Criminal Lives

Files on shelving in an archive

Stories from the prison archives – part 2

In this second part of our ‘stories from the prison archives’ feature, which gives you a flavour of the rich history that can be found in the documents held at Dartmoor Prison Museum, we take a look a three more interesting characters who were incarcerated at this famous institution.

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Files on shelving in an archive

Stories from the prison archives

As the Dartmoor Prison Museum opens its doors again, we present three stories from its archives, revealing some of the interesting characters who passed through the doors of this famous prison.

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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

Really hope ⁦@CityPolice⁩ make the right decision over the precious City of London Police Museum. These museums have so much to offer their forces ⁦@PoliceChiefs⁩ https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/city-of-london-police-museum-risks-staying-closed-b1016904.html

It's GREAT to have another wonderful prison museum featured in our #CollectionoftheMonth. This time it's Dartmoor Prison Museum which tells the story of the infamous convict establishment. Find out more at https://www.capcollections.org.uk/home/cap-collections-of-the-month/

Roy Hackett was a civil rights hero – everyone in Britain should know his name | Olivette Otele https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/03/roy-hackett-civil-rights-hero-britain-bristol-bus-boycott?CMP=share_btn_tw

Did you know that we also have dedicated World War I and World War II areas within Glenside Hospital Museum?

We’re open today for visitors from 10-1pm. No need to book tickets, we have space! 😊

#heritageisopen #bristol #bristolmuseums

📣 Our latest Archives e-newsletter dropped into subscribers' inboxes this week ➡️ https://orlo.uk/BoEjt
In this issue we look at a vengeful poem, a scrapbook donation relating to the Holmes family of Nunburnholme, the renowned tightrope dancers Nicolo & Antonio Plege, & more!

It’s Medieval Mayhem at the Museums Quarter this weekend!

Here’s what to expect… https://www.hcandl.co.uk/medieval-mayhem
#ACEsupported (1/10)

This image is shocking. Even more so next to an image of a Wandsworth prison cell from the late 1850s👇. The hand crank has gone, but little else has changed. As Dostoevsky famously wrote: 'The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.' https://twitter.com/robroballen/status/1552908625013874691