CRIMINAL LIVES

Stories from the archives

Thorborg Ireland: Arson with intent to defraud insurance

In 1866, Thorborg Ireland, a Norwegian widow and mother of four, was charged with arson after setting fire to her house. Personal circumstances may have driven her to commit what was deemed to have been a case of insurance fraud.

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Prison cell doors

Thomas Sweeting: Ripon Borough’s first policeman

In 1836, Ripon Borough set up a watch committee and recruited Thomas Sweeting, a local tailor, as its first policeman. He received £30 per annum and a uniform. But his tenure was not without incident or controversy.

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The story of Ursula Lofthouse

Using contemporary press reports, this is the story of Ursula Lofthouse who was found guilty of poisoning her husband and became the last woman to be publicly executed in York.

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The life of Gerald Brazill: musician, soldier, bigamist

He was a gifted musician and fought in the First World War. But Gerald Brazill had a family secret.

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rain falling on water

The Story of Esther Dyson

The tragic tale of a young woman from Sheffield who was sent to a lunatic asylum after murdering her newborn baby.

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inside a dark cell

Criminals in the asylum – part 2

In the second part of our ‘Criminals in the asylum’ feature, we take a look at three more offenders who found themselves serving time in the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum in the 19th century.

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orange flames

A burning injustice? Criminality in the age of respectability

Read about 17-year-old servant girl Edith Jennings, whose background and family connections appear to have helped her escape the long prison sentence she received for arson.

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inside a dark cell

Criminals in the asylum

Read about those 19th century criminals who found themselves serving time in a lunatic asylum.

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image of arthur lockey

Arthur Lockey

The Hull businessman who got into trouble with the law in a perfect example of a 20th century white-collar crime.

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image of ethel major

Ethel Major

The life of Ethel Major, who was convicted of poisoning and executed at Hull Prison in 1934.

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Latest Updates on Twitter

Police and the Bombing of Gloucestershire during World War Two | Gloucestershire at War | Gloucestershire Police Archives https://gloucestershirepolicearchives.org.uk/content/from-strikes-to-vips/wars/police-and-the-bombing-of-gloucestershire-during-world-war-two

Oh my goodness! I really wasn't prepared for such young faces to be staring at me from the pages of Ancestry's West Midlands Criminal Registers. #OnePlaceWednesday https://twitter.com/OnePlaceStudies/status/1329124980391636993

The 'Garrotting Panic' of the 1860s is captured in these two images. On the left a garotte robbery takes place. On the right, Punch Magazine lampoons the many 'anti-garrotting' devices invented to repel gangs who used this method of robbery.

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30 Artefacts over 30 Days

For the month of November, The OPW and Kilmainham Gaol will showcase some the Museums unique pieces to give you a glimpse of the variety of its extensive Collection while highlighting the historical importance of these pieces. #musuem30 #MuseumsUnlocked

Check out this fab "walking with convicts" digital event for @BeingHumanFest https://twitter.com/LjmulindsayA/status/1326863268619694080

Clive Emsley obituary.
Historian with an international reputation as the foremost historian of policing. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/nov/09/clive-emsley-obituary

30 Artefacts over 30 Days

For the month of November, The OPW and Kilmainham Gaol will showcase some the Museums unique pieces to give you a glimpse of the variety of its extensive Collection while highlighting the historical importance of these pieces. #museum30 #museum2020

30 Artefacts over 30 Days

For the month of November, The OPW and Kilmainham Gaol will showcase some the Museums unique pieces to give you a glimpse of the variety of its extensive Collection while highlighting the historical importance of these pieces. #museum30 #museum2020