out that my great grandmother Harriet Beatson (nee Bray) was sent to Wakefield prison on 14th January 1903 and served 4 days for non payment of costs. Does anyone know where I might find the reason for this. I've looked in the local newspapers but didn't find anything. Our family believe her children were put into care and I wonder if this was the reason why. Their father Albert was in and out of jail many times for theft.
Any help will perhaps help me solve this riddle
I would say you would need to research those prison records more closely and find out exactly what the non payment of cost really mean.
Sending her to Wakefield from Sheffield for 4days doesn't seem worth while to me but not up on the rule of law for such things.
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Could it be that Harriet was destitute and was unable to pay a debt. I notice on Ancestry that the actual sentence was for 4 days or pay 11s 2d that she obviously hadn't got. I also notice that she only served 3 days in prison. She may have worked off the debtor perhaps someone paid the 11s 2d for her. Albert was released from prison 8 December 1902. If she was indeed destitute this could be the reason for losing the children.
Jenny, if she was taken away to prison then the authorities would have to look after her children. They would have gone into the workhouse until their mother came back to look after them.