Glossary

Acquit: Find not guilty.

Counterfeiting: Forgery, often of money.

Felony: a serious offence. Punishable by the death penalty.

Habitual Criminal: Defined by the 1869 Habitual Criminals Act as “suspicious persons” who had previously been convicted of more than one offence.

House of Correction: A prison where offenders accused of minor offences were put to hard labour.

Hulk: decommissioned war ship used to hold convicts prior to transportation.

Indictable offence: must be tried by a jury.

Indictment: Formal accusation charging someone with a crime. Takes the form of a written document containing brief details of the accusation.

Larceny: theft of personal property. Replaced as a statutory crime by theft in 1968.

Misdemeanour: A minor crime, which, unlike felonies, was not punishable by death.

Penal servitude: a long period of imprisonment

Penitentiary: Type of prison authorised by the 1779 Penitentiary Act, with strict discipline and hard labour, designed to reform as well as punish convicts.

Quarter Sessions: Courts held four times per year, presided over by Justices of the Peace where misdemeanors were tried.

Sessions Papers: Manuscript documents taken concerning accused criminals, which were kept by the courts and are now preserved in record offices.

Summary Jurisdiction: The power possessed by Justices of the Peace to try some types of crime acting alone, or in pairs, outside court, and to sentence those convicted to punishments.

Summary offence: tried by a magistrate only.

(The) Watch/Night Watch: Men who patrolled the streets at night to prevent crime.

Latest Updates on Twitter

Researching Criminal Ancestors - Hornsea & District Civic Society - Our Criminal Ancestors - looking forward to this talk on Weds evening. #crimhist https://t.co/ytDqgaGb5S

This week's female convict on display in British prison museums is Phoebe Harris, who was burnt at the stake outside of Newgate prison in 1786 for counterfeiting coins. She is on display in a video at @JusticeMuseum #WomensHistoryMonth #publichistory #museums #crimehistory

Help transcribe prison record of Dennis Corbett convicted of larceny in 1873 at 14 years old #crimehistory #childhist https///criminalcharacters.com/.jpg

Up bright & early to welcome @BBCYork to @RiponMuseums to chat to them about our new exhibition Secrets in the Cellar

Send a little girl named Rose Ann Reilly, aged nine years to St. Joseph’s Industrial School, until she attains the age of sixteen years. She was frequently found begging on the streets of the town at late hours. Northern Whig - Wednesday 06 August 1924

This weekend I got see the new 'Road to Recovery' exhibition by the @wyorksarchives, which focuses on the Stanley Royd Asylum. It was great, and I was struck by how the issue of surveillance dominated the institution's design - v. similar to penal structures.

Fyi @MrsAlghrani @lucie_wade @ourcriminalpast @AnnaLoisMckay https://t.co/DZCVEbu0UQ

trespass in search of game 1891 #Hampshire Observer Mar 3rd @HantsArchives defendants said they were hunting #hedgehogs 🦔🦔🦔Fined 3s each and 7s costs @hedgehogsociety @WildlifeOrphan1 @hedgehogreview @ourcriminalpast @thevicsoc @HantsPolHistory @RuralCrimeTeam @ChrisGPackham

Research Associate in Modern History at University of Bristol https://t.co/kiMkv5h5wM #twitterstorians

Another mock blue plaque has appeared in Hull - this time @alternaheritage have done one for John Venn next to the Drypool Bridge. The series of plaques celebrate local quirks & people.