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

There are lots of myths about the Victorians being prude, unsmiling, stiffs. They are shattered by these photographs I’ve been happily discovering of them smiling, laughing & goofing around. And there are many more to be found. Thread

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Are you an experienced information professional? Would you like to work for the Parliamentary Archives? We are currently recruiting for a Senior Archivist. For more information about the role and to apply, please visit https://t.co/hPT39r0ORU Closing date: 28th July #heritagejobs

Our free exhibition 'Prisoners or Patients? Criminal Insanity in Victorian Scotland' with @HistPsychiatry @univofstandrews is coming soon to @edfringe #Edinburgh #MakeYourFringe https://t.co/Gh8yTz5q5O

Look forward to presenting Police as Ploughmen at Social History Society conference, Gender, Labour & Consumption in historical perspective 13-14/9/2019 U. of Essex @PolHisSoc1985

Remembering @WMPolice @brumpolice PC George Snipe, fatally injured when attacked by a mob trying to free a prisoner - aged 29, 19/7/1897

#LestWeForget

@helenrogers19c @OldBaileyOnline Kathy Chater talked about Ann Duck in her book "Untold Histories
Black people in England and Wales during the period of the British Slave trade, c. 1660–1807" (2009) https://t.co/GXMoP1i8XI - but not sure if there's been much else besides the ODNB entry on her?

‘You answered him back and used your tongue pretty freely’: patriarchal dismissal of domestic abuse https://t.co/fGHS1FUbuN

New on my sleuthing blog: Mr Dawson's Infamous Beerhouse - the story of my own nefarious ancestor! #familyhistory #crimehist #Manchester https://t.co/3NupINc4qV