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

Great to welcome @DrMichaelReeve back to Hull to present a public lecture at @Hull_Museums on the role of Special Constabulary during the First World War. This is the first of a series of public lectures showcasing the excellent research by Graduate scholars at the @UniOfHull

Researching Charlotte this evening. Here she is in 1898.She spent 55 years in institutions. The last one, Ely Hospital in Cardiff, forgot her birthday and the names of her parents. None of that mattered - she was just a body to feed, sleep, wake and repeat. She died in 1953.

#BadBridget Mary McDonagh ‘Left her husband five weeks ago because he would not give her any money. Said he was stingy and would not buy her clothes.’

Lesson number 2: Don't marry a stingy man.
#ValentinesDay #wmnhist #twitterstorians #Irishdiaspora

West Yorkshire History Centre: Our Criminal Ancestors workshop for public, Tue 16 Jun 2020 at 10:30 | Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/our-criminal-ancestors-workshop-tickets-92952263723

Not 1 but 2 #historicalcriminology blogs for your delectation!

@dr_vnagy & I reflect on recent work by @dchurchill01 @yeomans_henry & Paul Lawrence

I’m not one for interactive twitter but interested to hear the thoughts of crims / crime historians... https://www.historicalcriminology.com/?m=1 https://twitter.com/dralexaneale/status/1228002835494834176

Researching Prison Governor’s conference minutes today @UkNatArchives, Oxford 1948: ‘the whole of the crisis now “the chronic situation” was caused by a shortage of staff, and a shortage of accommodation as against a surplus of prisoners’. #prisongovernors #prisonhistory

Fancy a stroll through East #London in 1889? On the Travels Through Time free podcast we’ll be walking through street markets, experiencing the stillness on the #Thames during the Dock Strike, and watching a boxing match in a #Shoreditch church.
https://www.tttpodcast.com/season-02/london-blackest-streets-sarah-wise-1889

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The architect for the new #Ripon House of Correction, was Lord Grantham of Baldersby, an amateur architect willing to plan the building for free. Grantham’s original 1815 design was rejected. @BritPoliceHist @ourcriminalpast @RiponTogether @GenealogyBeech @prisonhistoryuk