The rise of the criminal class
.1750s onwards there was a shift from life-cycle poverty to life-long poverty and greater attention was
aid to class as a factor of encouraging criminality. Especially since 1760s this change was made.
.1850s onwards out of the social reform movement there arises an idea of a criminal class which was
made from a way in life in which they lived and was a problem. An entire group whose poverty and
immoral lifestyle predisposes them to criminality. The motivations of the criminal class are increasingly
cast as aspects of an alien subculture. Us vs them approach with studying the problem through
anthropology and social sciences, science of numbers was believed to be able to solve the problem,
charity wouldn’t solve the problem only science could through counting them, understanding their lives
and applying changes.
.These social scientists started by mapping criminality, between 1889 and 1903 charles booth published
the 17 volumes of his life and labour of the people in London. It was the culmination of 15 years of
labour involving 34 researchers and 450 notebooks of material, the finished text also included 12 “maps
descriptive of London poverty| which assigned each street in London a colour based on its social
condition. The maps divided streets based on social status of the people who lived there (lowest to
A: Semi-criminals (immoral, believed to be savages)
B: Very poor (labourers who were believed to be lazy and didn’t want to work to get better)
C: Poor (labourers)
D: Poor (labourers) both C and D mean that they bring their kids up respectably
E: Poor and comfortable (regular earnings and live fairly comfortable, women don’t usually work but
F: Comfortable (higher class labour)
G: Well-to-do (middle-class)
.The survey showed that almost 1/3 were living in some degree of poverty. Much of the poor
population lived in the east end showing the class divide between the east and west end. Victorian
approach to poverty which believed that the conditions of poverty could be mapped and understood,
systematic information gathering was believed to control as many people as possible efficiently
.in 1865 william booth founded the salvation army and in 1890 wrote a book called “darkest England
and the way out”. He compared the darkest England to the darkest Africa (Darkest Africa coined by
henry Morton Stanley in his book darkest Africa which was written in 1890 as well). Booth viewed the
poorest areas of London as no less foreign then in other parts of the empire that were impoverished.
Implies that the poor were a different race which the middle-class should separate themselves from.
Organized Crime: Outlaw Hero .the figures of the criminal celebrity was fuelled by the spread of literacy and the “new journalism”. But
it also drew on an older, folkloric tradition of the outlaw hero, or the ‘trickster’ figure (pan-european
figure common to fables, fairy tales and folklore). Actual outlaw heroes can be defined as “social
bandits” (regarded simultaneously as criminals and heroes.
.criminals were highly romantized throughout English history. the most common 18 century
configuration of the outlaw hero was the highwayman. The most famous 18 century highway was dick
turpin, turpin began by stealing sheep and cattle before moving on to smuggling, gang robbery and
horse theft. Put on trial in Yorkshire and was hanged at yok in april 1739. His career illustrates how
notoriety turned the criminal/outlaw hero into a celebrity. It made criminality acceptable to the public
in some regards as these people became idolized.
.James maclaine was known as the “gentleman highwayman”, a man who started his time in London as
a grocer who lost much or his money gambling. Maclaine and his partner William plunked ro