Download Crime and Punishment in Victorian London. A Street-Level of by Ross Gilfillan PDF

By Ross Gilfillan

'Crime loomed huge within the minds of Victorian Londoners. all around the urban, watches, handbags and handkerchiefs disappear from wallet, items migrate from warehouses, off docks and out of store home windows. Burglaries are rife, shoplifting is carried on in West finish shops and folks fall sufferer to every kind of creative swindles.

'Pornographers proliferate and an predicted 80,000 prostitutes function on London's streets. The weak are robbed in darkish alleys or garroted, a brand new form of mugging during which the sufferer is half-strangled from in the back of whereas being stripped of his possessions...'

Discover Victorian London's dirty rookeries, domestic to hundreds of thousands of the city's poorest and such a lot determined citizens. discover the crime-ridden slums, flash homes and gin palaces from a different street-level view and meet the folk who inhabited them. 

Ross Gilfillan uncovers London's misplaced legal earlier during this attention-grabbing account of 19th century low-life. Come...

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Additional resources for Crime and Punishment in Victorian London. A Street-Level of the City's Underworld

Sample text

He has ventured deep into territory unknown and very often feared by his readers, though this alien land is very often only a few streets distant. He’s gone among the sailors and their prostitutes on the ramshackle Ratcliffe Highway and, in the protective company of police officers, has infiltrated the low lodging houses and thieves’ dens of Spitalfields and Whitechapel. In the course of his investigations, Mayhew has encountered any number of thieves, swindlers, prostitutes and those for whom ends will always justify means.

Child stripping is “generally done by two females…who watch their opportunity to accost children in the street, tidily dressed in good boots and clothes”. The women entice their victim into a quiet place and strip him of his clothes. Laundry is no safer. Sheets, counterpanes, shirts, pinafores and tablecloths left out to dry are stolen by thieves known colloquially as snow-gatherers. Children despatched to deliver washing are accosted in a similar manner, sometimes being sent into a shop to buy themselves something sweet while a stranger kindly minds their bundle.

I took out a green ‘kingsman’”, he says, explaining that this is “next in value to a black silk handkerchief”. ’ After a deal of pressing, we got one shilling”. The successful result and easy money fill Dick with confidence. In fact, he appears to have discovered a natural talent. “In the course of a few weeks, I was considered the cleverest of the little band, never failing to get a couple of handkerchiefs from passengers of each docking boat”. His skills don’t go unnoticed: he’s befriended by contacts of Larry, two young and well-dressed men, who give the boy presents and encourage his activities.

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