The New Newgate Calendar

Blogs about the history of crime, justice and punishment

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On 12 February 1817, Father François Longuet set out from the Berkshire village of Pangbourne. He had been visiting the Morton family, probably to give French lessons to the children, and he took his leave around 8.30 pm. Mrs Morton accompanied...

Prison Life, 1895

12 February 2016
In 1895, it was noted, with concern, that a substantial proportion of the population of Canterbury Prison was made up of repeat offenders. During that year, according to a report from the Prison Commissioners, there had been 1155 men and 167 women imprisoned...
On this date in 1661, 62-year-old Maeyken de Smet was strangled and burned in Olsene Implicated a sorceress by the last “witch” they tortured during the witch trials of Olsene-Dentergem in the early 1660s, Maeyken had little likelihood of...
From Robert Jones’s petition, 1792 (TNA HO47/15/32, findmypast.co.uk) Robert Jones was convicted at the Old Bailey in February 1792 of stealing a pair of silk stockings from the shop of Richard Marsh, and sentenced to transportation for seven years. We...
  by Lorraine M. Paterson Map showing the location of French Guiana and Trinidad in relation to each other. In 1923 in the British colony of Trinidad, a young English woman returned from visiting her family in a suburb of the capital, Port of Spain,...

Like the blog? Buy the book!

10 February 2016
I’m thrilled to announce that my first book, Wayward Women, inspired by this blog, has been published by Pen and Sword books. From child-strippers, land-sharks and hocussers to brawlers, traffickers and sneaks Wayward Women takes a closer look...

Bellevue, Bellerive

10 February 2016
This fine two storey sandstone mansion was originally constructed for Robert Hutchinson in 1890. Hutchinson was a native of Buckingham, England and had arrived in Sydney in 1849 at the tender age of 9 years old.He went on to become an engineer and formed...

Mothers and Crime

8 February 2016
David Cameron’s call for an urgent review into imprisoning mothers has its precedent in the Victorian crime and insanity debates. In fact, few issues provoked more rabid controversy.Celestina Sommer (1856) - saved on the grounds of presumed...
One of the benefits of the Prosecution Project’s large-scale digitisation of court records is that it not only allows researchers to trace individuals, but to map changes in the criminal justice process over a long period of time. Mapping these...
From 1753 petition for a licence for a ‘House for Publick Entertainment of Musick and Dancing’ What does a London Lives petition look like? Well, here is a pretty typical example, from the City of London Sessions Papers (1692), in which I’ve...

Jericho: how good is it?

15 January 2016
Jericho continued on ITV with a plot that became interesting as the complexities of the central characters developed. http://www.itv.com/hub/jericho/2a2320a0002 This is not challenging drama, but it is straightforwardly enjoyable. However my interest...
Sadly, Alan Rickman, who played the deliciously hammy sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, passed away today. I am fascinated by the activities of sheriffs and the plea rolls reveal that many of them were just as dastardly and wicked...
I listened to this song tonight -- in a different version that I can't find online -- and I thought, because of its topic, it was relevant for this site (not least since it also comes from the late 1920s).(With a reminder, of course, that the woman at...
This Christmas, Sheriff Tom Dart put out a press release called “A YEAR IN REVIEW: UNJUST INCARCERATION BY THE NUMBERS.” I’m not going to lie: a data dump like this as I am writing the introduction and conclusion of my dissertation is...
Advert for rat poison, in Royal Society of Health Journal, 1814 (Uploaded from Flickr Commons) In my last post, “A Tarring and Turfing in the Forest of Dean, 1877“, I related the tale of a grocer in Lydbrook who had tar poured over him by...

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