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[mahr-shuh l-see] /ˈmɑr ʃəlˌsi/
noun, British History.
the court of the marshal of the royal household.
a debtors' prison in London, abolished in 1842.
Origin of Marshalsea
1350-1400; Middle English marchalsye, variant of marschalcie. See marshal, -cy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Marshalsea
Historical Examples
  • Both the private father and the Father of the Marshalsea were strong within him then.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The Marshalsea prison was "an infected pest house all the year long."

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • A reformed Marshalsea would not have given us any Little Dorrit.

    Knut Hamsun Hanna Astrup Larsen
  • The Marshalsea wouldn't be like the Marshalsea now, without you and your family.'

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • I think it was in the year 1877 or 1878 or thereabouts that I walked over to see the Marshalsea before it was pulled down.

    South London Sir Walter Besant
  • The Father of the Marshalsea had never been offered tribute in copper yet.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The Father of the Marshalsea said, with a shrug of modest self-depreciation, 'Oh!

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • This was the life, and this the history, of the child of the Marshalsea at twenty-two.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • For when they got back to the Marshalsea the prison gates had closed for the night and they had to stay out till morning.

    Tales from Dickens Charles Dickens and Hallie Erminie Rives
  • Little Dorrit parted from them at the door, and hastened back to the Marshalsea.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for Marshalsea


(formerly in England) a court held before the knight marshal: abolished 1849
a prison for debtors and others, situated in Southwark, London: abolished in 1842
Word Origin
C14: see marshal, -cy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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