Category Archives: Tattoos

Convict Lads 1836-46: Friendship and Survival

This is a version of papers I gave at the European Social Science History Conference (Vienna 2014) and the British Crime Historians Symposium (Liverpool 2014). It explores what we can learn from multiple historical records about the friendship networks and survival strategies of boys and young men, transported to Van Diemen’s Land in the 1830s […]
Read More »

Tattooing in Gaol

In 1845 the bricklayer, James Thirkettle, was sent to the solitary cell for a day for making marks on the back of his hand by pricking with a needle and ink. The Gaoler recorded only three occasions when he discovered prisoners pricking themselves in the nine years 1836-45 but tattooing was one of the illicit […]
Read More »

Brothers in Arms

Isaac Riches was fourteen when first confined at Great Yarmouth Gaol in 1841. Picked up as a rogue and vagabond, allegedly in the act of stealing wood chooks, he was sentenced to six months imprisonment or payment of a fine. His parents, Christopher and Maria Riches, must have paid the surety for a week later […]
Read More »