Thursday, November 10, 2011

3 fantastic databases of London crime, poverty, and social policy, 1674-1913

Ever wanted to know what the trial of a pirate would be like? Or exactly what crime do you have to commit to be drawn and quartered as punishment in the 17th century? Wonder no more! Old Bailey Online is, "a fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court." An incredible resource that allows you to search by criteria such as: offence, verdict, sex and age of defendant and/or victim, punishment, and more! Gather statistics, read trial notes, and learn about adjudicating London's seedy underbelly!

A sister publication of the Old Bailey is the Ordinary of Newgate's Accounts and contains biographies of people executed at Tyburn. I know, it sounds pretty macabre, but it is "a valuable source of information about both elite attitudes towards criminality and the lives, attitudes, and dying behaviour of executed convicts. "

Need more biographical, primary documents? London Lives provides access to historical records containing over 3.35 million names from a wide range of primary sources about eighteenth-century London with a particular focus on plebeian Londoners. This resource includes over 240,000 manuscript and printed pages from eight London archives.

Have fun!

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