Category Archives: Crime

“If You Want A Job Done Properly …”

Turning once again to the pages of the Ipswich Journal for April 15th, 1721, we find this fascinating report of a criminal trial held in Edinburgh, at which one James Campbell of Burbank, “late of the Stores in Edinburgh Castle”, … Continue reading

Posted in Crime

Organised Crime in the 18th Century

It’s often said that there is nothing new under the sun, and this story from the Stamford Mercury for April 16th, 1772, certainly bears this out. It makes it quite clear that large-scale, organised crime is far from being the … Continue reading

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“Crier! Call the Ghost”!

“A remarkable instance of a person being tried for murder on the pretended information of a ghost.” This was the headline above an article in the Chelmsford Chronicle dated 9th April, 1784. The minute I saw it, I knew it … Continue reading

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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

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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