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Lewes - East Sussex, England

Lewes Prison was built in 1853 to serve the South-East of England. After the 1916 Rising it housed a  number of prominent prisoners. These were individuals who had been appeared before the court martial in Dublin and found guilty. Many of them had been given long sentences and had spent the months after the Rising journeying through various prisons in Britain. As they were men who had been found guilty, as opposed to those who had been interned at Frongoch, they were not released at the end of 1916 to return home. On 14 November 1916 it was decided that all convicted male prisoners from the Rising would be transferred to Lewes where they could serve their time together and in better conditions. The men had all arrived there by December 1916, and their number included Eamon de Valera, Thomas Hunter and Thomas Ashe. The prisoners waged a campaign of disobedience against the prison authorities which led to a riot in May 1917 and the breaking up of the group and their dispersal to other prisons. Many of them were released under general amnesty in June 1917 and returned to Ireland. Lewes Prison remains in use.

Related books: Lewes Jail April 1917