Arthur Morrison’s 1890’s novel A Child of the Jago is set in the slum courts of London’s East End. Life in the Jago is a Hobbesian war of all against all, a socialist Darwinist nightmare for which the legal jurisdiction is the law of the jungle. Based on the historic rookeries of London’s Old Nichol, the Jago is not only a geographical area but an existential state of desperation. Morrison penned A Child of the Jago in such a way as to both inform and also shock and titillate middle-class […]
The recorded crime rate in the East End of London fell during the period of 1875 until 1900. The rate of common assaults, aggravated assaults, and assaults on the police fell from 423 crimes per 100,000 people in 1875 to 204 crimes in 1900 and even prosecutions for drunkenness fell after 1875. The purpose of this book is to show clearly how that decline was directly related to the actual behavior of the public rather than changes in law enforcement or people’s attitude to crime. In the later […]
Cock Road was, in the 18th Century, a tiny hamlet on the outskirts of Bristol, within the lawless Kingswood Forest. Though a small area, the exploits of the inhabitants brought it to the attention of the authorities of Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset. It was claimed that a criminal gang, unmatched in notoriety, came from Cock Road. In reality, anyone committing a criminal act who lived in the forest was tarnished as a member of the gang. They were engaged in horse stealing, burglary, […]
In the Forest of Dean towards the end of the nineteenth century the ‘Blakeney Outrages’ of the 1890s led to Walter Virgo and the “Blakeney Gang” being accused of acts of poisoning, maiming, stealing, poaching, midnight raids, dynamiting, arson and murder. However, their story cannot be understood without placing their actions in the historical context of the struggle for the customary right to common which in the past involved the use of direct action and political violence. A consideration of […]
The idea is simple enough: to investigate the area of London known as Alsatia, and other similar ‘outlaw’ areas, their history, context and meanings. There are many tantalising references, but nothing substantial on the subject, so it offers challenges and rewards. Of course, I could just do some searching, some reading, and perhaps write an article or suchlike. But keeping track of all the fragments, questions and resonances requires some organization, and that in turn requires some tools. ... […]
These are some of the headlines which started appearing in the Gloucester Citizen and Western Daily Press in the 1890s. This pamphlet will try and get behind the headlines and reveal what was really going on in the Blakeney area of the Forest of Dean at the time. THE BLAKENEY OUTRAGES “WORSE THAN IRELAND” - THE VICAR ASKS FOR EXCEPTIONAL LAW A REIGN OF TERROR - SPEECH BY MINERS AGENT ASSAULT ON THE POLICE IN BLAKENEY - THE RECENT OUTRAGES MORE LAWLESSNESS AT BLAKENEY - RESIDENTS ARMED ALLEGED […]
Richard Platt's excellent website has lost of information about smuggling in Britain and helped to inside the smuggler's events in Bristol Radical History Week 2007.
Talks At The Town Hall Introduced by Roger, Steve Mills and Kev Davis talk about social crime and punishment, and smuggling in Poole. Listen to these talks: Roger Ball Steve Mills Kev davis Listen to Roger's introduction(8 MB 22 mins mp3 file) Listen to Steve Mill's Talk (9 MB 19 mins mp3 file) Listen to Kevin Davis' Talk (8.5 MB 36 mins mp3 file) Fun In Bucky Doo Square The recreation of a satirical pirate trial as related in Villains of all Nations and Johnson’s History of Piracy, plus some […]