Fascinating police photographs bring to life Victorian criminal women, including prostitutes and thieves

Maria Adams was the youngest woman in a convict prison in 1881. The 17-year-old was sentenced to five years of criminal service in 1879 for stealing clothes. That was her fifth conviction, after being convicted in Birmingham of a similar robbery, 15 years old

Eye-catching photographs of delinquent women from the late 1800s and early 1900s have emerged, including teenage prostitutes and women who were robbed to survive.

The fascinating lives of women who hit hard times have been revealed in a new book, investigating the stories behind the faces in the incredible images.

Among them are Elizabeth Dillons, who started working as a prostitute at age 16 and was sentenced more than forty times.

She accrued charges for unbridled behavior, drunkenness and disorderly conduct, obscene language, vagrancy, voluntary harm, prostitution, robbery and assault.

Other impressive photographs show the teenager Maria Adams, who revealed herself as the youngest woman in the prison of convicts, in the 1881 census.

The police photo of Mary Hardyman is also in the book. The mother was repeatedly convicted of theft, but it was often for a piece of meat or other meat to feed herself and her family.

The remarkable insight into the lives of criminals is shown in Lucy Williams and Barry Godfrey's new book, Criminal Women 1850-1920, published by Pen and Sword.

& # 39; Female offenders may be among the most difficult characters to find. Not only were they, like male offenders, eager to escape the authorities' view, but because they were women, their identities were more changing and their lives were recorded less consistently, "they write.

Maria Adams was the youngest woman in a convict prison in 1881. The 17-year-old was sentenced to five years of criminal service in 1879 for stealing clothes. That was her fifth conviction, after being convicted in Birmingham of a similar robbery, 15 years old

Maria Adams was the youngest woman in a convict prison in 1881. The 17-year-old was sentenced to five years of criminal service in 1879 for stealing clothes. That was her fifth conviction, after being convicted in Birmingham of a similar robbery, 15 years old

The images of Victorian street vendors in Covent Garden, London, at the end of the 19th century show how hard women were when they did not have enough money to support themselves and their families

The images of Victorian street vendors in Covent Garden, London, at the end of the 19th century show how hard women were when they did not have enough money to support themselves and their families

The images of Victorian street vendors in Covent Garden, London, at the end of the 19th century show how hard women were when they did not have enough money to support themselves and their families

Mary Fitzpatrick was found guilty at Leeds Police Court of being "rampant" and sentenced to seven days in prison in March 1879. Later that year, Mary was again sentenced in York for stealing flannel and sentenced to four months in prison . A few months later she was convicted of stealing handkerchiefs and another two months behind bars

Mary Fitzpatrick was found guilty at Leeds Police Court of being "rampant" and sentenced to seven days in prison in March 1879. Later that year, Mary was again sentenced in York for stealing flannel and sentenced to four months in prison . A few months later she was convicted of stealing handkerchiefs and another two months behind bars

Mary Fitzpatrick was found guilty at Leeds Police Court of being "rampant" and sentenced to seven days in prison in March 1879. Later that year, Mary was again sentenced in York for stealing flannel and sentenced to four months in prison . A few months later she was convicted of stealing handkerchiefs and another two months behind bars

Poverty in Victorian Britain: women resorted to prostitution out of desperation, while others stole to feed their families, often receiving harsh punishments

Poverty in Victorian Britain: women resorted to prostitution out of desperation, while others stole to feed their families, often receiving harsh punishments

Poverty in Victorian Britain: women resorted to prostitution out of desperation, while others stole to feed their families, often receiving harsh punishments

Maria Allen launched a significant criminal career relatively late in her life. She was first convicted of larceny in 1852 when she was 44 years old. She was in custody for six months, followed by a twelve-month period in 1854. Almost as soon as she left, she was again sentenced for robbery and sentenced to four years in prison. servitude. She received another five years for stealing sheets in 1861 and was released under license in 1865. In 1880 she stole another sheet, and at the age of 72 she received a sentence of ten years. In English law, the theft was replaced as a legal crime for theft in 1968

Maria Allen launched a significant criminal career relatively late in her life. She was first convicted of larceny in 1852 when she was 44 years old. She was in custody for six months, followed by a twelve-month period in 1854. Almost as soon as she left, she was again sentenced for robbery and sentenced to four years in prison. servitude. She received another five years for stealing sheets in 1861 and was released under license in 1865. In 1880 she stole another sheet, and at the age of 72 she received a sentence of ten years. In English law, the theft was replaced as a legal crime for theft in 1968

Maria Allen launched a significant criminal career relatively late in her life. She was first convicted of larceny in 1852 when she was 44 years old. She was in custody for six months, followed by a twelve-month period in 1854. Almost as soon as she left, she was again sentenced for robbery and sentenced to four years in prison. servitude. She received another five years for stealing sheets in 1861 and was released under license in 1865. In 1880 she stole another sheet, and at the age of 72 she received a sentence of ten years. In English law, the theft was replaced as a legal crime for theft in 1968

Maria Dibsdale was drinking so much that it attracted the attention of the authorities at the beginning of the 20th century. In July 1903, Maria, now in her thirties, was taken to Holloway prison for three days on charges of criminally neglecting her children. Although the charge was for a single incident on July 17, it was noted that several similar cases had already occurred.

Maria Dibsdale was drinking so much that it attracted the attention of the authorities at the beginning of the 20th century. In July 1903, Maria, now in her thirties, was taken to Holloway prison for three days on charges of criminally neglecting her children. Although the charge was for a single incident on July 17, it was noted that several similar cases had already occurred.

Maria Dibsdale was drinking so much that it attracted the attention of the authorities at the beginning of the 20th century. In July 1903, Maria, now in her thirties, was taken to Holloway prison for three days on charges of criminally neglecting her children. Although the charge was for a single incident on July 17, it was noted that several similar cases had already occurred.

Elizabeth Dillons, who began working as a prostitute at age 16 and was convicted more than forty times on charges including unbridled behavior, drunkenness and disorderly conduct, obscene language, vagrancy, voluntary harm, prostitution, robbery and assault. His sentences generally lasted between one week and two months, and he had spent a combined total of more than five years in prison.

Elizabeth Dillons, who began working as a prostitute at age 16 and was convicted more than forty times on charges including unbridled behavior, drunkenness and disorderly conduct, obscene language, vagrancy, voluntary harm, prostitution, robbery and assault. His sentences generally lasted between one week and two months, and he had spent a combined total of more than five years in prison.

Elizabeth Dillons, who began working as a prostitute at age 16 and was convicted more than forty times on charges including unbridled behavior, drunkenness and disorderly conduct, obscene language, vagrancy, voluntary harm, prostitution, robbery and assault. His sentences generally lasted between one week and two months, and he had spent a combined total of more than five years in prison.

In 1873, Ellen stole a pair of boots and received a month of imprisonment with hard labor, the following year she again stole her boots and received two months of forced labor. Ellen's infractions were infrequent, rather than perpetual, and took place less than once a year. This would suggest that their thefts were not closely related to financial difficulties or misery. Ellen offended again in 1874, 1876 and 1879, receiving two, four and six months of forced labor respectively

In 1873, Ellen stole a pair of boots and received a month of imprisonment with hard labor, the following year she again stole her boots and received two months of forced labor. Ellen's infractions were infrequent, rather than perpetual, and took place less than once a year. This would suggest that their thefts were not closely related to financial difficulties or misery. Ellen offended again in 1874, 1876 and 1879, receiving two, four and six months of forced labor respectively

In 1873, Ellen Risden stole a pair of boots and received a month in prison with forced labor; the following year he again stole his boots and received two months of hard labor. Ellen's infractions were infrequent, rather than perpetual, and took place less than once a year. This would suggest that their thefts were not closely related to financial difficulties or misery. Ellen offended again in 1874, 1876 and 1879, receiving two, four and six months of forced labor respectively

Sarah Tuff, who was convicted of multiple theft, was not allowed to return to her conjugal home for her husband upon being released from one of his prison terms. She also used an alias - Sarah Poole

Sarah Tuff, who was convicted of multiple theft, was not allowed to return to her conjugal home for her husband upon being released from one of his prison terms. She also used an alias - Sarah Poole

Sarah Tuff, who was convicted of multiple theft, was not allowed to return to her conjugal home for her husband upon being released from one of his prison terms. She also used an alias – Sarah Poole

Matilda Bramble called herself Sarah Davies. At the age of 15, Sarah already frequented the streets and worked as a prostitute. However, his first conviction was not for prostitution or disorderly behavior, but for theft. She was prosecuted for stealing a robe and sentenced to six weeks in the Swansea prison with forced labor. In fact, Sarah was never convicted of crimes related to prostitution, or drunkenness or disorderly and violent behavior like so many other young women in her position. In 1867 he was again in court, this time for the theft of a duck. Sarah maintained her innocence and the case was finally dismissed

Matilda Bramble called herself Sarah Davies. At the age of 15, Sarah already frequented the streets and worked as a prostitute. However, his first conviction was not for prostitution or disorderly behavior, but for theft. She was prosecuted for stealing a robe and sentenced to six weeks in the Swansea prison with forced labor. In fact, Sarah was never convicted of crimes related to prostitution, or drunkenness or disorderly and violent behavior like so many other young women in her position. In 1867 he was again in court, this time for the theft of a duck. Sarah maintained her innocence and the case was finally dismissed

Matilda Bramble called herself Sarah Davies. At the age of 15, Sarah already frequented the streets and worked as a prostitute. However, his first conviction was not for prostitution or disorderly behavior, but for theft. She was prosecuted for stealing a robe and sentenced to six weeks in the Swansea prison with forced labor. In fact, Sarah was never convicted of crimes related to prostitution, or drunkenness or disorderly and violent behavior like so many other young women in her position. In 1867 he was again in court, this time for the theft of a duck. Sarah maintained her innocence and the case was finally dismissed

Mary Hardyman was repeatedly convicted of theft, but it was often for a piece of beef or other meat to feed herself and her family, since British criminals were in tragic circumstances.

Mary Hardyman was repeatedly convicted of theft, but it was often for a piece of beef or other meat to feed herself and her family, since British criminals were in tragic circumstances.

Mary Hardyman was repeatedly convicted of theft, but it was often for a piece of beef or other meat to feed herself and her family, since British criminals were in tragic circumstances.

Amelia Layton looked for the house of work in many occasions like a form to fight against its poverty, but soon it began to deal with its financial problems committing robberies and receiving a sentence of 12 months.

Amelia Layton looked for the house of work in many occasions like a form to fight against its poverty, but soon it began to deal with its financial problems committing robberies and receiving a sentence of 12 months.

Amelia Layton looked for the house of work in many occasions like a form to fight against its poverty, but soon it began to deal with its financial problems committing robberies and receiving a sentence of 12 months.

Criminal Women: 1850-1920, by Lucy Williams and Barry Godfrey, is published by Pen and Sword. It is available now, RRP £ 14.99.

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