Source 1


[Oval stamp for Secretary G.N.R. for Great Northern Railway, 10 January 1867]


Inspectors Office

Kings Cross Station

January 10th 1867

Pocket Picking at Kings Cross Passenger Station


On the 20th Ultimo [of last month], two women named respectively Martha Walters and Catherine McIntosh were detected picking the pocket of a lady passenger named Henrietta Shuldham as detailed in my report to Mr Cockshott of the 20th Ultimo.

They were apprehended and committed for trial which came off on the 8th instant [present month] of the Middlesex Sessions [law court session].

Both were found guilty and each sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour [tiring physical work as punishment].

McIntosh had been three times previously convicted of felony [stealing] and Walters had once been summarily [come before a court] for a similar offence by the Magistrates in Edinburgh.

I am your obedient servant,

Thomas Williams


H. Oakley Esquire.

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Extract from a report about pickpocketing at Kings Cross Station written for the Board of the Great Northern Railway. All railway companies had a Board of Directors, which received various reports railway business, 1867. (Catalogue ref: RAIL 236/299/11)

  • What type of document is it?
  • Who has written it?
  • What is the report is about?
  • What happened to the women involved in the crime when they went to court [Middlesex Sessions]?
  • What do you think of their sentence?
  • Why do you think these women were punished like this?
  • What is the style/tone of the report?
  • Why would a railway station offer opportunities for crime?