springing house

1) Possibly associated with a kind of parole system, 'to spring' someone from gaol, either by paying to have the prisoner released or to advance a sum of money to achieve freedom.

In an appeal to the magistrates, in 1724, Zacharia Cooke of Knottingley claimed that he was much oppressed with extortion by a bailiff named Jonah Benson who keeps a Springing house and when he arrests anybody hurryes them thither and exploits large sums of money from them under colour of his office. This sounds as if money had to be paid before a prisoner was released, in which case it approaches the American slang expression ‘to spring’ someone from gaol. Wright has a dialect use of ‘to spring’ in the sense of advancing a sum of money.

places Knottingley
dates 1724

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