Archived Extracts

19th Century Criminal Justice

Thanking Trev Ashmore for finding and transcribing dated press reports from the Derby Mercury. Modern criminals may be targeting far more valueable personal possessions widely held today, but how strange the similarity spanning over a century, especially regarding careless pet owners and road users. House burglary and horse theft also existed, but while few folk actually owned little more than their clothing, those desperate activities like frequent highway robbery, were initially aimed at wealthier town gentry. Timeless as law breaking is, the only real startling difference back then were the penalties imposed when caught.


At the Nottingham Sessions, on Monday evening. Young and Vardy were sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour. The last week in each Quarter to be spent in solitary confinement. No evidence was offered against Ironmonger.

Reported in the DERBY MERCURY 8th April 1863 - (following a fully detailed investigation)


William Bird, Hucknall Huthwaite, for allowing a dog to be at large without either a muzzle or a collar bearing the owner's name at Pinxton on the 13th inst., was ordered to pay 9s, including costs.

Reported in the DERBY MERCURY 28th March 1900


William Turner, Hucknall Huthwaite, admitted having driven a cart without a light at Tibshelf on June 7th., Police Constable Bown proved the case,a penalty of 9s was imposed.

Reported in the DERBY MERCURY 20th June 1900

Written 21 Nov 09 Revised 21 Nov 09 © by Gary Elliott