Given that the term “fake news” has recently been bandied around by some very prominent public figures on social media (hurled as a term of abuse at various media outlets, and usually in capital letters), I thought I might bring to people’s attention an interesting little court case from June 1778.
When William Hawke moved to London in the 18th century, little did he know that he would fall in with the criminal world, be transported to America, return to London and be hanged.
This is the text of a public talk given at Abbey House Museum, Kirkstall, Leeds on 1 March 2015 to complement their Crime and Punishment Exhibition.
In the penny dreadful version of The New Newgate Calendar, scenes of the most sensational and sexual type were included for publication – torture scenes, nudity, and flagellation – and sparked a moral panic amongst middle-class press commentators.
Whilst most people generally conceive of organised crime as being a distinctly modern, 20th-century, phenomenon, it has a longer history than first assumed. This post uses the theoretical framework of modern-day criminology to analyse the organised crime network established by Jonathan Wild in London in the early 18th century.