The History of Newgate Prison
From the 12th century onwards, Newgate Prison played a key role in the development of the British penal system, housing well-known prisoners from Captain Kidd to Ben Jonson and Daniel Defoe, as well as murderers, rapists and arsonists. Illustrated with historic prints and portraits, this book explores its traditions and lexicon of slang, and offers accounts of executions, the pillory and famous escapes.
The Dark Side of East London
The alleyways and estates of Tower Hamlets were rife with poverty and crime in the 18th and 19th centuries. Local historian David Charnick tells dark tales of murders, poisonings and abductions that occurred there, using them to reveal aspects of everyday life before and during the encroachment of London’s East End. A specially commissioned section of black and white photographs shows the locations of many of the events.
The Case of the Chocolate Cream Killer
The Poisonous Passion of Christiana Edmunds
During the summer of 1871 Christiana Edmunds went on a poisoning spree in Brighton, sending parcels of poison-laced sweets to some of the town’s most prominent citizens. The sensational trial of ‘the Chocolate Cream Killer’ ended with a death sentence, which was later commuted to life imprisonment. Looking at the Edmunds family history as well as the poisonings, Kaye Jones reveals the tragic past that set Christiana on a path to insanity and murder.
100 Criminal Lives
The practice of transporting criminals to Australia was abandoned in 1868 and replaced by the convict system: serious offenders were sentenced to ‘penal servitude’ in UK prisons and later released on license. Using information in licensees’ records, this volume presents brief biographies of 100 criminals, arranged in an A–Z, from Samuel Ainge (b.1820) who, after a seemingly blameless life was arrested for embezzlement in 1883, to Mary Wright (b.1853), who drowned her young daughter in 1880.
Police Dog Heroes
The first dogs to work with the British Transport Police, at Hull docks in 1907, were trained to protect uniformed police to the extent that they would growl when their handlers wore civilian clothes. Including first-hand accounts, this review of the use of dogs by the force tells over 40 stories of canine heroism, including their actions at major incidents such as the Lockerbie bombing and the 2005 London terror attacks.
Beggars, Cheats and Forgers
A History of Frauds Through the Ages
Identity theft and pyramid schemes seem very modern problems, but such scams rely on the same techniques that have been used by fraudsters throughout history to exploit their victims' greed, vanity or naivety. David Thomas has delved into the National Archives to uncover the stories behind a host of cons, forged documents and fraudulent beggars, as well as a 70-year spate of 'Spanish prisoner' letters, the Victorian ancestors of today's emails from Nigerian princes.
The Disappearance of Maria Glenn
A True Life Regency Mystery
The sudden disappearance of 16-year-old Maria Glenn in Taunton in 1817 gripped the nation. She and her alleged abductors gave such different versions of what happened that one of them had to be lying. This story of deceit and betrayal tells how the reputed heiress to West Indian plantations was kidnapped by a local farming family hoping to force her to marry one of their sons. Maria was rescued and four defendants imprisoned, but then the townspeople turned on Maria.
Scotland Yard's History of Crime in 100 Objects
Established in 1875, Scotland Yard's private collection of items gathered from notorious crime scenes, informally known as the Black Museum, represents a history of crime on British soil. Each of the artefacts chosen for this book prompts an exploration of a different area of criminal activity, the objects ranging from the poisoned pellet used to assassinate Georgi Markov in 1978 to the fingerprint-covered ketchup bottle that helped convict the Great Train Robbers in 1964.