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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⁦@prisonhistoryuk⁩ Watchet Court Leet Lock Up, Market St, Watchet, Nth Somerset. Court app still meets annually & ceremoniously ‘true men of Watchet’, at Bell Inn since 1643.

A doll dressed in the uniform of the Clifton Industrial School for Boys. Pupils at schools like these made uniforms for dolls that were then sold to raise money. In 1857 the law gave magistrates the power to send 7-14 yr olds to one of these institutions for vagrancy.
#DollDay

On 29 July 1864, Solomon Allies was appointed as Borough Gaoler @tolhousemuseum
Great Yarmouth Local History & Archaeological Society have kindly given us permission to share an article about the last gaoler & predecessors at the Tolhouse.
Read full post http://ow.ly/JC4Y50AETWQ

@tolhousemuseum @timetidemuseum Very interesting article on last gaol keeper in Great Yarmouth @tolhousemuseum @prisonhistoryuk @ourcriminalpast

Great view of Glasgow Cross showing the tolbooth building before its demolition in 1921 Archive Ref: P9629
#Archivesathome #Glasgowlifegoeson

Was your ancestor punished by transported? Get started with guide for tracing your transported convict ancestor(s) - Our Criminal Ancestors #familyhistory #genealogy #ancestors https://ourcriminalancestors.org/source-guide-for-tracing-your-transported-convict-ancestorss/

Tracing your police ancestors? Some simple tips to get started - Our Criminal Ancestors #familyhistory #ancestors #genealogy https://ourcriminalancestors.org/police-ancestors/

Looking for introduction to where to find criminal justice system records - start here - Our Criminal Ancestors #familyhistory #genealogy #ancestors https://ourcriminalancestors.org/where-to-find-criminal-justice-system-records/

Researching your prison ancestors: an introductory guide - Our Criminal Ancestors #familyhistory #genealogy #ancestors https://ourcriminalancestors.org/researching-your-prison-ancestors-an-introductory-guide/