Monday, August 3, 2009

Online: Criminal Trials

From Chris Smyth @ Times Online:
...1.4 million criminal trials from the 18th and 19th centuries that feature in registers that go online for the first time today.

The records, published in a collaboration between the website and the National Archives, include every criminal trial in England and Wales that was reported to the Home Office between 1791 and 1892.

It was a deadly period to be a criminal — the “Bloody Code” when more than 200 different offences carried the death penalty was in place at the start of this era — and the documents detail 10,300 executions as well as 97,000 transportations and 900,000 sentences of imprisonment.

The documents, held in 279 volumes at the National Archives in Kew, were scanned in by volunteers for the genealogical website and can be searched by keyword. They are available only to subscribers, although the website is offering a free two-week trial.

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