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Criminal Lives, 1780-1925: Punishing Old Bailey Convicts

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 traces 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 free exhibition at London Metropolitan Archives is produced in partnership with the AHRC Digital Panopticon Project.

This free exhibition opens on 11 December 2017 and continues until 16 May 2018. Free during normal LMA opening times - check our visitor information pages to find out more.

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

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