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Criminal Lives, 1780-1925: Punishing Old Bailey Convicts

Please note: The 'Criminal Lives' exhibition has now closed

Between 1700 and 1900, the state stopped punishing the bodies of London’s convicts and increasingly sought to reform their minds. From hanging, branding and whipping the response to crime shifted to transportation and imprisonment. By the nineteenth century, judges could choose between two contrasting forms of punishments: exile and forced labour in Australia, or incarceration in strictly controlled ‘reformatory’ prisons at home. Which was more effective?

This exhibition traced the impact of these punishments on individual lives, following the men, women and children convicted in London from the crime scenes and trials through their experiences of punishment, and on to their subsequent lives.

This exhibition at London Metropolitan Archives was produced in partnership with the AHRC Digital Panopticon Project.

This exhibition closed in May 2018.

Further information
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    A convict being punished by branding at the Old Bailey, c1770

    ​A convict being punished by branding at the Old Bailey, c1770


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