CRIMINAL LIVES

Stories from the archives

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

We have 100+ images of lock-ups in our database. More than illustrations, these are critical primary sources which reveal much about the history of these buildings. Find out more in our latest feature comparing images from the past & present 👇#twitterstorians #historyteacher https://twitter.com/prisonhistoryuk/status/1192469272246833153

Anyone here not read the latest @PSJ_UK yet?? You really should, it's a goodie - prisons in historical context.

Read all about it: https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/publications/psj/prison-service-journal-246

#prisons #twitterstorians #history #criminaljustice

Absolutely riveting details given by @Elaineffarrell and @Leannemcck from their @ahrcpress project @BadBridget. Nuance, compassion, transnational ties, fathers pleading for their daughters and more. What an incredible research project

Actually this from 1947 is also pretty familiar then reflecting fears of ‘open’ prisons @YvonneJewkes @carceralgeog @drjamiebennett @crewebencrewe @drdommoran @tcguiney

On next page of scrapbook ‘prison staff complain of attacks’ and another story ‘hose turned on 100 boys: disturbance in approved school’ 1945 @YvonneJewkes @carceralgeog @drjamiebennett @crewebencrewe @drdommoran @tcguiney

Today I’m reading newspapers strikingly familiar tone ... ‘Blow up the Old Gaols’ Home Sec Morrison plans ‘revolution in the penal system, scrapping all the old prisons & the old methods’ Year? 1944 @YvonneJewkes @carceralgeog @drjamiebennett @crewebencrewe @drdommoran @tcguiney

This lovely picture shows a charwoman in 1855. A charwoman was a part-time cleaner, different to a maid in that they did not live in the house. Were any of your ancestors domestic servants?
Ref DE/Bi/4/54 #archives #servant #photography

Prison Service Journal: 246 ⁦@PSJ_UK⁩ great to see this new collection of historical perspectives on prison from ⁦@RhiannonPickin⁩ ⁦@allan_brodie54⁩ ⁦@tcguiney⁩ edited by ⁦@interwarcrime⁩ and Alana Barton https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/publications/psj/prison-service-journal-246

NEW policy paper - Historical content matters: a response to the critical thinking skills agenda by @KatieEBarclay http://www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/historical-content-matters-a-response-to-the-critical-thinking-skills-agenda

Martin Waters poignant poppy displays return to @HullMinster, as we remember those who gave so much. The installation is at the Minster until the end of November.