About Jerry White

Jerry White is an award-winning historian of London. His latest book, Mansions of Misery. A Biography of the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison, was published by Random House (the Bodley Head) in 2016.

Jerry worked in local government, mainly in London, from 1967 to 2009. During that time he was Chief Executive of the London Borough of Hackney (1989-1995) and was one of the three Local Government Ombudsmen for England (1995-2009), with responsibility for South London among other areas.

Jerry is currently working on a social history of London in the Second World War, to be published by The Bodley Head in 2021.


Mansions of Misery: A Biography of the Marshalsea Debtors' Prison

Mansions of Misery Book Jacket

Published 6th October 2016

For Londoners of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, debt was a part of everyday life. But when your creditors lost their patience, you might be thrown into one of the capital’s most notorious jails: the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison...

"The story of the Marshalsea is also the story of ordinary Londoners and the telling of it results in a fascinating and beautifully written social history of the metropolis." - London Historians Blog

The most notorious prison of all, immortalised by Charles Dickens, was the Marshalsea on the south side of the Thames in London, now the subject of Jerry White’s fascinating institutional biography. - The Times


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Jerry White's Books