Crime in Whitechapel

What made Whitechapel an area where the ‘detection’ of murders was ‘very difficult’?

Students will investigate this question, posed by Queen Victoria in November 1888, using a range of original documents. They will analyse original census records to draw out lines of enquiry about the area of Whitechapel in the 19th century. In addition students get to follow up on their enquiry by selecting a further useful document. These will include original press photographs of East London, plans for slum clearances and police reports on immigration. This workshop encourages students to develop their skills in assessing the usefulness of sources and introduces them to the wide range of documents held at the National Archives.

Connections to the curriculum:

  • EDEXCEL GCSE History (9-1) Crime and Punishment Through Time
  • OCR GCSE History B (9–1) Schools History Project: Crime and Punishment, c.1250 to present

Session options

This session is delivered as a:


at The National Archives

2 hours

Availability: All year

Cost: Free to UK schools

Suitability: Key stage 3 -4

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Contact us

All activities must be booked in advance.

Tel: +44 (0)20 3908 9162