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The Story of the Lunar Rogue

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Henry More Smith had been recaptured and returned to Kingston jail to await trial. Henry was resigned, composed and even co-operative. Sheriff Bates was nervous. The Sheriff cited “painful experience” as the motivation for the extraordinary measures taken to secure the prisoner.

The Sheriff described Henry’s cell as being twenty two feet by sixteen, with three foot thick stone and lime walls on three sides and the fourth of twelve inch thick timber, lathed and plastered. The door was of two inch thick plank doubled and lined with sheet iron and secured with three iron hinges and three strong padlocks. In the door was a small iron wicket, also secured with a padlock. There was one small window through the stone wall with grates inside and out and enclosed with glass on the outside.

Not yet satisfied, the Sheriff’s description continues: “We put on his right leg an iron chain no more than long enough to allow him to reach the necessary, and take his provisions at the wicket door. The end of the chain was fastened to the timber floor by a strong staple near the partition wall so that he could not reach the grated window by five or six feet”. The jailer checked the prisoner frequently to ensure he remained secured and every couple of days, the Sheriff arrived to make a personal assessment. Henry was calm and quiet and came to the wicket willingly to have his irons checked. As the days passed, Sheriff Bates became confident that they would have no further trouble keeping the Lunar Rogue confined. It was on the twelfth day that his confidence was shaken.