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

Trying to find records about crime, policing and punishment in your ancestry or local history - See https://t.co/TjCxebHMlG #crimehistory #genealogy #familyhistory Source Guide available ‘getting started’ @wdytyamagazine @RiponMuseums @ERidingLMA

On Friday it was the 200th anniversary of the trial of the #BossofBethnalGreen. My piece to commemorate, via @thegentleauthor
https://t.co/kjoSgotKzC

ELIZABETH FROST: charged by her lord & husband w/ incontinence. The henpecked master swore the wife of his bosom constantly deserted the connubial couch & resorted to infamous houses where she distributed her favours liberally to the best bidder. #OzHist

https://t.co/7aJVnrFnDc

Wonderful to visit the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct today, with restoration work already underway on this important site of Australian social history @femalefactoryOL @parradiscovery

Criminal Herstories local history display plus a couple of textile pieces begins its tour of Staffordshire libraries. Full exhibition starts a 12 month tour at Festival of Quilts in August. https://t.co/0uXOox1Z9h

#Devon #Constabulary #Police House. The #plaque contained a slider and as the #Constables moved, they took their number to the new house

A nice smuggling reference from 1783 , the name of the smuggler "The Washington" might betray the smugglers Republican sympathies. "Pierced for 16 guns" means 16 gun ports. Vessels often intimidated enemies by having more gun ports than actual guns on board.