CRIMINAL LIVES

Stories from the archives

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

Our asylum team continues the story of Orlando Bridgeman, as concern grows at the family home of Weston Hall when letters about his condition continue to arrive. Read more https://staffordshireasylumrecords.wordpress.com/patients/ #staffsasylums (image Weston Hall, County Archaeology Dept/staffspasttrack.org.uk)

This 1872 drawing by the City Engineer William Mackison is a design proposal for a cattle market and abattoir at East Dock Street. A cattle market was built there but to different designs.

#Dundee #Archives

Whistling Willie was a Perth eccentric who was renowned for his obsession with the Glovers' Michaelmas dinner. Whenever he was asked, he could immediately answer how many days there were until the next dinner.

This photograph of Willie was taken by Magnus Jackson c. 1880.

Browns Castle also known as The Black Dog prison. Notorious smuggler and Privateer Luke Ryan escaped here in 1779. He seized back control of his vessel, picked up his crew at Rush and sailed for the smugglers haven of Dunkirk to later embark on a prolific career as privateer.

Hear unique insights and stories from The National Archives’ records and learn about the long history of public health responses in Britain. How did outbreaks from the past affect real people and how did they change Britain? #PodcastRecommendations

https://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/public-health-crises-exploring-britains-medical-history/

** Small bit of paid work available **

I'm looking for someone who can decipher (if possible) the form of shorthand used in these two manuscripts. I *think* they are in the hand of Edwin Chadwick, and they deal with the elderly Jeremy Bentham's ailing health

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Did your ancestors have a 'Fleet Marriage'? Up until the first half of the 18th century, irregular or clandestine marriages were much more common that you might think! https://bit.ly/37jFx2K
#AncestryHour #Genealogy #Marriage
Image: Caricature of a Fleet Marriage (Wikipedia)

We continue to mark the life and achievements of Hull aviator Amy Johnson by releasing Part 4 of her letters which are now available to view online. These cover April 1927 to Whitsun 1927 http://hullhistorycentre.org.uk/research/research-guides/amy-johnson-letters.aspx @hull_libraries @jrlthull @Hull_Museums