The New Newgate Calendar

Blogs about the history of crime, justice and punishment

On or about this date in 1929, Russian railway magnate Nikolaus (Nikolai) Karlovich von Meck was shot as a saboteur. Von Meck (Russian link) had the iron horse in his blood: his father Karl was among Russia’s first railroad-builders after the C...
If you’re coming here by way of The Marshall Project piece I wrote about psychologist and Cook County Jail administrator Winston Moore, welcome! If you’re interested in learning more about Cook County Jail history, you can read an outline...
Minutes after midnight this date in 1912, a desexed preacher’s troubled concupiscence was at last abated by the Massachusetts mercy seat. Some demon ruled Clarence Virgil Thompson Richeson‘s wayward footsteps through this life, and ere it...
Below is an episode from an old radio show, Secrets of Scotland Yard, that looks at the Maybrick case. If, like so many others, you have been unwittingly deceived into thinking that late Victorian Britain was built on a pillar of sense and sensibil...
From the public-domain An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales From Its First Settlement, in January 1788, to August 1801 (pdf): April 1799 On the first of this month the criminal court sat for the trial of a soldier belonging to the reg...
The block of land that these two cottages sit on was originally granted to John Goulder, a freed convict in 1839. Goulder had previously settled on the one and a quarter acre block in 1832 and in the same year he built a large weatherboard house. By...
The picturesque village and estate of Mapledurham, north of Reading, isn’t the obvious place for murder but, 160 years ago, the violent death of a young maid caused excitement and controversy in the local area, and the truth of the incident has rem...
This date in 1865 was the originally scheduled hanging of Indiana pro-slavery gadfly Lambdin P. Milligan — a sentence respited two days prior by President Andrew Johnson, and then subsequently commuted, for which reason Milligan survived to att...
(Via) A pitiless mother, that most unnaturally at one time murdered two of her own children, at Acton within six miles from London, upon Holy Thursday last 1616, the ninth of May. Being a gentlewoman named Margaret Vincent, wife of Mr. Jarvis Vincent...
Beware, trust not in the vanity of the world, and especially in the flattering of the court … if I had followed God’s word in deed as I did read it and set it forth to my power, I had not come to this. -From the last statement of George B...
The Government Gardens are a stunning formal garden where you can trace the steps of the ladies and officers who resided at Port Arthur and strolled along these paths, shielded from view of the convicts behind the garden’s fences and plantings.Orig...
London Newspaper, 1894 Prison memoirs are a very reliable source which offers insights into an individuals prison experience. In this blog I will have a look at Jabez Spencer Balfour’s account and what it may reveal about his time in prison....

Reformation Prison

16 May 2015
In reformed prisons during the 19th Century this kind of labour was common. Houses of Correction such Coldbath Fields practised separate confinement and the silent system. In this image we can see the use of the treadmill and the silent system: Cold...
When I was growing up in Manchester, we spent many very happy holidays in Derbyshire so when I was invited to take part in the Derbyshire Literature Festival, I was delighted to have an opportunity to re-visit this beautiful part of the country. The...
All stories from issues of the Maryland Gazette, datelined Annapolis. (via) Though not explicit in any of these stories, the attack by Catholic servants upon their master while the Jacobite rising was still afoot must have been read by Maryland’...
Prison memoirs are an interesting and valuable way for us to gain insight into the personal experiences of convicts, in particular those who are no longer alive to share their stories vocally. We can see this in the memoirs of Lady Constance Lytton,...

Evaluation Post

15 May 2015
Before participating in the module, my knowledge surrounding crime and punishment throughout the Victorian era was considerably limited. However, I was very intrigued by the concept as a whole, especially in the area of female prisoners. Throughout t...

Evaluation

15 May 2015
This Prison Voices module has introduced to me new skills concerning blogging and also your online presence. Prior to this I had underestimated the power of the internet and the ways in which you can propel yourself into the web through many differen...
This quote taken from The Critic as Artist (1981) relays an opinion that suggests that we, as a society, are too easily forgiving on criminals. He compares a criminal to a ‘dreamer’ but who does he mean by this and what constitutes a dreamer to W...
Oscar Wilde. 1882. Oscar Wilde is one of the most influential and popular writers in literature and his success through his playwrights and poems led Wilde to the top of his profession in London during the late 1800’s. His works such as his novel ...
Ever wondered what life was really like in prison? That is why prison memoirs have served the purpose of allowing readers an insight on life in a cell. Instead of reading about prison in literature and someone else’s own fiction viewpoint on ho...
Upon starting the Prison Voices module I had never considered myself much of a historical researcher or blogger. But once taking on the challenge of creating my own personal blog and the different topic areas each week I have learned not only so much...
On the 25th May 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to prison after being convicted of sodomy. Wilde who is known mainly for his writings Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest supposedly brought attention to his private life in a feud with Si...

Evaluation.

15 May 2015
Through participating in the Prison Voices module, I have learnt a number of different skills to help me in the future, with writing and widening my style of writing. From collectively collaborating with the rest of the group and working in particula...

Evaluation

15 May 2015
Throughout the Prison Voices module I have become introduced to the skills required for blogging on a public scale. The module has required me to develop my abilities in researching and disseminating my work. Prior to staring the Prison Voices module...

The Gaze

15 May 2015
Prison life 1874. The lone prisoner, paralysed by her own silence. The omnipresent gaze of the watchful wardens penetrates her solitude… Shhhh… Sarah Water’s novel Affinity emulates the entrapment felt by women both in prison and those...
(Thanks to Meaghan Good of the Charley Project for the guest post. -ed.) On this date in 1945, in Le Mans, France, Pvt. George Green Jr. of the 998th Quartermaster Salvage Collecting Company was hanged for the murder of his corporal the previous year...
  This blog post explores Pentonville Prison in the 19th Century. Its structure and how it differs from other prisons. My decision behind choosing Pentonville was due to its different approach to reforming convicts. The prison developed the ‘...
The Victorian age was an era of poverty, hierarchies and consequently, crime. Poverty meant that those who could not pay for basic needs such as food and shelter were forced into a life of crime. It was not uncommon that many of these criminals were...
Prior to beginning this module I had little experience of researching using online digital resources to the level that I have been in this module and no experience of blogging. However, this module has introduced me to the advancing technological wor...
Two Victorian men, Jabez Spencer Balfour and James Roe, originally of good character and high respectability would soon become deceptive criminals with Balfour condemned for fraud, and Roe condemned for forgery. A question that comes to mind is how...

Evaluation

14 May 2015
One of the main factors that I have learnt throughout the Prison Voices module is how research into any topic is imperative and also creates a powerful point of reference when writing for a public audience. The use of digital archives and resources s...
What do we think of when we hear the word ‘Juvenile Delinquent’? Do we think of pre-pubescent lads hanging around street corners hiding under hoodies? Petty crimes? Fruit stall robbers? Or maybe you think of ‘born-evil’ child killers that hav...
Being imprisoned first in Pentonville, moved to Wandsworth Prison and then finally transferred to Reading Gaol, Oscar Wilde underwent two years of hard labour for committing the act of ‘Gross indecency with other men’. It was at this tim...
Algerian rebel Areski El Bachir was guillotined on this date in 1895 at Azazga with five of his companions. Our man emerged in the 1880s bedeviling the French from Kabilya where the French had already had to suppress a rebellion. Collective punishmen...

Evaluation

13 May 2015
During my work on the Prison Voices module at LJMU I have learnt to excel my research skills, using literary and non-literary texts and sources to make coherent and interesting arguments. This is my first time being a researcher and a blogger, and it...

Evaluation Post

13 May 2015
In order to write informed and interesting blog posts, it is important to draw from a wide range of primary and secondary sources. Sources such as, the Old Bailey Online and Harvard Law School Library, make it possible for researchers to access crimi...

Evaluation

13 May 2015
Since beginning my prison voices module, I have learnt many things involving prison and what life would have been like for prisoners dating from the 18th century onwards. I chose to focus mainly on how prisoners felt as it was much easier to consider...
Upon looking further into the dark thought process and ashamed voices of condemned prisoners during the 19th century, I have found some interesting aspects of both prison life and the expectations of it. After the creation of more strict gaols follow...

Evaluation

13 May 2015
As I come to the end of my time in the Prison Voices module it would be fair to say that when I first started I was not fully aware about the world of blogging; I had a preconceived idea that blogging was merely for people who wanted to share their t...

Evaluation Post

13 May 2015
Before I was aware that the module consisted of online blogging, I was very keen to analyse literary texts from a perspective of imprisonment from 18th and 19th century sources. What I can say confidently is that the online blogging has enabled me to...
Prisoners seldom had a voice within the penal system as a result of censorship and silencing by the prison authorities. One particular prisoner broke the silence by publishing his experiences from various prisons. Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s inv...
The Reverend John Burrows B.A., the first Chaplain of Pontville, Van Diemans Land 1840-1876 was instrumental during his latter years in having the Church of St. Mary built.  Services were held from 1846 in South Bridgewater.  There are earl...
I recently joined a number of Facebook groups relating to the history of Reading, where I live. I asked members for any ideas of past crimes that I could investigate and they soon came back with several intriguing leads, which included the violent mu...

1803: Peter Stout

13 May 2015
Peter Stout hanged on this date at the courthouse of Monmouth, New Jersey for axing 14-year-old Thomas Williams to death when the youth, “the unhappy victim of my barbarity, had given me some abusive language.” Moved to remorse by a post-...
  http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/ballad-reading-gaol Reading Gaol in the 19th century This research blog will investigate Oscar Wilde and the importance of the form of a ballad, in his epic poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol and also investigat...
 In a world where technology is advancing at an incredible pace, it is essential for the literary and analytical world to progress alongside it. In order to develop a readership of analytical material, many researchers have turned to blogging as...
Fig. 1 The front of our first token – it reads Willm Powell (William) Manchester 1799 During colonial Britain, people convicted of more serious crimes would be sentenced to spend a part or the remainder of their lives in Australia. As a way of...

My Evaluation

12 May 2015
The research I have collected and presented for Prison Voices is no doubt a world away from the type of work I have done before. Having never blogged online or researched so intensely about a subject before, I originally found it hard to adjust. But,...
In March and April of 1881, Susan Willis Fletcher, Spiritualist and medium went to trail for ‘unlawfully obtaining other goods with like intent and for conspiracy with the other defendants with like intent: and others for obtaining the said propert...