Justice ???

Discussion in 'Criminal Ancestors' started by Half Hour, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

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    I have been searching Crime Prisons and Punishment 1770-1934 on FMP. When searching one of the surnames in my family I found some interesting general information.
    I did some comparisons of the crimes and the resulting sentences.
    Jan 5, 1857, Middlesex.
    John Miles, 23, postman. . sentenced to 6 years penal servitude for stealing 8 post letters.
    Leopold Redpath, 41, clerk ..sentenced to transportation for life feloniously fororging a certain deed with intention to defraud
    Charles Phillips and Sophia Roberts.. 18 months in House of Corrections for knowingly having in their possession a counterfeit coin.
    Christopher Stannard. 33, butcher. sentenced to 1 year House of Corrections, Clerkenwell Guilty of manslaughter for feloniously killing and slaying Sarah Tydeman
    William Gollicher.21, labourer..1 month at House of Correction Guilty of Manslaughter for feloniously killing and slaying Harben Elderton.

    Some things just do not balance here o_O .........Just sayin'

    Record source: Central Criminal Court: After Trial Calendars of Prisoners
    The National Archives reference: CRIM9/3
     
  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    One of my ancestors, Sophia Chapman, was charged with stealing one blanket, two pairs of silk stockings, two pairs of cotton stockings, two pairs of woollen stocking, the property of the Rev John Hailstone, vicar of Shudy Camps, for whom she worked.
    The court records state:
    The Chairman in passing sentence said there was one thing in her favour which distinguished her case from the one which had just been heard, and that she had received a good character, and had been recommended to mercy by the prosecutor, which the prisoner who had been tried previous to her for exactly the same offence, had not been so fortunate to obtain; the sentence of the Court therefore was that she be transported for seven years.
     
  3. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    The same thing seems to happen today. The higher your standing the less your sentence. Some things never change.

    In this day and age you get time off your sentence for good behaviour or are paroled. Back then they didn't get time off for good behaviour. So have we progressed or regressed?
     
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  4. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    One can't help but notice, how in most court cases (re male persons) they are dressed in a suit, hair neat, & suddenly are of quite good character & couldn't possibly have committed the ugly offence ( or 4) they are charged with.

    Can't ever judge a book by it's cover. Rather changes ones opinion on every day nicely dressed people doesn't it?
     
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  5. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    Never judge a book by its cover, Wendy, otherwise I'd never be allowed out on my own :D
     
  6. Philippa

    Philippa Always a lady.

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    We have to forget the "here and now" aspect and try to put ourselves into the time frame we are looking at. There is no way we can compare crimes and punishment except on an emotional basis simply because we weren't there at the time. It's pretty well impossible to look at things from the perspective of the past. At the time in question these sentences were in keeping with the norm and were not outrageous or abnormal FOR THEN. I do agree though, that "position" has always played (and will always play) an unfair part in the final result which is absolutely criminal in itself, but human nature is always at work no matter what we are doing.
     
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  7. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    In preferring charges as he no doubt did and knowing what the dire consequences to the lady would be, whatever happened to christian forgiveness/charity, turning the other cheek etc on the part of the Rev John Hailstone? Being a christian (supposedly) even if he couldn't forgive her you would have thought he could have just fired her and called it quits. :(
     
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  8. Philippa

    Philippa Always a lady.

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    Don't forget, Findem, that the oh so "Christian" reverends were often the least feeling and compassionate people in the community. Fire and brimstone, remember, not to mention being condemned to the suffering of hell's fires!!
     
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  9. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

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    These people I found did not have any outstanding positions... I can't believe it was okay to kill someone..you got 1 month or 1 year, but the person who foraged a document was sent away forever!
     
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  10. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Perhaps forgery was considered a talent along with some intelligence & the powers that be didn't want competition from an upstart from the lower ranks?
     
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  11. LianeH

    LianeH Well-Known Member

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    My husbands got an ancestor who was sentenced to six months hard labour for stealing five tame ducks - all I hope is they were tasty :)
     
  12. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    My great grandfather was imprisoned 1885.

    He was charged with feloniously setting fire to a dwellinghouse in Church Stretton on 7/5/1885, one Elizabeth Parry being therein. He was found guilty of arson and sentenced to four calendar months with hard labour.
     
  13. Bookworm

    Bookworm Now in the arms of the Angels

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    An ancestor of mine was found guilty of stealing some nails, sentenced to 7 years and transported to Van Dieman's Land.
     
  14. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    Harsh :eek:
     
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  15. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    It must have been unbearably harsh.
     
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  16. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

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    From the look of this they would have been better off murdering someone. Must have depended on who your judge was and whether they had got out of the right side of bed in the morning.
     
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  17. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    I think a lot of it depended on the status of the person you committed the offence against. If you ripped off/murdered/stole from Joe Bloggs, then you might (and I emphasize might) have not been treated so harshly. If you committed the offence against someone slightly higher up in the pecking order - then beware :eek:

    Equally, if you were of a higher social class, you were more likely to be treated leniently should you commit an offence. I researched a case of a respected medical 'gentleman' who fathered an illegitimate child and took said child and its mother out to the middle of the country and left the baby in the driveway of a mansion - in October. Long story but mother and baby were reunited in the workhouse - mother got 'done' for deserting her baby (she was eventually 'liberated'), medical gentleman was reported to the police - he was arrested and charged with "child-dropping" and was eventually fined £5........

    However, much seems to have depended on the person in charge of the trial

    Ann
     
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  18. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    A few of our ancestors were transported for life for what would now be classed as petty theft. o_O
     
  19. LianeH

    LianeH Well-Known Member

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    Too true Ann, I had a 5 x gt grandfather hung on Bodmin Moor for forgery - see don't diddle the taxman lol
     
  20. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    My tree is remarkably lacking in colour but I do have one piece of colour.

    The sibling of one of my ancestors was the last man to be hung in Essex, according to a fellow researcher who also stated that her research found that "if something wasn't nailed or screwed down he would nick it".

    His final act was to cut down someone's fruit trees, after the sentence the person whose trees were cut down stated that had he known the outcome he wouldn't have had the guy charged.

    The resulting outcry against the hanging saw the the end of hanging in Essex.
     
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