7 Apr 2012


Whenever we see people accused of serious crimes on our news, Husband dearest always laughs as I take one look at the accused and proclaim them innocent or, more often than not, guilty. 

In fact I'm so bad that he says I'd be great during jury service in that I'd save loads of time and money as I'd just take one look and know whether they'd done it or not.

Imagine then how much I'd enjoy this book?

Only 57 pages long and dated between 1909 and 1912 this is a scrapbook listing criminals and their crimes that was compiled by a detective over 100 years ago.

Detective Inspector Robert Mather of the Manchester Police put together the rogues' gallery apparently for his own amusement.

There are 65 convicts recorded and their details includes photographs, physical descriptions, aliases, and their crimes and punishments.
Despite being repeat criminals, mugshots show the rogues dressed in smart clothing - unlike the tracksuit-wearing ne'er do wells of today.
Up for sale at Bonhams in London on the 27th of March, the book is expected to fetch over £ 1,000.
 "This looks like something the officer compiled for his own use. 
"Although some of the photographs are clearly official police pictures, the rest does not look official.
"It might have been for his own amusement, but he might also have carried it around with him in order the spot criminals.
"The scrap book shows that in 100 years little changes and criminals are still the same as they are today." said Simon Roberts of Bonhams.
Ernest Bell, aged 20, in 1912 was fined £5 for stealing pigeons and received 12 strokes for stealing a bicycle.
He then received five years 'reformatory' for stealing 'jellies' but it didn't work for he was later convicted of shopbreaking and received six months in prison.

- The Telegraph (February 2012)
Click HERE to view full article and to see more of these criminals.


naida said...

This sounds interesting, and their being dressed in nice clothing for the mugshots really gives it all a vintage feel.

Kelly said...

How fascinating - he had his own, personal collection of mug shots!

I think that's funny how you can sum a person up like that. ;) Yes, you could hone your skills with a book like this. :)

Nikki-ann said...

I'd love that book... sadly I can't afford the price tag! :)

Suko said...

It sounds as if you are very good at reading faces. I think I'd also enjoy this book.

Arti said...

Oh! Husband is so right, you would save so much time!
And that 57 pager seems quite interesting, the officer must have surely been fascinated by criminals.
Have a wonderful sunday Tracy:)

Kalyan said...

Nice reading...so informative!

anilkurup said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anilkurup said...


Strokes! You mean those days felons when convicted were lashed?

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh my! I know those had to be serious crimes then, but the pigeons sounds so small of a crime now. lol. Thanks for sharing this. It's so neat to see a piece of history. :)