The New Newgate Calendar

Blogs about the history of crime, justice and punishment

Calendar     Blogs
DREADFUL MURDER of 5 Persons” – This is the headline that the broadside opens up with, displaying instantly the horror of the crime and drawing in the reader. Whilst the source of the broadside simply brandishes an ambiguous 19th century dating,...
On this date in 1989, China executed Teng Xingshan with a bullet to the head for the murder of Shi Xiaorong — an act which became quite embrrassing when Shi surfaced in 2005, alive and well. Teng became the focus of Hunan provincial officials&#...
Charles Dickens 1812-1870 Charles Dickens (1812-70) was born into a middle class family, however, it is known his father was sent to a debtor’s prison for a period in Charles’ life – an event which had a lasting impression on the author and gre...

Remember me

27 January 2015
Nobody ever thinks about leaving loved ones behind. Perhaps because it is too hard or maybe it is simply that we never expect too. Imagine living in the 19th century and being faced with the fact that someone dear to you is about to be shipped away t...
During time in prison, convicts would be away from loved ones for an extended time, meaning they would often become nostalgic and sentimental. Being locked up meant there were not many means for articulating these emotions, but they found a way. Betw...
On this date in 1928, Edward Rowlands and Daniel Driscoll hanged in Cardiff for murdering a man whose last words exculpated Rowlands and Driscoll. That victim, Dai Lewis, was a former prizefighter who was pivoting his career to dabble in the bookmaki...
The Kamikawa region is one of areas that today still has relatively a large population of the Ainu. It is also the site of the most famous land dispute between the Hokkaido Government and the Ainu in the early 20th century. The Hokkaido Aborigines Pr...
(Daily Ohio Statesman, August 22, 1848) The trial in the case of Andrew Tyler, convicted and sentenced to die, at the late term of the Supreme Court held in Williams county, as accesory [sic] to one of the most wanton and singular murders of which th...
Fig. 1 – Helena Bonham Carter playing Miss Havisham in the 2012 Mike Newell adaptation of Great Expectations. Within Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations Pip (a young boy who inherits a wealthy inheritance plunging him into the world of th...
(Thanks to Meaghan Good of the Charley Project for the guest post. -ed.) On this date in 1788, John Price Posey was publicly hanged in Richmond, Virginia for arson. He was 35 years old, with two children. Posey, born in 1752, didn’t have the ki...
Dutch Anabaptist Anneke Esaiasdochter (better known as Anna Jansz; this was the surname of her husband*) was executed in Rotterdam on this date in 1538. Anna (English Wikipedia entry | German) is a key martyr of the fragmented Anabaptist movement fo...
In the spring of 1879, A.T, a boilermaker from Hull, was convicted of the attempted murder of his wife, R. According to press reports, R. had lived a ‘miserable’ life since she married her husband the previous year: he ‘ill-used’ her and was...

The Real Artful Dodger?

23 January 2015
History forever fails to provide a satisfactory voice for the suppressed. Records and documents are formal and impersonal, as if the individual being written about was not an individual, or human, at all. This is exhibited through young convicts of t...
     ‘Resist. Revive. Decolonise’ – Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance[1] Aboriginal protestors at the G20 summit [2]*Content warning – rape, genocidal racist violence and murder Kate Grenville’s novel The Secret Riv...
  Book cover of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens Does Dickens portrayal of the workhouse in Oliver Twist (February 1837) match up to the harrowing reality of workhouses in the 19th Century? I aim to compare the depiction of the workhouse in Olive...
Oliver Twist Cover (1850) To what extent is reading seen as a crime by Oliver Twist? This can be seen in chapter 20 of Oliver Twist: ‘He remained lost in thought for some minutes; and then, with a heavy sigh, snuffed the candle, and, taking...
On January 23, 1751 Lhasa … witnessed another horrible example of Chinese justice. Lobsang Trashi and six other leaders of the rebellion were executed by cutting them into pieces. Other people were beheaded or strangled. The heads of the execut...
On this date in 205, the Roman patrician Gaius Fulvius Plautianus was put to summary execution for aspiring to the purple. Maternal cousin and longtime ally to Septimius Severus, Plautianus had helped himself to a generous slice of power and wealth w...

1932: Two-Gun Crowley

21 January 2015
(Thanks to Robert Elder of Last Words of the Executed — the blog, and the book — for the guest post. Fans of this here site are highly likely to enjoy following Elder’s own pithy, almanac-style collection of last words on the scaffo...
This date in 1979 saw the last use of capital punishment in Peru. An Air Force sergeant named Julio Vargas Garayar was shot for selling classified information under the military junta of Francisco Morales Bermudez. Peru abolished the death penalty la...
At the Gloucestershire Assizes held in August 1842, George Jacob Holyoake, a socialist lecturer, was sentenced to six months in Gloucester Gaol for committing blasphemy, after saying at a lecture in Cheltenham that he did not believe in God. I wrote...
Having looked, last time, at the (traditionally) female malady of hysteria, we turn this time to corresponding (opposing?) aspects of male insanity, focussing particularly on those within the troublesome context of crime, insanity and sex.GPI: blamin...
After his highly successful début with Broadmoor Revealed, writer and archivist, Mark Stevens takes us into the forbidding world of the …Continue reading →
We have covered in these pages the horrific blood libel trial that sent most of the Jews of Trent to execution for the supposed ritual murder of the child Simon of Trent. The moral panic (and torture-aided interrogation) that broke out when TrentR...
Iran carried out two public hangings on this date in 2013 in the city of Pakdasht, according to the National Committee of Resistance of Iran.

1949: Hiroshi Iwanami

17 January 2015
On this date in 1949, Dr. Hiroshi Iwanami was hanged on Guam for murdering ten American POWs during World War II. The commanding officer of the naval hospital on Japan’s South Pacific stronghold of Truk, Iwanami was condemned by the postwar U.S...
‘Execution of Father Garnet Illustration 1606’ In 18th century Britain punishment and conviction of criminals was profoundly different from today and public hangings were a regular and popular affair – crowds of up to 100,000 from across the cl...
This is part two of my retelling of the Hall Green Tragedy of 1895. For part one, see here. It was not until the day after the deaths that the bodies were identified, after police found an address in Edward’s pocket. His wife was brought to formall...
United States The first U.S. execution of 2013 was that of Robert Gleason, Jr. in Virginia last January 16. Gleason was serving a life sentence for another murder when he conned a fellow-prisoner into letting him tie his hands as part of a supposed e...
On this date in 1944, Soviet partisan Zinaida Portnova was executed by the Germans occupying Belarus. The youngest-ever female Hero of the Soviet Union (she was posthumously decorated in 1958), the Leningrad-born Portnova had a rude start in insurgen...
“News of a shocking domestic tragedy comes from Sparkhill, near Birmingham. On Monday night, groans were heard coming from a field between Hall Green and Sparkhill, and later, when a search was made, the Warwickshire police found the bodies of Edwa...
(Thanks to Michael DeHay for the autobiographical guest post, originally published — too late for DeHay to see the byline — in the Prescott, Arizona Miner‘s January 21, 1876 edition. Prescott’s Sharlot Hall Museum unearthed th...
In the aftermath of the terrible murders by terrorists in Paris, David Cameron and Boris Johnson have been leading the calls for tougher new powers to monitor extremists in the UK. The Prime Minister spoke of “this fanatical death cult of Islamist...
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when,...
As a reviewer of several Pickering & Chatto titles in recent months, I thought readers of the blog might like to know they're having a sale!According to their web page, some 40% has been cut from the price of a number of their 'major works titles...
I always love to hear about the work of real-life detectives and so I was delighted when family historian and …Continue reading →
On this date in 1874, two men and a woman hanged at H.M. Prison Gloucester for unsatisfactory affairs of the heart. Charles Edward Butt On August 17 of the previous year, Charles Edward Butt had besought the company of a Miss Amelia Phipps for an ex...

Whipping Boys

11 January 2015
Cat-o’-nine-tails Jack Page was around 12 or 13 years old when, in 1824, he was charged with stealing a rope of onions from a stall on Borough Market.  He was a too familiar face to the court.  The magistrate lamented that he did not know wha...
On this date in 1830, William Banks, the leader of a gang of West Moulsey robbers was hanged at London’s Horsemonger Lane Gaol. Despite a freezing day and a ferocious northerly wind that newsmen enhanced “almost to a hurricane” (Lon...
1. Meet the new project, which also happens to be just about my oldest project: Gender and Defamation in York 1660-1700 The core of this is research I did way back in 1999 for my MA dissertation. It was the first archival research for which I had the...
(Thanks to Sabine Baring-Gould for the guest post, from this piece on Helene Gillet‘s miraculously surviving her beheading. -ed.) In the Middle Ages there were two chances of life at the last moment accorded to a malefactor condemned to death,...
Sir Richard Mayne; Metropolitan Police Commissioner (1829-1868) Two weeks after the death in December 1868 of the long-standing Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Richard Mayne, one of the small team of detectives at Scotland Yard, Detective Inspe...
A post inspired by a recent trip I made to Bodmin Jail. Selina Wadge is commemorated in Bodmin Jail by a rather strange, blank faced, waxwork depiction of her in an old jail cell. She is shown throwing a child into a well while an older child looks...
(Thanks to Meaghan Good of the Charley Project for the guest post. -ed.) On this date in 1945, Polish Gentile Karolina Juszczykowska was executed at the prison in Frankfurt am Main for her attempt to save two Jewish men in Tomaschow, Poland, the prev...
George Smiley’s execution in the Arizona Territory on this date in 1900 was a month late owing to a public relations debacle. The first and only man ever hanged in Navajo County, Smiley had killed a railroad section foreman. As his scheduled De...
Before Christmas, I finally had a chance to visit the excellent Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London and …Continue reading →
Pakistan this morning has hanged at the central jail of Multan two members of the long-banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Sunni militant party. Pakistan has been on an execution bender in recent weeks, following the terrorist massacre of 145 people at a Peshawar...
The reason the Digital Panopticon project is able to trace the lives of convicts in such detail is the growing tendency of British local government to collect information about the lives and personal characteristics of criminals.  From the late eigh...
Join me at the Boston Public Library on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 6 p.m., where I will be talking about early American criminals and convict transportation from Great Britain to colonial America. My talk will take place in the Abbey Room at the...
Centres of LunacyDavid J. Vaughan Insanity and the Lunatic Asylum in the Nineteenth Century Perspectives in Economic and Social History: 36Edited by Thomas Knowles and Serena Trowbridge 2015 (Pickering & Chatto)256pp: 234x156mm: 2014...