Definition of marshalsea in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmärSHəlsē/ /ˈmɑrʃəlsi/


  • 1(in England) a court held before the marshal of the royal household. It was abolished in 1849.

    ‘When Francis was born, Mr Place was an officer of the Marshalsea court.’
    • ‘But what made this Inn once noted was that all the six attorneys of the Marshalsea Court (better known as the Palace Court) had their chambers there.’
    • ‘He was born in a "sponging house," his father being one of the bailiffs of the Marshalsea Court, and no more genteel or refined than his class, was apprenticed to a leather breeches maker at the age of thirteen.’
    • ‘In 1377 Brembre, Walworth and Philpot came to the fore as the leaders of the capitalist party and re-united it in the face of Gaunt's efforts to extend the authority of the marshalsea court into the city.’
    • ‘Not receiving the money as he expected, he brought an action in the Marshalsea court, but was non-suited, by not attending to prove the wig his property.’
    1. 1.1the MarshalseaA former prison in London, used especially to incarcerate debtors. It was abolished in 1842.


Late Middle English (earlier marchalcy): from Anglo-Norman French marschalcie, from late Latin mariscalcia, from mariscalcus ‘marshal’.