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Lawbreaking

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Many of the women and girls, whose stories appear on this site, were involved in what was considered, at the time, to be criminal activity. You can access the stories by clicking on the women's names below.

Here are some resources to help with this topic:

Hawkin, David T Criminal Ancestors: a guide to historical criminal records in England and Wales The History Press (2009) The eight appendices list hundreds of classes of criminal records and their whereabouts.

Wade, Simon Tracing your Prisoner Ancestors: a guide for family historians Pen and Sword (2020)

Williams, Lucy Criminal Women 1850-1920: researching the lives of Britain's female offenders Pen and Sword (2018)

​Williams, Lucy Wayward Women: female offending in Victorian England Pen and Sword (2016)

Day, Chris How to Trace your Criminal Ancestors (2016)

Old Bailey Online: index to trials at the Central Criminal Court 1674-1913 

National Archives Research Guide to researching Criminals and Convicts

The Prison: the story of an institution

Scotland’s Court and Criminal Database 1708-1909

Mary Ann Audley 1845-1907 from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk - Lawbreaking, Prostitution. 10 minute read.

Betty Kershaw 1832-1877 from Leeds, Yorkshire - Disability, Domestic Abuse, Lawbreaking, Mental Health, Murder, Sickness. Warning, this story includes an account of domestic abuse. 12 minute read.

Maria Bindon, later Maria Tylee 1835-1884 from Bathampton, Somerset - Illegitimacy, Lawbreaking, Murder, No Descendants, Prostitution. 4 minute read

Julia Mahoney, later Julia Loveridge 1897-1968 from Bermondsey, Surrey - Abandonment, Disability, Domestic Abuse, Lawbreaking, Poverty. 11 minute read. Please note that this story contains an account of domestic abuse.

Ann Palmer c.1780-1824 from Dagenham, Essex - Infanticide, Lawbreaking, Mental Health, Suicide. Warning, this story involves child murder. 5 minute read.

Jane Short 1884-1891 from Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland - Child Mortality, Lawbreaking, No Descendants, Sickness, Fleming Memorial Hospital. 5 minute read.

Elsie May Simon aka Elsie May Brock 1895-1975 from Wyton, Yorkshire - Alcoholism, Disability, Lawbreaking. 9 minute read.

Dinah Townend c.1786-1867 from High Hoyland, Yorkshire – Domestic Abuse, Illegitimacy, Lawbreaking. Warning, this story contains an account of domestic abuse. 4 minute read.

All those who formed part of the following A Few Forgotten Women Friday collaborative research projects were labelled as lawbreakers and their stories can be found on the pages dedicated to the particular research day.

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