Recorded Webinar: Nineteenth-century crime and punishment

By Dr Emma Watkins, published 30th March 2023

The records and the lives

This webinar with Dr Emma D Watkins explores the changing understanding of crime and responses to it in the nineteenth-century. It provides a brief overview on the general shift from punishment of the body, to banishment, all the way through to imprisonment.

With a particular emphasis on the use of transportation as a punishment, this session explores how criminal records, originally created by the state for surveillance, can be used to understand individual historical lives. When criminal records are combined with newspapers and civil records we can begin to build up a picture of an individual life. In doing so, we can ask broader questions, not just about crime and punishment, but also about familial and economic lives. There is also reference to some of the free online resources available to search individual criminal lives and real historical court cases.

Please note: while this webinar has been produced by the Historical Association, any opinions expressed by the presenter(s) are their own and do not necessarily represent HA policy.

This resource is FREE for Student HA Members.

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