Victorian Felons: The Ladies In Dock

We have been looking at vintage mugshots recently discovered in the archives of the West Midlands Police Department, including the oldest mugshot in British history. These photos come from Birmingham England.  I have a great fan of the series The Peaky Blinders and these mugshots originate in the period before the series in Birmingham.  Today’s Victorian mugshot feature two women in the late nineteenth century.

Ann Vickers (who is pictured left) was charged with stealing a pocket watch in 1862. This makes her one of the earliest mugshots on record.  The other woman is unknown by name or offense. However, they show the Victorian criminal element was not just male.

11 thoughts on “Victorian Felons: The Ladies In Dock”

  1. Ann Vickers was convicted of theft in 1862. In 1837, 25 years before, the number of crimes with capital punishment was reduced so that this kind of theft was reclassified as non-capital.

  2. I’m not sure what the fascination is with these mug shots but it seems unnecessarily mean to post them and make generalizatins about the “criminal element”. If you read anything about this period you know that there was crushing poverty and rampant abuse. On the other hand there was wealth beyond belief in the upper classes, if you will. Just a thought.

    1. If you read anything about this period you know that there was crushing poverty and rampant abuse. On the other hand there was wealth beyond belief in the upper classes, if you will.

      The society in general was less productive and had lower incomes. That was true of all elements of British society. The ‘wealth beyond belief’ you’re referring to consisted of the real estate and antique chattels of the British Peerage. The Peerage might have accounted for about 1% of the British upper class and their capacity to maintain their standard of living was declining as income and wealth were flowing to those engaged in commerce and industry and possessed of entrepreneurship the Peerage did not have.

    2. You just proved that there were Socialist Democrats definitely living in Birmingham England in the mid 1800’s.

  3. This thread will mention the name of a certain female former Secretary of State in the same sentence as the phrase “mug shot” in 3…..2……1….

    1. While she was making an espresso, Madeleine Albright accidently poured hot water on her fingers, her mug shot out of her hand and broke on the floor.

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