TheGe­neal­o­gist adds 500,000 crime records

Both the ac­cused and the vic­tims in­cluded in lat­est data re­lease

Your Family History - - Agenda -

TheGe­neal­o­gist has given its Court & Crim­i­nal Records col­lec­tion a ma­jor boost with the ad­di­tion of around 500,000 records re­lat­ing to en­coun­ters with the law, whether the in­di­vid­ual in ques­tion was a vic­tim, ac­quit­ted, con­victed of a mi­nor of­fence or found guilty of a ma­jor crime such as mur­der.

The newly added data (some of which is also avail­able at other sites) comes from two se­ries held at The Na­tional Ar­chives: • Home Of­fice Crim­i­nal Reg­is­ters, Eng­land and Wales (HO 77) • Reg­is­ters of Con­victs in Prison Hulks Cum­ber­land, Dol­phin and Ganymede (ADM 6). The fully search­able records can be combed for crim­i­nals, or peo­ple ac­cused of crime, by name or alias, and by the type of of­fence. The site has also uniquely added the fea­ture to search for more than 132,000 vic­tims of these crimes. Orig­i­nal page images of the books and reg­is­ters tran­scribed are also avail­able.

The records cover a broad range of trans­gres­sions. In some cases they are as small as the theft of items such as shirts, boots or pota­toes. There are also big­a­mous mar­riages, forg­eries and coun­ter­feit­ing, bur­glar­ies and mur­ders. Judge­ments like­wise vary greatly from fines, a short im­pris­on­ment in New­gate or a pub­lic whip­ping, to a longer spell in gaol, trans­porta­tion or the ul­ti­mate sanc­tion of death.

In one un­usual case, 63-year- old Joseph Pow­ell was im­pris­oned and whipped in 1814 for ‘pre­tend­ing to tell fu­ture events’, un­der a law made dur­ing Ge­orge II’s reign. Some­times the records pro­vide con­sid­er­able de­tail. For ex­am­ple, on 6 July 1826 the high­way rob­ber James Smith was con­victed at Bed­ford. The records show he was im­pris­oned in Bed­ford Gaol be­fore be­ing trans­ferred to the prison hulk Dol­phin 20 days later. The gaoler’s re­port fur­ther notes that the pris­oner had been ‘in­dif­fer­ent be­fore and af­ter his trial’ and that he had been ‘sev­eral times in cus­tody’. Smith was even­tu­ally trans­ported for life on 17 Septem­ber on the ship Al­bion.


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