Monday, September 15, 2014

Crime in 1830s London

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oliver Twist scene
Loretta reports:

Isabella and I were talking recently about the differences in London crime fighting in the times of our respective books.   One of the things I’ve found so interesting about the mid-1830s is the evolution of London’s police.

The Metropolitan Police came into existence in 1829, in an unfriendly environment.  In 1830, when the first policeman was killed trying to break up a drunken fight, the coroner’s verdict was justifiable homicide.  The history of the force
Crime statistics 1838
is fascinating—and I’m likely to acquire way too many books on the subject—but for today, I only wanted to give you an idea of what they were dealing with. 
Crime statistics 1834-39
Some readers may be surprised at the number of executions.  Others may be unfamiliar with the name of the penal colony.  New South Wales I was aware of.  But I had to look up Norfolk Island.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the captions will allow you to read at the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Nancy said...

There are several books about crime in London. One is I SPY BLUE by Donald Rumbelow. Sub title is "The Police and Crime in the City of London from Elizabeth I to Victoria." Also, The Great British Bobby: A History of British policing from the 18th Century to the present." by Clive Emsley.
What I have to do more research on, is who prosecuted the crimes. It was quite some time after the creation of the police that they appointed a public prosecutor. If the police didn't catch some one in the commission of a crime, the victim had to prosecute the crime.

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