Crime And Punishment

WhereGreat Broughton Village HallType of EventIllustrated Talk
WhenMonday 11th April 2022TutorRipon Museum Trust

The Museum Trust in Ripon has three museums:  a Georgian prison, a Victorian workhouse and a courthouse dating from the 1830s. The lecture began by looking at the recently created police service. The population did not particularly trust it at first, apparently. There were recent memories of how the authorities dealt with law and order and crowd control. The service grew as we know. Fifty officers were appointed and received £30 per annum, a reasonable wage, and had the ability to read and write.

The lecture contained two graphic tales. One of poachers, in which ultimately there was a violent conclusion. The other tale was of a juvenile girl gang, which specialised in stealing fabric with a view to dressmaking. In the case of the poachers there was an attempted murder. The judge imposed a death sentence which was commuted to transportation. It is interesting to see how the influence of the gentry and fear of disorder affected crime and punishment. In the cases of the girls, teenagers, they received imprisonment with hard labour.

The prison in Ripon seems to have been well and humanely run.

The lecture included tables of exhibits. Police helmets, notebooks, handcuffs, manacles and oakum were there to be seen and handled.

A good size audience engaged with the topic. There were plenty of questions throughout. Once more, refreshments were provided and taken.

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