Category Archives: Crime

Poachers in the 18th Century

Much of what we think we know about poachers and poaching in the past derives from the 19th-century. That was when the conflict between the poacher and the game-loving landowner reached its peak, with considerable violence shown on both sides. … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Georgian Society, Uncategorized

The Murderous Georgian Rector of Wiveton

At around 11:15 pm on April 7, 1779, the audience began to leave the Covent Garden Theatre after a performance of a popular comic opera called “Love in a Village”. It was a warm night for early spring, and the … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Crime, Georgian Society | 2 Comments

John Black and “The Lady Shore”

John Black was born on 31 October, 1778, in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. He spent his childhood at Woodbridge in Suffolk. His father, also called John, was curate at Butley from 1789 to 1813, Chaplain at the Woodbridge House of Correction, … Continue reading

Posted in Crime | 2 Comments

The Georgian Way with Debt

Imprisonment for debt has become a commonplace in historical novels set in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. How common was it and why were debtors thrown into gaol? Debtors were probably the largest element in the eighteenth-century prison population. Some … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Georgian Society

Eighteenth-century Prosecution Associations

All my Georgian-era mystery stories share one element: the fact that England at the time had no system of public prosecution for crimes. Not only were there no police to investigate criminal acts, there were no official prosecutors to bring … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Keeping the Peace | 1 Comment

Pirates of the … North Sea?

Many of us were brought up on romantic tales of pirates sailing in various exotic parts of the world, whether through “Treasure Island” or “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Yet the business of being a pirate could be just as profitable, … Continue reading

Posted in Crime

Dealing with Habitual Offenders in Georgian Times

One of the benefits of reading through eighteenth-century newspapers is the way they reveal what actually happened, as opposed to what ought to have happened, according to the letter of the law or the grand overviews of later historians. No … Continue reading

Posted in Crime | 1 Comment