A prison or reform school for petty offenders.
- They were hauled off to the barracks, spent the night in the bridewell, and the next day were convicted.
- In the 17th century, bridewells and reformatory institutions started to appear.
- With the advent of bridewells, convicts begin to inhabit separate punitive institutions for the first time.
Mid 16th century: named after St Bride's Well in the City of London, near which such a building stood.
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