England and Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892
Did any of your ancestors fall foul of the law? If they did, you can learn what fate they suffered with the release of this exciting new collection, which lifts the lid on the British legal system from nearly 300 years ago.
Featuring over 500,000 names, the collection is a treasure trove of information for family historians. You can see information on charges, trial results, sentences or acquittals, dates of execution - and in some cases, personal details about individual prisoners.
Start searching the England and Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892 and you'll gain an amazing insight into a time when justice was swift - and harsh. Men, women and children were all sentenced; people were deported to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) and condemned to lives of hard labour in appalling conditions.
The death penalty could be handed down for more than 200 separate offences - many simple 'crimes of poverty' or what are very minor offences by today's standards. Examples include:
- stealing livestock
- cutting down trees
- pickpocketing goods worth more than one shilling
- being out at night with a blackened face
- stealing from a rabbit warren