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

Another important article here on the impact of the Irish War of Independence on the lives of women & girls by Prof Louise Ryan who first shone a spotlight on this history of sexual violence back in 2000. https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/louise-ryan-battles-on-the-home-front-1.4191526

Colleagues out there in #histmed #medhist land there is anew journal just launched supported by the European Association for the the History of Medicine and Health. It's called European Journal for the History of Medicine and Health. Submit now! https://brill.com/view/journals/ehmh/ehmh-overview.xml?fbclid=IwAR3RxNF6ZHn9L-u9ku5bEiiDooQFQ2hC96nuIp868C4vknBOBkefP0fE8io

Archives will not reopen before September and will offer a "much different service" when they do, the chief executive of the Archives and Records Association told Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine:

https://bit.ly/3ctp0Jj

Can you help us to gather anymore information on George Ashton? He fell down the shaft of Grove Colliery in January 1837, was this a fatal accident, was he the only one involved? What became of his family? #DiscoverJG #Wakefield #Mining

The image shows officers at Bow Street in the coxcomb helmet, which had replaced top hats in 1863 and were themselves phased out later that century in favour of the ridgeless model familiar today... https://twitter.com/BNArchive/status/1268188383639191555

Great opportunity for members of the Hull History Network at the @UniOfHull to take part in the @HullMaritime project. Thanks for involving our Historians. https://twitter.com/HullMaritime/status/1268105432096215042

WO 416 cataloguing project involves 25 dedicated volunteers who work with history cards of Second World War British and Allied Prisoners of War captured in German occupied territory. Thanks to this, descriptions of 120,000 individuals are live on Discovery #VolunteersWeek

It's been a busy week for @HistoryManMet's Associate Lecturer, @reeshistory! First a new website and now a virtual public talk on PTSD in the ancient world! To hear Dr Owen Rees' thoughts on whether PTSD was present in the ancient world, click the link below!

#PTSD #combatstress https://twitter.com/reeshistory/status/1268113316788011008

This month, our asylum project is looking at asylum gardens and grounds. Do you have any images of Staffordshire's asylum grounds (Stafford, Burntwood, Cheddleton?). If so, we would love to hear from you https://staffordshireasylumrecords.wordpress.com/ #staffsasylums #hospitalhistory