Cultural Capital

Awaiting his execution - the new media machine went to work pouring out millions of words on the life of the 'notorious' criminal. Within popular culture, Peace's exploits were marked in ballads, songs, penny gaffe's and street corner broadsheets.

The newly emerging commercial press also expoited the story for commercial gain - a host of publications carried the Peace story - periodicals, penny dreadfuls, regional newspapers and national newspapers.

The Peace story also attracted national attention in relation to middle class disquiet regarding penny dreadful literature and the national press used the crimes to highlight perceived increases in gun crime.

By the turn of the century - Peace was a 'celebrity criminal', a cautionary tale and also - the anti hero figure. Madame Tussaud's placed Peace in their crime exhibition - lurking menacingly in the corner of a darkened lane.

The Twentieth century marked the end of the penny dreadful and the rise of the large publication houses that replaced the independents. Furthermore, it was the moving image that the independents now moved towards and it was in film, that the Peace story would be retold once again.


Trial and Inquest

Last session we examined the transcripts for the inquest of Arthur Dyson in Sheffield and the transcripts for the Habron trial in Manchester.

As these trials took place, Peace fled the area and travelled to a number of cities including Hull, Nottingham and London.

A warrant for the arrest of Peace was issued and a large scale manhunt began for Peace. At this time the local and the national press began to investigate Charles Peace. The press began their quest for 'anti hero' and the subsequent events would not disappoint a crime thirsty press.

In the next session we will examine the arrest, escape, trail of Charles Frederick Peace.

Lincoln - 10th May

Given that many people are away for bank holiday weekend - would people be interested in a visit to Lincoln on Sunday the 10th May? Please let me know during the next sesssion or by e mail



Media History

Last session we looked briefly at Peace from 1872 onwards.

The killing of PC Cock in Manchester was proceeded quickly by the killing of Arthur Dyson.

We shall continue next session with the double homicide and also look at Peace's flight to London and his the new life he establishes there.

The later sessions of the Peace story centre more upon the social and cultural history of the media.

I have included in the post three titles that serve as good starting points to 19c media history to 19c media history.


Lincoln Visit

This week we set a provisional date for a visit to Lincoln as:

Sunday 3rd May

I would be most grateful if you let me know next session if you wish to take part in the visit and if you are bringing a friend or partner. I can then block book the train and the castle admission and hopefully reduce the costs accordingly.


Web Links

Just a few notes about blog and web sites that contain information related to the course.

Can I start with a good blog that details some of Tasmania's criminal and prison records. Good article on UK criminal photographs and related items to transportation.

'...the picture comes from an album showing prisoners in Oxford Gaol. The inclusion of photos in prison records at this early date is very rare.The child is Julia Ann Crumpling, aged seven. She was sentenced to seven days' hard labour on 28th June 1870 for stealing a baby carriage.This type of punishment for a child convict was not all that unusual. Even though many people thought that sending a child to gaol did more harm than good, there were still over 1500 children in adult prisons in 1871. This was to change later in the century. After 1899, children had to be sent to separate places of correction, such as Reformatory Schools.''

A good site on Victorian crime can be found at:
Excellent detail here on Garrotting panics, penal reform, ticket of leave and a variety of other related items

Punch, December 27, 1856

Charles Peace 1854 - 1866

Well done to everyone who took part in the exercise to trace Peace's movements in the years 1854 - 66. You had to synthesise a great deal of material evidence and draw patterns from the evidence - which you achieved with great speed.

Thanks to Jim for all the great photographs posted and the book references - thanks to Howard for the police book and the calendars! much appreciated.

I have posted a few additional pics - you can find these on the right hand side bar.