CRIMINAL LIVES

Stories from the archives

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

@Dan_Johnson19 @LincolnCastle @interwarcrime @ourcriminalpast At Gloucester Prison, day rooms originally for prisoners awaiting trial or those serving short terms in gaol - only convicts separated day and night. Later overcrowding meant convicts sometimes put together to work.

I’ve just written about the HMP Wandsworth quilt for my book, which is exhibited at the V&A museum and was created by inmates of the prison. The quilt draws on the architectural layout of the prison, which reflects Bentham’s panopticon design
https://t.co/H3MyFRjsMu

Last call today to register to catch @YvonneJewkes, Zoe Alker (Liverpool U), @LindaMulcahy7, @RhiannonPickin, @AndrewMillie, and Gonçalo Goncalves (Rio) this Friday, talking about criminal justice history and the built environment:

https://t.co/4JJFYtRZ8Y

Did you know… we have a team of documentation assistants who research and record our stuff (like paintings, objects, sculptures…) onto the museum database?

To find out more about this #MuseumJob , take a look at this post: https://t.co/wv8JNYr9Un #SecretsMW

Here's a #SecretsMW for #MuseumWeek, under this trapdoor is 'The Hold' where debtors would be placed rather than in the normal prison cells. Bit awkward to get into (and escape from...) so normally safely locked up, we wouldn't want to lose any visitors down there!

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Government plan to follow Scotland on scrapping shorter jail sentences may not be the fix UK prisons need https://t.co/slKKMFwfwI

The next Leeds Historical Criminology even on the 19th June, has the fabulous @francescrook @lizzieseal and Vivien Miller (Nottingham) talking about the historical (and more recent) evolution of the death penalty. All welcome, please RT:
https://t.co/0KN2xrIZYp

Just heading across Humber! Off to visit Great Grimsby Family History Society to talk about Our Criminal Ancestors, Town Hall 7:30pm

The next Leeds Historical Criminology even on the 19th June, has the fabulous @francescrook @lizzieseal and Vivien Miller (Nottingham) talking about the historical (and more recent) evolution of the death penalty. All welcome, please RT:
https://t.co/0KN2xrIZYp