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Mug Shots of Victorian Lady Criminals

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Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian The new exhibition `Mug Shots' which has opened at the Prison & Police museum in Ripon, North Yorkshire. It documents previously unseen criminal records and photographs (Mug shots) taken between 1877 and 1930. Picture shows the criminal record card, of a woman called Emma Child. WORDS BY GUZELIAN PICTURE TAKEN ON THURSDAY 15 AUGUST 2013

In 1871, Great Britain enacted a law systematizing the practice of photographing criminals. Thus, the mug shot was born. The Prison & Police Museum in the North Yorkshire town of Ripon (near the fictional location of Downton Abbey) is featuring Victorian-era mug books in a new exhibit. The female criminals come from a variety of backgrounds. One is a housekeeper; some wear tattered rags, others jaunty hats. Their crimes, which appear in handwritten notes alongside some photographs, range from "cruelty to children" to "stealing woollen [sic] sweater." Click ahead to see mug shots of the wanted women of Victorian England.

Photo: Lorne Campbell/Guzelian

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