The New Newgate Calendar

Blogs about the history of crime, justice and punishment

“At a quarter to ten on the night of Sunday, 3 August 1890, a gang of youths from Harpurhey in north Manchester went to war. Armed with knives and heavy-buckled belts, they left their regular stamping ground and marched for a mile and a half toward...

Evaluation Post

6 May 2015
My experience of Prison Voices has had notable effects on my ability to craft blogs in a short timescale and in a precise way. I had previously very little awareness of how brutal the penal system was in the United Kingdom during the 18th and 19th pe...

Glen Clyde House

6 May 2015
This lovely building was originally built by convicts for James Jackson in the early 1840's. Jackson had been transported to the colony in 1823 and ultimately received his pardon in 1829. By 1845, Jackson had the building licensed as a coaching inn a...
(Thanks to Robert Elder of Last Words of the Executed — the blog, and the book — for the guest post. This post originally appeared on the Last Words blog. Fans of this here site are highly likely to enjoy following Elder’s own pithy...
Many a good tussle have I had with other classes of criminals, but I would rather face the worst of these than a scuttler During the last three decades of the 19th century, gangs of scuttlers (street-fighters) plagued the city of Manchester. These...
‘Once a prisoner has crossed the threshold of a convict prison, not only is she dead to the world, but she is expected in word and deed to lose or forget every vestige of her personality.’ (Maybrick, 2000, 75) – These haunting words aptly s...
“’Oh, don’t put me in there!” I cried. “I cannot bear it.” For answer the warder took me roughly by the shoulder, gave me a push, and shut the door. There was nothing to sit upon but the cold slate floor. I sank to my knees. I felt su...
As any writer who deals in biography or biographic histories will no doubt tell you – it is only too easy to  easy to become emotionally caught up in the details of a subject’s life. The ups and downs and the twists and turns of an ind...
A previous blog post outlined how crime records are among the ‘most extensively digitised’ source sets.  My PhD will explore the impact of this digitisation on the study of crime history. What do I expect to measure?  What is impact?  Simon Ta...
Italian mercenary Francesco Bussone da Carmagnola was beheaded on this date in 1432. The successful condottiero was defined by a mixture of battlefield success and cutthroat scheming, and it was his clumsiness with the latter that did in Carmagnola.
J C Bucknill (after Wikimedia Commons)This latest post has been prompted by a request to talk on the subject of this blog...Without doubt, one of the key protagonists in the efforts to promote the insanity plea was Dr (later Sir) John Charles Bucknil...
It might have been this date in 1685* that the famously speedy highwayman John Nevison (or William Nevison) was hauled to York’s gallows on the Knavesmire and launched into eternity. The 1660s and 1670s were his time, when the ex-soldier Nevis...

Where Empires Meet

3 May 2015
  In a previous blog, I wrote on the theme of the politics of comparison, of the connected history of circulation and mobility that underpins the CArchipelago project team’s approach to the historiography, theory and archive of penal colonies.
Development along Tasmania's north-west coast followed the establishment of the Van Diemens Land Company in the 1820s. Many other settlements grew up, pastoralism and other industries strengthened, and then mining started. By the 1880s Wynyard, near...
On this date in 1606, the English Jesuit Henry Garnet was hanged, drawn and quartered in the churchyard of Old St. Paul’s Cathedral. Garnet, “the prime scholar of Winchester College” as a gifted young student, left England to enter...
Thanks to the outstanding Trove digitized records of Australian newspapers, we have this item from the Advertiser (Adelaide) published May 4, 1910, concerning an affair from two days previous on the other side of the globe. The death penalty was bare...

Sorry!

1 May 2015
Apologies to any e-mail followers who yesterday received three links to my latest post, on Millicent Dawes. I had a bit of a nightmare with the new “improved” system for composing a post, in which the “save a draft” button is...
(Thanks to Meaghan Good of the Charley Project for the guest post. -ed.) At 10:29 a.m. on this date in 2013, 46-year-old Steven T. Smith was executed in Lucasville, Ohio for the 1998 murder of his girlfriend’s daughter, Autumn Breeze Carter.
The Body of Millicent Dawes is found in the canal. Illustrated Police News, 11 Nov 1871, p.1. (British Newspaper Archive. Image copyright of The British Library Board. All Rights Reserved). On a Monday morning in October 1871, two employees of the G...
On this date in 1963, Jorge del Carmen Valenzuela Torres — better known as Chacal de Nahueltoro — was shot at Chillan for murder. Perhaps Chile’s most recognizable mass-murderer (in the non-political category) the drink-addled yo...
The role of medico-legal expert wasn’t fully established until the early 20th century, but there were some ground-breaking early pioneers of forensic medicine in the late 1800s. Alongside such big names as Dr Joseph Bell, Sir Henry Littlejohn a...
The Private Secretary's Cottage is the second-oldest building in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery precinct, after the Commissariat Store. It is situated on a bank above a remnant of the original foreshore - the very site where the European settle...
Moments after midnight today, Indonesia shot eight men for drug trafficking. Coffins and grave markers for the condemned, readied prior to their executions. Bitterly controversial in Australia and dominating headlines there at this hour, the executi...
On this date in 1634, the Russian general Mikhail Borisovich Shein was executed on Red Square for losing to the Poles. Shein (English Wikipedia entry | Russian) was an accomplished boyar officer who had made his bones during Russia’s Time of Tr...
This post is intended to very briefly describe a project I am about halfway through – that seeks to experiment with the new permeability that digital technologies seem to make possible – to create a more usable ‘history from below&#...
TUNIS. PARIS, April 28. The first execution in Tunis since the French occupation took place yesterday. Three Kroumirs, Ali Ben Debbah, Mahomed Ben Salah, and Ali Ben Salah, who had assassinated two Kabyle merchants in order to rob them, were guilloti...
Back before being pope meant jeweled slippers and your own guillotine, the bishopric of Rome — at least as chronicled in the early histories of the Church — was a virtual halfway house to a pagan executioner. Granted, the very earliest po...

The Manse, Kempton

26 April 2015
Tasmania is renowned for the rich heritage of historic buildings but even by Tasmania's standards, The Manse in Kempton, built in the early 1840's from convict made bricks in Old Colonial Regency style, the architectural style is rare and significant...
(Thanks to Robert Elder of Last Words of the Executed — the blog, and the book — for the guest post. This post originally appeared on the Last Words blog here. Fans of this here site are highly likely to enjoy following Elder’s own...
On the list of those executed at Reading prison, one of the entries that stands out the most is ‘Thomas Cox’ who was convicted of ‘bestiality’. When Berkshire genealogist, Emmy Eustace, sent me a copy of the original execution...
Anna Schnidenwind, nee Trutt, was burned at the stake in Endingen am Kaiserstuhl on this date in 1751 — the last “witch” executed in Baden-Württemberg. There is next to no archival information surviving that would give us insight i...

The Flogged Soldier

23 April 2015
John Hutchinson was a private in the 1st battalion of the Scots Fusileer Guards when in October 1834 he was sentenced to six months on the Brixton treadmill.  He had been found guilty of desertion. Hutchinson had good reason to want out.  Three mon...
Around the spring of 1290, bad-boy Norwegian nobleman Alv Erlingsson was broken on the wheel by a Danish sheriff. Sometimes remembered as the “last Viking”, Erlinggson (English Wikipedia entry | Norwegian) wasn’t only one of the gre...
Two hundred years ago today, Lancaster Castle hosted a quintuple hanging, starring career thief George Lyon. At age 54, Lyon could be considered a throwback: he openly styled himself “The King of Robbers”, inspiring a sarcastic hack ̶...
In the year since I joined The Carceral Archipelago, it has been a pleasure to support the novel and extensive research being conducted by the project’s members. Our team is conducting research on and about five continents over as many centuries an...
Milton is the name of the substantial two storey Georgian stone house near the Hobart Rivulet. The style of the house is consistent with it having been built in the 1830’s. Built on a one acre allotment which was originally granted to George Wilson...
  Immediately I read the title of this book, I knew I would love it! In a fascinating interview, Paris-based writer, Piu Marie Eatwell, shares her experiences of the quest to find out the truth about the 5th Duke of Portland and of how she bro...
(Thanks to Meaghan Good of the Charley Project for the guest post. -ed.) On this date in 1897, criminals William Haas and William Wiley became the first two people to be executed in Ohio’s electric chair. Haas had actually been scheduled to die...
Bondy, today a Paris suburb, was in the Middle Ages a forest notorious for the bandits and murderers who laired in its leafy shadows — a reputation stretching back to antiquity. The Merovingian king Childeric II was assassinated while hunting t...
On this date in 1779, Londoners crowded Tyburn to witness the hanging of James Hackman for a sensational high-society murder. Just twelve days before his date with the hemp, Hackman had walked up to Martha Ray at the Royal Opera and shot her in the h...
Port Arthur's agricultural heritage generally takes a back seat to its history of crime and punishment. But in the early 1870s Port Arthur was a productive agricultural settlement, with crops and livestock. That livestock included, for a few months i...
Pendleton Correctional Facility, Indiana (1) Visit by Keele University Criminology students, April 17th, 2015 We would like to thank the staff and inmates of Pendleton Correctional Facility for their generous welcome, for their interest and consider...

Soldiers

18 April 2015
Soldiers were widely acknowledged as by far the most troublesome of all the categories of prisoner in the house of correction at Brixton.  At times they made up to a fifth of the prison’s population.  They were delivered from their barracks follo...
The ferocious commitment of the Third Reich to fight to the last man even when World War II provided the occasion (or the pretext) for many of that bloody conflict’s most poignant and pointless deaths. In these execution-focused pages we have s...
On this date in 1635, Elizabeth Evans (known as “Canonbury Besse”) was hanged for murder. Sometimes characterized as one of early modern Europe’s pioneer serial killers, Evans was not driven to slaughter by compulsion — merely...
This date in 1355 was the morning after the failed coup of Venetian Doge Marino Faliero. And it was the first date that vengeance began to fall upon the plotters. Faliero, voted power by the fellow-noblemen who bossed the Serene Republic, intended to...

Murder in the Woods

16 April 2015
In my last post, I shared the details of the infamous murder in 1560 at Arreton Manor, on the Isle of Wight, which looks likely to have been based on a myth. But this next incident really did take place and is very gruesome indeed. Arreton is a tiny...
The generations-long conquest of indigenous peoples in North America might look from posterity like a historical ienvitability, but the 1715-1718 Yamasee War was perhaps “as close to wiping out the European colonists as ever [they] came during...

Horton College, Ross

15 April 2015
This lonely but isolated red-brick portico, which stands beside the Midland Highway at Somercotes just south of Ross, is all that remains of one of colonial Australia’s most prestigious educational institutions. The ruin now provides shade for occa...
On this date in 1322, Bartholomew de Badlesmere, the first (of only two) Baron Badlesmere, The barons in the dangerous age of Edward II were marked by where they made their political allegiances between the king and his rival the Earl of Lancaster.