Crime in the 19th Century

bloody scotland by malcolm archibaldCrime has always been with us and probably always will be. Theft, murder, assault, robbery and rape are as common now as they were in the Dark Ages or the Middle ages, but in the 19th century there was an upsurge of interest in crime and the reasons for crime.

The world was changing fast. Explorers were pushing out the boundaries and making new discoveries year on year while at home the country was altering from rural to urban. Faced with a growing population and expanding cities, the authorities felt a bit overwhelmed. Their long standing methods of dealing with crime were swamped. They needed new ideas, and so was born the professional uniformed police force.

In 1800 Glasgow became the first city in Britain to have a professional police force. Edinburgh followed soon after, and Dundee and Aberdeen in their wake. These brave men had to control a massive amount of crime that encompassed nearly every facet of society.

I have had five books published that cover 19th century crime in Scotland's countryside and cities and one in England. There are also two novels about Sergeant Mendick a Victorian detective. There are more to follow!

The latest was published in April 2015: 'Liverpool: Gangs, Vice and Packet Rats'

A Sink of Atrocity

first produced by Black and White Publishing.

Nineteenth century Dundee was a tough, unforgiving place. For many of its citizens, it was the survival of the fittest and they turned to crime to survive. A Sink of Atrocity reveals the ordinary and extraordinary crimes of the times.

As well as the usual domestic violence, fights and petty theft, the Peter Wallace gang plagued the city while Resurrectionists caused panic. There were infamous murders, an astonishing variety of crimes by women and even the theft of a whale at sea. 

Read press comments on the publisher's site . . 

a sink of atrocity by malcolm archibald

In April 2013 Sink of Atrocity was followed by

The Real Mean City

There cannot be many cities were crime could mean anything from singing a seditious song to stealing a ship, but nineteenth century Glasgow was a unique place with an amazing dynamism. The crime merely matched the city.

The highways and byways were infested with robbers; garrotters pounced on the unwary; drunken brawls disfigured the evening streets; prostitutes lured foolish men into dark corners; conmen connived clever schemes and murder was commonplace. This was a dark and dangerous world with a volatile population and the constant threat of riot.

Read press comments on the publishers site . .


the real mean city by malcolm archibald

Whisky Wars, Riots and Murder

In September Whisky Wars, Riots and Murder relates crime in the 19th Century Highlands and Islands. Although full of iconic places, the 19th century Highlands saw poaching, commercial scale whisky smuggling, vicious riots and brutal murder.

This is the face of a police murderer. . . he sparked a manhunt across much of the central Highlands.

Read his story and many more. . .

This book inspired many reviews including . .

whisky wars, riots and murder by malcolm archibald

Fishermen, Randies and Fraudsters

Aberdeen, oil capital of Europe but in the 19th century this corner of Scotland saw massive riots, brutal murders and was the birthplace of one of the most successful fraudster in the world. . .

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