Category Archives: Crime

Loving Felons (Part 1)

Crime, Punishment and Pregnancy In Britain during the eighteenth century methods of dealing with criminal behaviour, especially by the poor, were usually harsh to the point of brutality. It’s refreshing to be able to tell a different kind of story; … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Georgian Society | 2 Comments

James Hackman and Martha Reay: History as Soap-Opera

Part 3: Aftermath of Murder THIS FINAL EPISODE OF THE TALE OF MATHA REAY’S MURDER shows how the burgeoning Romantic movement, working with the gutter press of the day, transformed the story of Martha’s murder into a perfect soap-opera of … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Crime, Georgian Society

James Hackman and the Church

Part 2: How James Hackman became Rector of Wiveton THE TALE OF THE MURDER OF MARTHA REAY by Rev. James Hackman, Rector of Wiveton in Norfolk, is a rich source of information about the England 0f 1779, beginning with the matter of how a … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Crime, Georgian Society

The Rev. James Hackman and the Murder of Martha Reay

Part 1: The Events themselves APRIL 7TH, 1779, SEEMED MUCH LIKE ANY OTHER DAY to the crowds around the Covent Garden Theatre in London. That evening’s performance had been a popular comic opera of the time, called “Love in a … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Crime

Crime Keeps You Young, or Maybe Not?

Here’s a short news item from The Norfolk Chronicle for April 16th., 1785. On the 23rd of March died Ann Simms at Studley-green, in the parish of Brimhill, near Bow-wood, in Wiltshire, in the 113th year of her age; and … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, News

Crime and Punishment

In Georgian times, you could be hanged for stealing anything worth more than a few shillings, as well as for a huge list of additional offences, few of which strike anyone today as deserving death. First offences attracted a sentence … Continue reading

Posted in C18th Norfolk, Crime