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The theme of this section is crime and punishment, and linked to it the increase in recording of detailed information on individuals. This was one of the hallmarks of the period, so helpful that it is sometimes difficult to appreciate how different and comparatively less informative earlier records can be. The development of photography also helps to give the surviving record greater immediacy.

In examples here, we see how a broadsheet report for general consumption of a grisly murder provides journalistic detail; later a formal record of criminal offences in an individual police station and a Stafford gaol register add substantially to the picture.

Developments here match the greater levels of information available for family history purposes through census and civil registration. In the case of the census particularly, the modifications are clear, with more information sought in 1851 and later, as against what was thought sufficient before.

Report Of The Execution Of Christina Collins' Murderers, 1840

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Photographs Of Prisoners In Stafford Gaol, 1883-1887

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Rugeley Police Station Occurrence Book And Criminal Register, 1859-1872

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