British photographic history

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Tyne & Wear Archives: Criminals of 1871-1873

The  Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums have recently published on-line what is thought to be the last surviving album of Victorian criminal photographs from the Newcastle area, ranging from ragamuffin children to the elderly and infirm, of all ages.

These sepia images, to help with the identification of criminal classes and to support theories about criminal physiology, were taken at the Newcastle City Gaol and House of Correction Collection between December 1871 and December 1873. The youngest of the criminals was 11 year old, Ellen Woodman, who was caught stealing iron and given 7 days hard labour.

You can view them on their flickr account here, or there is a book published a few years ago entitled Victorian Villains, by Barry Redfern, which gives further information on the individuals who were convicted. If interested, you can purchase the book using the Amazon link on the right. 

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