British Crime Historians Symposium 2018

Edge Hill University, 31st August – 1st September 2018

Draft Programme



Friday 31st August Saturday 1st September


9.00 – 9.30       Registration


9.30 – 10.50     Panels A1, A2, A3


9.00 – 10.20      Panels D1, D2
10.50 – 11.20   Tea and coffee


10.20 – 10.40    Tea and coffee
11.20 – 1.00     Panels B1, B2, B3


10.40 – 12.20    Panels E1, E2, E3
1.00 – 2.00       Lunch


12.20 – 1.10      Lunch
2.00 – 3.40       Panels C1, C2, C3


1.10 – 2.10        Plenary:

Eamonn Carrabine

3.40 – 4.00       Tea and coffee


2.10 – 3.50        Panels F1, F2, F3
4.00 – 5.00       John Archer Memorial Plenary:

Ian Burney

3.50 – 4.10        Tea and coffee
5.00 – 5.40

Discussion: Freedom of Information (Convenor Mark Roodhouse)


4.10 – 5.30        Panels G1, G2

7.30                  Conference dinner at

local restaurant



Panels and Speakers


Plenary Speakers


Ian Burney (University of Manchester)

Spatters and Lies: Forensic Cultures in the Sheppard Murder Trials, 1954 – 1966


Eamonn Carrabine (Essex University)

Reading Pictures: Art History and the Sociology of Punishment



9.30 – 10.50

A1       Disability and the criminal justice system


‘Invalids’, ‘cripples’ and ‘malingerers’: Disability and the modern prison, 1850 – 1930

Helen Johnston (University of Hull) and Jo Turner (Staffordshire University)


“My objection is that there is no way in which you can possible communicate with a deaf and dumb man”: Experiences of the deaf community within the English courtroom, 1780 – 1920

Christopher Stone and David Cox (University of Wolverhampton)


Prisoner or patient? Diagnosing insanity in the Nineteenth Century prison

Catherine Cox (University College Dublin) and Hilary Marland (University of Warwick)


 A2       Debates around clemency and reprieve


Racialised mercy: Reprieving black and minority ethnic prisoners in Twentieth Century England and Wales

Lizzie Seal and Alexa Neale (University of Sussex)


Convicts’ pleas for clemency: A comparative study of penal systems in Indiana (USA) and England, 1870 – 1910

Bryan Byers (Ball State University, Indiana, USA) and Guy Woolnough (Keele University)


“It is the child who suffers”: Debates over births in English women’s prisons, 1900 – 1950

Rachel Bennett (University of Warwick)

A3       Detectives and spies


Licensing criminals: London detectives and their informants, 1919 – 1968

Mark Roodhouse (University of York)


Duping the detectives: How the popularity of private detective agencies in 1890s Britain led to the National Detective Agency fraud

Nell Derby (Oxford Brookes University)


Police spies and the radical war in Glasgow

Dave Smale (independent researcher)


11.20 – 1.00


B1       Theorising crime and criminal justice


“Governing through freedom”: A framework for understanding Victorian crime control?

David Churchill (University of Leeds)


The ‘great decarceration’ and its limits: Towards a new historical account of decarceration trends in the adult and juvenile secure estates

Pamela Cox (University of Essex) and Barry Godfrey (University of Liverpool)


Historical context and the criminological imagination: Towards a three dimensional criminology

Henry Yeomans (University of Leeds)


Crime, character and civilisation: Reading Luke Owen Pike’s ‘History of Crime in England’ (1873)

Lindsay Farmer (University of Glasgow)


B2       Crime: Interwar and beyond


Policing working class pleasure in Britain in the inter-war years

Gerry Rubin and Colin Moore (University of Kent)


The impact of the Great Depression on the property crime rate in London and Istanbul

Recep Kurt (Marmara University, Turkey)


Crime and criminality during the inter-war period: a local perspective

Ashely Borrett (University of Hull)


Probation and attempted suicide in Britain, 1907 – 1961

Louise Settle (University of Tampere, Finland)


B3       Changing perspectives of crime and punishment institutions


Beyond the control of his parents: Juvenile crime and reform in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1856 – 1914

Lucie Wade (Leeds Beckett University)


“We’re very lucky that we live in this day and age”: Perceptions of historical and contemporary penal institutions in British prison museums

Rhiannon Pickin (Leeds Beckett University)


More than a murderess: comparing representations of female convicts in prison museums to their historical records

Dan Johnson (University of York)


The private life of CID paperwork: the transition of murder files from institutional to public records

Angela Sutton-Vane (The Open University)


2.00 – 3.40


C1       Policing: Professionalism and representations


Leading the British Police in the Twentieth Century

Clive Emsley (The Open University)


“Getting close”: The police beat and reporting crime in Australia

Fay Anderson (Monash University, Australia)


Policing sexual immorality in the First World War

Mary Fraser (Social historian of the police)


Policemen and their moustaches: Fashioning professional identity in Nineteenth Century Newcastle upon Tyne

Clare Sandford-Couch (Northumbria University)


 C2       Understanding murder


Gender, emotion and murder before the Old Bailey in the Nineteenth Century

Meg Arnot (University of Roehampton)


“This distressing tragedy”: Maternal child-murder, attempted suicide, self-murder and madness in Victorian England

Alison Pedley (University of Roehampton)


Women’s experiences of homicide in Wales 1542 – 1590

Elizabeth Howard (Cardiff University)


Making ‘murder’ in early Eighteenth Century London: The Searchers, the Bills and violent death

Craig Spence (Bishop Grosseteste University)



C3       Dealing with ‘new’ criminal forms


Communication technology, crime and regulation: A historical perspective

Kisby Dickinson (University of Leeds)


Crime, innovation and the technology of money

Elliott Keech (University of York)


The prosecution of naval fraud in the Eighteenth Century

Cerian Griffiths (Lancaster University)


The creation of peril: Public perceptions of railway sexual assaults, 1830 – 1914

Roger Baxter (University of Sheffield)


9.00 – 10.20


D1       The personal lens


The captive set free: John Clay, Charles Dickens and the Prisoner at Preston Gaol

Tracey Hughes (Liverpool John Moores University)


“To each case, great and small, he devoted all his care, his knowledge and his intelligence”: A developing study of the life and work of John Theodore Hoyle, the Coroner of the town and borough of Newcastle upon Tyne (1857-1885)

Helen Rutherford (Northumbria University)


Right time, wrong place: The transition of Benjamin O. Davis Jr from US Air Force General to Civilian Public Safety Director

George Richards (University of Pennsylvania, USA)


D2       Prisons and prisoners in Ireland


Doing time: Dark tourism in Ireland

Gillian O’Brien (Liverpool John Moores University)


“I met some terrible rascals and criminals”: Irish ‘political prisoners’ and the representation of ‘ordinary’ convicts

Will Murphy (Dublin City University)


“Embarrassing the state”: Health, activism and ‘non-political’ prisoners in 1970s Ireland

Oisín Wall (University College Dublin)

10.40 – 12.20


E1       Interpersonal and institutional abuse


“Hypocrisy unmasked”: Male sexual abuse in late Nineteenth Century Scotland and the trial of ‘Brother Alphonse, Ex-Marist Monk’

Hannah Telling (University of Glasgow)


Sexual assaults by boys against young girls in Victorian Scotland, 1851-1855

Chris Holligan (University of the West of Scotland)


“Excessive force”: Young offenders, institutional abuse and whistleblowing in historical perspective

Heather Shore (Leeds Beckett University)


Seeing beyond the bruises: Databasing unreasonable marital behaviour from Victorian Glasgow

Ashely Dee (The Open University)


E2       Interactions with repeat offenders


Women, habitual offending and assault in South West England, 1880 – 1910

Grace Di Meo (University of Bristol)


Arresting repeat offenders, 1780 – 1850

Eleanor Bland (University of Sheffield)


Sarah Madden and the policing of morality in Victorian Rochdale

Craig Stafford (University of Liverpool)


Nineteenth Century juvenile convicts and their post-transportation offending

Emma Watkins (University of Liverpool)


E3       Forensic techniques in Britain and its Empire


Thomas Scattergood: Forensic investigation and professional networks in Victorian Yorkshire

Laura Sellers (University of Leeds) and Katherine Watson (Oxford Brookes University)


The assassination of the Sirdar and the development of forensic ballistics in inter-war Egypt

Heather Wolffram (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)


English crime scene photographs as documentary images

Amy Bell (University of Western Ontario, Canada)


Forensic odontology in 1960s Scotland

Alison Adam (Sheffield Hallam University)

2.10 – 3.50


F1       The politics of law and order in 1980s Britain


A “conspicuous success”: Policing the ‘riots’ of 1980-81

Simon Peplow (University of Exeter)


From Brixton to Orgreave: Tracing the creation of ACPO’s ‘Tactical Options Manual’ for public order policing

Jac St John (University of St. Andrews)


The impact of John Alderton’s community policing on Devon and Cornwall policing – the lost PACE legacy

Judith Rowbotham (University of Plymouth)


New definitions of ‘subversion’: the Thatcherite state and the security agencies during the Miners’ strike

Phil Rawsthorne (Edge Hill University)


 F2       Analysing criminal justice patterns


Like ripples on a pond? The geography of the Bloody Code in England, 1760 – 1830

John Walliss (Liverpool Hope University)


What counts? Summary justice and criminal indictments at Great Yarmouth, 1839 – 1941

Helen Rogers (Liverpool John Moores University)


“Criminals incapable of reform?”: The inmates of Sydney’s prison island, 1839-1869

Katherine Roscoe (University of London)


Maidstone convict prison: A 1911 snapshot

Ben Bethell (Birkbeck, University of London)


F3       Crime and the Empire


Military-related crime in Jamaica during the 1920s and 1930s: Questions of race, masculinity and nationhood

Richard Smith (Goldsmiths, University of London)


“My God there is nobody to help me”: The policing of British Uitlanders in Johannesburg, 1886 – 1899

Cornelis Muller (Sol Plaatje University, South Africa)


The abolition of the death penalty in British Overseas Territories

James Campbell (University of Leicester)


First World War civilian POW camps in Great Britain, Canada and the Caribbean

Mark Minenko (Kings College London)

4.10 – 5.30


G1       Infanticide and child murder


Paternal Child Killing and the Use of the Insanity Plea, 1900 to 1939

Jessica Butler (University of Liverpool)


Infanticide and medical jurisprudence in Victorian Edinburgh: The Jessie King case

Kelly-Ann Couzens (University of Western Australia)


Modernity and ‘baby-farming’: Privatised commerce of motherhood and respectability in Victorian England

Joshua Stuart-Bennett (University of Leicester)


G2       Judicial activity and discretion


Why were so few wreckers ever convicted?

Andrew Brown (University of Wales)


Continuity or crisis? English judicial activity during the Black Death

Stephanie Brown (University of Cambridge)


Professional judges and laypersons in criminal trials: A comparative and historical perspective

Claudia Passarella (University of Padova, Italy)