Thursday, August 4, 2016

Crime & Punishment

I've been searching through criminal records and I must say true life is weirder than fiction. And worse. And if you think the world has problems today, it's not that different from what I am reading that happened in the 1890s and early 1900s. Some of it is "not nice" so I'm not going to put those here.

The crimes are listed in a book, typeset, with the judge's name, a tally of the crimes committed and a breakdown of each person and his or her crime. The summary below is for one day, Monday, January 15, 1900, in England's Central Court. These cases were heard by The Right Honourable Alfred James Newton, Alderman, Lord Mayor that day. The crime is listed with the number of cases of that particular crime next to it.
  • Abominable crime - 1
  • Bankrupt fraudulent - 2
  • Bigamy - 3
  • Coin, feloniously and unlawfully uttering counterfeit & c (?) - 1
  • Conspiracy - 2
  • Forgery - 5
  • Gaming house - 3
  • Housebreaking - 3
  • Larceny - 6 
  • Larceny, person - 3
  • Larceny, servant - 1 (what, a servant isn't a person?)
  • Libel - 2
  • Manslaughter - 2
  • Misdemeanor - 12
  • Perjury - 1
  • Receiving stolen goods - 2
  • Robbery with violence - 3
  • Trade mark, fraudulent - 1
  • Wounding - 5
The crime is described in the book and the punishment is also listed. It's actually very interesting and I find myself reading it though it doesn't pertain to what I am doing at the present time. I got an e-mail from Find My Past, the website I use to research the UK ancestors, saying they have this and that criminal records. Of course I had to check it out! 

It was a good distraction because I was getting really upset with one of our ancestors. I have mentioned it before, but I laugh, cry, get angry, and all kinds of emotions pop out as I'm doing this research. This job is not for the faint of heart!

I'll list several of the crimes but I'm leaving out counterfeiters, murderers, rapists and a few others. 

  1. "Marrying Emily Jane Harris, his wife being then alive." (There are quite a few similar to this!)
  2. "Stealing a box of 9 cheeses." 
  3. "Breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Ann Marshall and stealing therein an umbrella and other articles."
  4. "Stealing a costermongers barrow, the goods of James Wheeler." (I looked it up. A costermonger was a person who sold fruit, veggies, etc., from a cart. A hawker, a peddler.)
  5. "Stealing a blanket."
  6. "Maliciously setting fire to a dwelling-house, persons being therein." (A woman, age 49, did this, murdering one person. I said I wasn't listing murderers but this seems so unusual I had to.)
  7. Another murder. A woman killed another woman but the court declared the murderer insane. "Guilty of Act but Insane when Offence was Committed. Sentence: To be detained as a Criminal Lunatic in Holloway Prison until Her Majesty's pleasure be known." 
That's enough for now. There are a lot of housebreakings where the criminal steals an article of clothing, or several items. Strange. You can't wear the stolen items or the victim might see same. I guess they could sell the stolen item.

Ta ta for now,

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