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

Hello Twitter! We are the Northern Legal History Group. We are a legal history research group based in the North West of England. Please give us a follow! We will be announcing our first event soon...

A rare Hull cream K8 Phonebox in front of the Modernist walled entrance to East Park. Also should Twitter end. Thank you all for following me and liking my posts. Much appreciated.

#hull #yorkshire #travel #architecture #c20 #modernist

The Scotia at Troon Harbour 🌊

This ship was bought by William Speirs Bruce in 1902 and underwent reconstruction by the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company in Troon. This was to prepare the vessel for its departure on the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition. Dated 1902, ref ATD6/18/ii

The next talk in our exciting #HCNet Speakers’ Series, ‘Racist-Gendered State Violence: Punishing Migrant Women and Separating Families’ by @DrMonishBhatia will take place on 14 December 2022 between 4-5.30pm BST.

Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-bsc-hcnet-series-anti-fascism-decolonisation-critical-race-theory-tickets-414114336127

One of the earliest photographs of the @BrumCityWMP Birmingham Police, dating back to the 1860s.

The original uniform was very smart, but not wholly practical... #museum30 #origin

To emphasize its civilian nature the #origin-al Met uniform included a top hat, which lasted until helmets were introduced in 1863. We have one in our collection and until April 2023 it can be seen in the #Executions exhibition at @MuseumofLondon Docklands. #Museum30

An exhibition to mark the centenary of the execution of Peter Cassidy, James Fisher, John Gaffney and Richard Twohig on 17 November 1922 opened in Kilmainham Gaol today. These were the first executions of the Civil War. 1/4

1961 National Police Dog Trials held at Crewe by @cheshirepolice @ChNWPoliceDogs Dogs from 40 forces took place but none from Cheshire

@PoliceDogTrials @thekaiser999 @The_NFRSA @AssociationRPDs @OscarKiloNine @Chappers2013 @PD_DexterWBDOG @KeoghHeath @theFOALGroup @K9memorialUk

May Place Reformatory, Old Swan, #Liverpool opened 1876 for 'wayward, delinquent' girls

1880 HO Inspector Inglis noted

‘it deals with the roughest material possible...the girls who are brought within its influences have previously passed through every phase of degradation.’

#museum30 the #origin of our huge #Liverpool,family archive is the 100s of photos, medals, letters, union badges, postcards,sketches,autograph books, employment documents, bibles and more dating back to the mid 1800s thro to post ww2 http://historicalclues.blogspot.com/2022/01/postcards-into-past.html