England: St George the Martyr parish, Southwark

Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison

Evidence suggests that Robert Crowe (1745-1817) and his brother George (1750-1808) were confined there in the 1780s.  The building has been demolished and all that is left is a remnant wall.

John Dickens, the father of the novelist Charles Dickens was imprisoned there too.  Two characters in Dickens’s novels have a connection with the Marshalsea – the spendthrift character Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield (ever optimistic that ‘something will turn up’) and William Dorrit in Little Dorrit.

St George the Martyr church

The building is a few hundred meters along Borough High Street at a major intersection.  William Crowe (1785-1835) was baptised in the parish.

A kneeling figure of Little Dorrit in a window in the east wing of the church gives a link with Charles Dickens.

St George the Martyr parish workhouse

Just a few hundred meters further away on Mint Street was the location of the former workhouse where Sarah O’Brien (d.1793) gave birth to William Crowe in 1785.