The New Newgate Calendar

Blogs about the history of crime, justice and punishment

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This week my second year undergraduates at Northampton are exploring the topic of juvenile crime. In particular they are looking at the notion that ‘delinquency’ was ‘invented’ in the early 1800s. Now of course I am not suggesting...
As America says goodbye to a president who promised but  failed to close Guantánamo, and prepare to inaugurate one who says he wants to “load it up with some bad dudes” we would do well to remember John Bernardi. As suggested by...
On this date in 2014, Ohio very clumsily executed Dennis McGuire for raping and stabbing to death an eight-months pregnant woman in 1989. For no reason better than chance, McGuire‘s was the execution scheduled to arrive when Ohio bowed to the growing...

Shoot the Messenger

16 January 2017
Be it Benjamin Franklin or Edward Ward, whoever said “nothing is certain except death of taxes” failed to account for the impulse of institutions to punish heretics profaning the cherished corporate image. Whistleblowing. An affront to the...
Preamble: In December, the Carceral Archipelago team – including Clare Anderson, Kellie Moss, Katie Roscoe, Carrie Crockett, Lorainne Paterson, Anna McKay, and Adam Barker – attended the Carceral Geographies Conference at the University of...

Bellkirk, Hobart

15 January 2017
An impressive Colonial townhouse, this stone building of two storeys, Bellkirk,  was built as the manse for the nearby Presbyterian church of Saint John. The original front garden has now been given over to a bitumen carpark.The property name could...
Andy Kaladelfos examines the historical ability of the criminal justice system to respond to sexual abuse within the family in the third post for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence series. Research Brief 26 – originally published as...
Horrible Histories Conference King’s College London This paper was recorded at the ‘Horrible Histories? Children’s Lives in Historical Contexts Conference‘ at King’s College London June 2016, which coincided with the...
Posted by Krista Kesselring; 10 January 2017 The State Papers contain a remarkable rough draft of an Act intended to condemn petty offenders to slavery. Prepared at the opening of the 1621 parliament by an unknown author, the proposal had the following...

Surrogate Woes

8 January 2017
'This female, who had no hereditary disposition of insanity, was seized with Puerperal Mania three days after the birth of her first child...'Though occurring just after Victoria's reign, a remarkable case of 'puerperal insanity', in which a young, bereaved...

Monks behaving badly

6 January 2017
A well-behaved monkIt has been almost a year since my last blog post! I can’t believe how quickly 2016 has flown by and we are now in a bright and shiny new year. I have been busy writing articles and getting my business off the ground over the...
Jamaica Inn Sign Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.I write this having just returned from a wonderful week visiting my family in Cornwall  (images and tips are in my distractions section). Given the change of surroundings, I thought it only fair to reflect...

Prison at Christmas

24 December 2016
As Christmas approached I decided to look in the British Newspaper Archive confident it would have some suitably salutary stories about how Christmas in prison wasn’t so bad. It didn’t disappoint.  There were several articles...
Our conference to mark the completion of the Digital Panopticon project will be held on 13-15 September 2017, St George’s Hall, Liverpool, UK. We invite papers on any aspect of crime and punishment in Britain and its penal colonies...
Sketch of the “Shocking tragedy at Bourton-on-the-Water” in the Illustrated Police News, 8 Jan 1881, via British Newspaper Archive. (Image Copyright The British Library Board. All Rights Reserved)   It was Christmas Eve in 1880,...

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