Category Archives: Crime

A True Gentleman of the Road

From the Ipswich Journal. Highwaymen were rarely this kind. August 7th 1773 On Friday evening last as two ladies and a gentleman were coming by post chaise from Ingatestone to Chelmsford, they were attacked by a highway man within a … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Tid-bits | 1 Comment

The Turbulent Life of John Black (1)

A Norfolk Adventurer, Mutiny Survivor and Privateer John Black was born on 31 October, 1778, in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, though he spent his childhood at Woodbridge in Suffolk, where his father, also called John, was curate at Butley from 1789 … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Travel | 2 Comments

The Murder of Charles Drew (1740)

It’s not often you can follow a murder case through successive editions of the local newspaper, but this is an exception. All the excerpts which follow are from “The Bury and Norwich Journal”. First, the murder itself. February 9th 1740 … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Keeping the Peace

Loving Felons (Part 3)

More “Firsts” for Susannah and Henry In the two previous posts, here, and here, we followed the remarkable journey of two young felons from Norwich to Botany Bay as part of the first fleet sent to establish a penal colony … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Georgian Society | 3 Comments

Loving Felons (Part 2)

The Amazing Warder In the last post, we left poor Susannah Holmes on 5th November 1786 at Plymouth, having arrived there with her baby, a third Henry Cabell (she and her man were as imaginative about names as most others … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Georgian Society

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