1.9 million historic criminal records published online for the first time

Volume containing prisoners' records (catalogue reference HO 140/113)

Volume containing prisoners’ records (catalogue reference HO 140/113)

Over 1.9 million crime and punishment records, held by The National Archives, have been digitised and made available online by family history website Findmypast.co.uk. This joins Findmypast’s online collection of almost three million crime and prison records available to search and download.

These records, from Home Office, Metropolitan Police and Prison Commission files series, span over 150 years from 1779 to 1935. They reveal many ordinary and extraordinary stories of criminals, victims and law enforcers. The records include mugshots and colour images of historical records, as well as detailed accounts of Victorian serial killers, notorious executioners, and the only assassination of a British Prime Minister.

Hung for using fake fiver

The records also uncover some of the harsher sentences given to many for what are now often considered petty crimes. Thirty-five year old artist Edward Ball from Eastbourne was given the death sentence with no mercy to trying to use a forged £5 note (HO 47/40/13).

Tags: criminals, news, prison, records