Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Crime and Punishment in Regency newspapers

Our newspapers are full of accounts of disasters, crises, and crime. Newspapers of the Regency era were not very different. Their knowledge of global disasters was limited, and word of international crises took months to reach English newspapers, but there was plenty of local crime and accident to write about.

The Westminster Penitentiary from Repository of Arts March 1817

Here are some of the events and cases that excited British readers:

Trewman's Exeter Flying Post December 24 1818
Trewman's Exeter Flying Post December 24 1818
Evening Mail London February 3 1800
Ipswich Journal July 15 1805

Bell's Weekly Messenger September 24 1815

Aberdeen Journal - Wednesday 30 December 1812
While there can be some comfort in knowing that the goodness of human nature has not changed over the centuries, it is sobering to realize that the darker side of humanity has shown little improvement.

Something more cheerful next time,
'Til then, all the best,