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special inmate

Hi there
New to the site and I hope some one can help
On looking for a Thomas Ashworth b 1837 Preston (Grt Grt Grandfather )
On the 1871 census it says that he was a Special in mate at
Barracks for 3rs Royal Lancre Militia ,Preston
on the original census it says he was a slipper maker and Volenteer Corp but there is a line through that
Has anyone got any idea what a special inmate would mean ?
His wife and children were living at a different address in queen St Preston

Thanks Jackey

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