"Villainy Detected!" Crime and Consequences in Britain and America in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Causes of Crime

21 Items.

  1. [External Resource] An enquiry into the causes of the late increase of robbers, &c...
    An enquiry into the causes of the late increase of robbers, &c., with some proposals for remedying this growing evil. In which the present reigning vices are impartially exposed: and the laws that relate to the provision of the poor, and to the punishment of felons are largely and freely exampled. Reprinted in a 1903 collection of Fielding's works.
    Book. 1751, 1903
  2. The schoolmaster's experience in Newgate [Parts 1-2]
    Wall describes the life of criminals, particularly thieves, drawing upon his experience at Newgate prison. He focuses on the character of criminals, both adult and juvenile, the sentences they've received, and their views of punishment. In Part 2, Wall discusses London's Old Bailey court and the areas in need of improvement. Specifically, he mentions the effect judicial influence has on sentences. He also focuses on hurried trials and the need for a court of appeals.
    Article. 1832
  3. The schoolmaster's experience in Newgate [Parts 3-5]
    A continuation of Wall's article about the lives of criminals from Newgate prison and the situation of the Old Bailey court. Part 3 focuses on the need for an appeals court. Part 4 details pardon powers. In the last section, Wall details different types of criminals, such as housebreaker, pickpockets, etc. and describes their traits.
    Article. 1832
  4. The philosophy of murder
    Paget states that the old styles of theft and murder are no longer occurring, but rather, poisoning is on the rise (especially among the poor). Specific reasons are provided for why this is the case. Furthermore, he states that this crime often goes unpunished because it is quite often difficult to prove (provides statistics of this crime) and Paget goes on to advocate for harsh sentences for the crime of poisoning, stating that capital punishment should be retained.
    Article. 1851
  5. Thieves and thieving
    Holland, a clergyman, recounts his experiences ministering to thieves and writes of his accounts in order to gain an understanding of the nature of crime. He discusses the lifestyle, mindset, language, and organizational structure of thieves, as well as the measures taken by society to deter these crimes, namely prison. Through his experience, he deduces the causes of crime and elaborates on them in this article.
    Article. 1860
  6. On the treatment of female convicts
    This article examines different aspects of female criminals. Carpenter discusses the characteristics of female convicts, such as the effect that they have on children they raise, their effect on society. Treatment of female convicts in prison, and what becomes of them afterwards. Statistics of female crime are also provided.
    Fraser's Magazine 67. Jan-June (1863): 31-46.; Article. 1863
  7. Criminal women
    The nature of women criminals in London- the why and how of what they do- are discussed. Owen compares the differences between men and women criminals, and goes on to describe why women become criminals, as well as the types of criminals they become. She names a lack of education and a young woman's upbringing as leading causes of a life of crime for women.
    Article. 1866
  8. A note on pauperism
    The conditions of pauperism in London are discussed in this article by Nightingale. She focuses on why and how people come to be paupers, and what can be done to help prevent pauperism. The labor situation in London is discussed in detail. Florence Nightingale is best known as the English nurse who ushered in modern nursing.
    Article. 1869
  9. [External Resource] The Dangerous classes of New York and twenty years' work among them
    Brace describes several causes of crime in New York including weak marriages, overcrowding and intemperance and identifies different groups among the poor within the city. He addresses the causes of juvenile pauperism and crime specifically and attributes the success of his Children's Aid Society to its focus on teaching self-help and industriousness.
    Book. 1872
  10. [External Resource] The Nether Side of New York; or, the Vice, Crime and Poverty of the Great Metropolis
    This work chronicles the crime in New York, from 1868 to 1871. Crapsey, a journalist for the newspaper The Galaxy, seeks to provide the public with his observations and conclusions about the Nether side of New York.
    Book. 1872
  11. The punishment of infanticide
    Fyffe argues that the proper punishment for the crime of infanticide ought to be imprisonment, not death, since no jury would convict a woman to death. Particular cases of infanticide are discussed, as well as others' viewpoints on the proper punishment for such a crime. Fyffe states that the punishment ought to be rendered to do two things: it should be rendered according to the guilt of the offender, and it should work as a deterrent for others.
    Article. 1877
  12. The Punishment and Prevention of Crime
    Sir Edmund F. Du Cane, who served as Chairman of Commissioners of Prisons, Chairman of Directors of Prisons, Inspector-General of Military Prisons, and Surveyor-General of Prisons, discusses the history of criminal punishment, the role of prisons, the reintroduction of former prisoners back into society, and juvenile delinquency and its prevention.
    Book. 1885
  13. Child-life insurance: A reply to the Rev. Benjamin Waugh
    Marshall refutes Benjamin Waugh's notion that children were being killed for insurance money by working-class parents in England. Marshall uses census data and statistics to discount these claims. Waugh was a social reformer who promoted legislative reform to protect children in nineteenth century England.
    Article. 1890
  14. Maltreatment of wives
    The lack of protection for women abused by their husbands is examined. Crawford discusses the lack of strong punishments by the courts for husbands who abuse or kill their wives contributes to the lack of protection these women have. In addition, Crawford provides listing of specific crimes of this nature and the punishments the men received. Lastly, she discusses how children in homes where wives are abused have a tendency to grow up and be involved in crime themselves.
    Article. 1893
  15. [External Resource] "The Jukes"
    "The Jukes" is a pseudonym used by the author to refer to all of the forty-two family names of the prisoners he studied. Following the methods of natural science, the author examines the physical, mental, moral and ancestral characteristics of 233 prisoners in order to learn the best way to correct criminal behavior.
    Book. 1895
  16. Crime in current literature
    The author discusses how literature (novels and plays) about crime and criminals may increases the public's enchantment with it. The author goes on to discuss how much of the literature of the time pertains to this topic. Detective stories are of particular interest in this article. The author is greatly concerned with the moral repercussions that this literature has on society.
    Article. 1897
  17. A crime and its causes
    Stratham discusses the legal issues of abortion in England during this time. The author provides details about the criminal charges physicians who perform such procedures (specific cases are mentioned). In addition, Stratham examines why women chose to have this done.
    Article. 1899
  18. [External Resource] Darkness and Daylight, Or, Lights and Shadows of New York Life
    This text includes the reports of a woman, a journalist and a detective on life in New York. With the aim of depicting the city realistically, these reports describe poverty and crime. The book contains 250 illustrations drawn from photographs also included with the purpose of depicting the city realistically.
    Book. 1900
  19. [External Resource] An Anarchist Woman
    Hapgood tells the story of Marie, a 23-year old factory hand, servant girl and anarchist. Her biography is written as a natural history to explore the circumstances that create a social rebel.
    Book. 1909
  20. [External Resource] Charles Booth and the Survey into Life and Labour in London (1886-1903)
    This online archive is a searchable resource which gives access to archived material from the Booth collections of the British Library of Political and Economic Science. The Booth collection contains Booth's original data from the 1886-1903 survey into the life and labor of London.
    Website. 2000?-
  21. [External Resource] Crime and the Victorians
    Professor Clive Emsley's article discusses the statistics, sensational crimes, criminal classes, penal policies and detective policing related to crime in Victorian Britain. The website provides additional information on people and events as well as links to related articles.
    Website. 2001
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