A rogues’ gallery of mugshots from the 1800s has revealed the darks pasts of some of Britain’s most notorious and unusual criminals .
Among the outlaws were cheese stealers, fraudsters, burglars and terrorists – and even a corrupt American politician on the run, with a $10,000 reward up for grabs.
The images, from Greater Manchester Police archives, feature mugshots taken from the 1870s to the breakout of the First World War.
While the bulk of the bunch are petty thieves, banged up for nicking anything from stockings to boys’ ‘knickers’ there are also Salford gangsters and terrorists .
Meticulously-taken notes accompany many of the mugshots, with detectives taking down incredible amounts of detail.
One thug is even noted as having ‘six moles on his left arm’.
The pictures are on show at the Greater Manchester Police Archive and Museum in Manchester, reports the Manchester Evening News .
Duncan Broady, curator of the museum since it opened in 1981, has had the fascinating job of trawling through the records and reading each intriguing tale.
From warehouse breaking to larceny: Mugshots from the 1930s give detailed insight into men who led a life of crime
Photos were stored in police intelligence ledgers after an arrest, so they could be shared with officers from neighbouring areas.
You may notice some of the crooks holding up their hands. That was so officers could see if they had missing fingers in future cases.
William Brookes: Gang member
The 20-year-old was arrested in 1890, although it is unclear what his exact crime was.
He was part of a gang called The Scuttlers who plagued the streets of Manchester and Salford at the end of the 19th century.
They wore brass-tipped clogs, distinctive scarves and bell-bottomed trousers. They were made up of young men and women and carried weapons such as belts, knives and guns.
Mass street brawls, or ‘scuttles’ took place among similar groups.
Herbert Grosvenor: Thief
This photograph of Salfordian Grosvenor was taken in June 1930 after he was convicted of three counts of housebreaking and caged.
He had been in court four years earlier and fined five shillings for having a dog without a licence.
Thomas Murphy: Stole purses
Murphy, clearly not a fan of having his picture taken, was snapped here in the 1880s.
He was convicted of a variety of crimes, chiefly stealing purses, by courts in Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1880s and 1890s.
Murphy said he was 65, but police said he ‘looked younger’. Described as being ‘very bald’ with ‘bad teeth’.
Margaret Kerrigan (aka Mary Ann Cowell): Career thief
Kerrigan was a career thief and made regular appearances in the dock in the early 1900s.
She first appeared in police records in 1902 when she was sentenced to three months hard labour for nicking a purse containing £7.10s.
A year later she was hauled before the courts again for stealing £2.9s. She received the same sentence of three months hard labour.
Kerrigan reappeared in the records in 1908 when she was convicted of three offences of theft of clothing. She was sentenced to three months behind bars for each offence.
Her final appearance was on December 18, 1911, when she was convicted for stealing a dress, a pair of boys’ ‘knickers’. She received three months in jail.
James Johnson: Stole stockings
Johnson was arrested for theft when this picture was taken on February 11, 1911. The 50-year-old labourer was charged with three offences of stealing stockings.
He was also sentenced to three months with hard labour later the same month.
William Ingham (aka Johnson, Evans, Aspinall Higgins or Jackson): Theft, burglary, office breaking, handling counterfeit currency and more
This guy was arguably one of Victorian Manchester’s most persistent serial offenders. The Londoner had a number of aliases and first came to the attention of the city’s police force in 1865 when he was detained for stealing a watch.
He was sentenced to three months with hard labour. His criminal career continued as he committed burglary, theft, office breaking and handling counterfeit currency, among other offences, over the next 45 years.
Ingham was convicted a total of 18 times and sentenced to nearly 29 years in prison.
John Richardson: Posing as a railway engineer
Richardson was most probably hauled in for fare dodging. There are few notes on his case in the archives.
It was written in Manchester City Police’s early intelligence ledger that he ’caused a sensation’ by posing as a railway engineer and travelling extensively on the London and North Western Railway’s network.
Richardson was also said to be ‘well-known’ to Leeds Police.
There are no dates attached to his file, but archive experts say: “The fact that he appears suggests that officers in Manchester had an inkling he was up to no good.”
Mary Elizabeth Smith: Larceny, obtaining money under false pretences, ‘wearing apparel’
Mary Elizabeth Smith was just 19 when this mugshot was taken, following her arrest in 1893.
She had a long list of offences, including larceny, obtaining money under false pretences, and ‘wearing apparel’, which saw her in and out of custody in the early 1890s.
Mary Bates (aka Heywood, Birchall and Solway): ‘Notorious thief’
Bates was recorded in a Manchester City Police intelligence ledger as a ‘notorious thief’, well-known to local officers.
During her scams, she typically got a job as a domestic servant before fleeing with her employer’s valuables at the first opportunity.
Patrick Cox, ‘Paddy the Devil’ : ‘Coining’
Clearly another of the bunch who needed a little persuading to have his photo taken.
Cox, a sailor, was arrested in 1893 for ‘coining’, the ‘practice of clipping precious metal from the edge of coins or reproducing coins in their entirety but from base metal’.
Little else is listed about Cox’s crimes. But with a nickname like, ‘Paddy the Devil’, he was clearly no saint.
Oh, and he had ‘six moles of his left arm’.
Leon Lampord: Fraud
Dapper Lampord was convicted of fraud at Manchester Assizes in July 1878 and caged for 15 months. His exact crimes are unclear.
Eliza Wright: Deceiving to get money or goods
Wright was arrested on December 17, 1909 for three counts of false pretences – using deception to get money or goods’.
She was eventually convicted and sentenced to three months behind bars for each charge, served concurrently.
The 23-year-old was around 5ft and have brown hair, hazel eyes and a ‘fresh complexion’. She was married and lived in Stockport.
Catherine Day: ‘Frequenting the highway with intent to commit a felony’
Day was a midwife from County Mayo in Ireland, but living in Rochdale when she was arrested for ‘frequenting the highway with intent to commit a felony’.
She was later convicted and sentenced to a month in prison, in 1895.
Day was around 5ft 1, with blue eyes, grey hair and a ‘fresh complexion’.
Alfred Pilling: Housebreaking; larceny; stealing cheese, ham, a gun…and four dead rabbits
In 1909, stealing cheese and ham could put you behind bars. Yes, really.
That’s exactly what happened to Alfred Pilling, who was convicted of stealing 20lbs of ham.
He later appeared in police records for nicking 56lbs of cheese. He must have been planning one hell of a toastie.
His crimes took a more serious turn when he was later caged for six months for stealing a gun.
The bowler hat-wearing moustached crook disappeared from police records until 1912 when he was sentenced to six months for stealing four dead rabbits.
Pilling was later convicted of housebreaking, larceny and preparation of a criminal act. Between 1909 and 1931, he was sentenced to 14 terms of imprisonment and served more than eight years in jail.
William Roberts (aka Brooks, Brown, Wild or Davies): Career thief
Roberts served numerous prison sentences. Between 1856 and 1861, he was put behind bars for stealing money, satin and a watch.
He was sentenced to seven years in 1873 for the theft of another watch.
When he was released, he returned to his old ways. Roberts was last recorded as being jailed in 1883 – for three months for, you guessed it, theft.
Richard Higham and William Gaskell: Stealing coal
Higham and Gaskell appeared in court in Bolton in February 1920 for stealing coal and were fined £20 a piece.
Gaskell, 33, was a collier while Higham, 40, was a carter.
Edith Towell: Petty thief
Towell was a domestic servant and petty thief. She first appeared in police records when she was convicted of stealing clothes in 28 1889 and fined 40 shillings by a magistrate.
Towell was back in court in Liverpool days later when sentenced to three months for stealing a gold watch and £4. 3shillings 4d.
She next appears in the records in 1895, with a conviction for stealing £7 in cash and £40 in Co-operative store cheques.
Towell later served prison sentences in Coventry and Worcester before being sentenced at Salford Sessions to three months for stealing clothes and a watch in 1897.
Probably the best hat of the bunch.
Thomas Wallace: Larceny, stealing cloth, receiving stolen goods, escaping from prison
Wallace was a prolific criminal, with a career that spanned more than 30 years. He first appears in the records for a month-long sentence for larceny in 1856.
When he was released from prison, he offended again within days and was sentenced to three months behind bars for a similar crime.
In 1871, he was sentenced to seven years for stealing cloth. He began his sentence in Leeds but escaped and went on the run. Wallace appeared in Court in December the same year and was sentenced to seven years for receiving stolen goods.
He was sentenced to a year in 1881 for escaping from prison. Whether that refers to his earlier escape is unclear.
Henry Norton: Embezzling
Norton, 38, was arrested for ’embezzling several thousand pounds’ belonging to the Cheshire Lines Committee railway line and sentenced to nine months behind bars in 1897.
But officers knew there was more to Norton than met the eye. Manchester City Police put their best detective on the case.
Jerome Caminada, described as ‘Manchester’s Sherlock Holmes’, was sent to arrest Norton at Dover in Kent.
James Sutch: Stealing a bicycle, gaming
Sutch, 19, was fined £3.15s at a court in Bolton for stealing a bicycle in 1920. Records show that in 1917, he was bound over for 12 months for the same offence.
Between the two incidents, he was fined 10 shillings for the offence of gaming.
William Lewis: Office and house breaking
Lewis was a prolific burglar in the 1900s and well-known to police in Manchester. A note alongside this photo said he was an ‘excellent office breaker and a clever house breaker’.
Alexander Thompson: Various crimes, mostly forgery and fraud
Thompson, pictured here aged 55 in 1898, was a lithographer, or printer, by trade.
He was jailed 11 times between 1892 and 1898 for various crimes, mostly for forgery and fraud. His job most probably played a big part in his crimes.
He was also sentenced to three months in 1898 for larceny.
William M Tweed, ‘Boss Tweed’: Escaping from jail in New York
An odd one to appear in the Manchester archives, but interesting nonetheless.
A $10,000 dollar reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of fugitive American politician Tweed.
He used his power to get friends and business partners into office.
The group became known as the ‘Tweed Ring’. It is thought he stole around $200m from the city of New York’s public purse.
The notice said he escaped from a jail in New York on December 4, 1895. He was 55, around 5ft 11, of portly build and of ruddy complexion.
He was said to have had a ‘large, prominent nose’. He was eventually caught after fleeing to Spain and later died in a New York prison.
James McGrath: Plotting to plant a bomb
McGrath, a Scot with Irish parents, was part of the Fenian movement.
He was detained in 1881 for a failed plot to plant a bomb in Liverpool Town Hall.
The movement started in the late 1850s and was made up of Irish republican revolutionary groups that wanted to rid Ireland of British rule and start an independent state.
McGrath, pictured here aged 32, was arrested after the bomb plot, which only caused minimal damage, and jailed for life.
Ernest Ward: Theft, larceny, assault
Smug-looking Stockport pork butcher Ernest Ward was 32 when he was pictured her.
He was sentenced to six months with hard labour for theft in 1911. He had already come to the attention of police in Manchester numerous times and had five previous convictions for larceny and assault.
Richard Hurst: Deception
Hurst, 19, is suspected to have been arrested here just after the start of the First World War, for trying to avoid serving in the army.
He was set to serve three months in prison for the offence of false pretences, or deception.
The Salford cinematograph owner was sentenced at a Stockport court on July 7.
Hurst had already been found guilty of the crime of three occasions over the previous 13 months.
Clara Pendlebury: Stealing cotton
Pendlebury was 32 when she was photographed for Bolton Borough Police’s book of convicted criminals, known as the ‘Thieves Book’, in 1918.
The Hindley resident was described as being of ‘sallow complexion’.
She was employed as a card room hand in a cotton mill and was convicted of stealing two-and-a-half pounds of raw cotton. Pendlebury was fined 40 shillings for her crime.
Albert Haycock: Stealing iron
Stockport-born Haycock, 21, was convicted of two counts of stealing iron in November 1907. He was sentenced to 12 days with hard labour for each offence.
To take a look at more fascinating images from the Greater Manchester Police Archive, click here .