'It would be a great evil to let so bad a character … go at large': convict women and the Irish police, 1850s-1900

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

In this chapter, Elaine Farrell explores the ways that the Irish police - the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Dublin Metropolitan Police – interacted with female serious offenders in the latter half of the nineteenth century through an exploration of the penal files lodged in Ireland’s convict prison. Farrell considers how individual policemen sought to portray particular women when asked for their insights into the conduct or family backgrounds of specific individuals. The chapter reveals that while several policemen emphasised good behaviour, sometimes acknowledging difficult circumstances, others provided negative reports of women’s activities and appearances. Some individual policemen even provided false information either inadvertently or due to overreliance on gossip. Farrell specifically focuses on the themes of class and gender to demonstrate how the male police force influenced the lives of predominantly lower-class women.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolicing women: histories in the western world, 1800-1950
EditorsJo Turner, Helen Johnston, Marion Pluskota
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter8
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781003095286
ISBN (Print)9780367558192, 9780367558178
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge SOLON Explorations in Crime and Criminal Justice Histories

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