Discover your ancestor whose bankruptcy was recorded in The London Gazette between 1820 and 1843. The records are transcribed from The Bankrupt Directory by George Elwick and may reveal your relative’s address, occupation, and when the bankruptcy appeared in The London Gazette.
Each record comprises a transcript of the original directory. The amount of information listed varies, but the records usually include a combination of the following information about your ancestor:
• First name(s)
• Last name
• Birth year
• Year the bankruptcy appeared in The London Gazette
• Date the bankruptcy appeared in The London Gazette
• Notes (e.g.. details of previous addresses)
The record set comprises over 32,130 records from England and Wales.
These records date from 1820 to 1843.
These records are transcribed from The Bankrupt Directory by George Elwick, and include details of all bankruptcies recorded in The London Gazette between December 1820 and April 1843.
Bankruptcy in England
Until 1869, an insolvent debtor could be sent to a debtors prison or separate quarters in a local prison until his debts were cleared or a petition for release was accepted. An insolvent debtor could be indefinitely imprisoned based on the creditor having the final decision or if the debts remained uncleared, while bankrupt debtors, mainly traders or artisans, could pay the creditors and thus avoid the courts. This distinction was abolished in 1861, and after 1869, debtors no longer faced imprisonment and all debtors were classed as bankrupts. However, a bankrupt could still be imprisoned if found in contempt of court for not paying a creditor when in a position to clear the debt. The Administration of Justice Act of 1970 took away the option of imprisoning a debtor.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, there were four debtors' prisons in London: the Fleet, Faringdon; King's Bench, Southwark; Whitecross Street, Islington; and the Marshalsea, Southwark.
Until 1571, cases were heard at the Kings Bench or Court of Common Pleas, and from 1571, at Chancery Court. In 1832, the Court of Bankruptcy was established with creditors having to petition the Lord Chancellor for a Commission of Bankruptcy which then investigated the circumstances of the alleged bankruptcy and set out to recover the debts from the debtor. When the Commission had established that the debtor was bankrupt, a notice would be published in the London Gazette. Once the bankrupt had discharged his or her debts, a Certificate of Conformity would be issued. District bankruptcy courts were set up after 1842 serving districts outside of London, and from 1869, these district courts were merged with the County Courts. The London Court of Bankruptcy was set up in 1869 which was later incorporated into the High Court of Justice in 1884.
In Scotland the legal term for personal bankruptcy is sequestration and is handled differently to that in England. Details of bankruptcy proceedings were frequently published in publications such as the Gentleman's Magazine, The Times, the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes and Perry's Bankruptcy (later known as Insolvent Gazette) and Perry's Gazette or local newspapers.
The London Gazette is one of the British government’s official journals, in which certain statutory notices have to be published. It was originally published as The Oxford Gazette on 7 November, 1665. Its inaugural publication is noted by Samuel Pepys in his famous diary.