National Geographic Historys Toughest Prisons: If you think debtors today have a hard time, go back 300 years with Piers Hernu to Londonís Fleet Prison. Greed and fraud leads to one of the biggest financial meltdowns ever. Thousands of investors lose everything. Sound familiar? Except this was nearly 300 years ago and the losers are thrown not just into debt, but into one of the most brutal prisons of all time. Who better to investigate than former city boy turned gold smuggler Piers Hernu. He found himself sharing a crowded cell in Nepal. But that was a picnic compared to the hell of Londonís notorious Fleet prison. Toffs and commoners alike were banged up under the brutal regime of governor Thomas Bambridge. Georgian society was horrified to discover the torture, cruelty and death that took place behind the walls of Fleet Prison, conveniently located on the edge of the City Of London.