Welcome to the Police Magistrate home page.
(the Thames Police Court in Stepney, East London)
This website is written and researched by Dr Drew Gray, a lecturer in the history of crime at the University of Northampton.
For the latest report of proceedings from London’s Victorian Police Courts follow this link: the police magistrate
This site contains reports from Victorian London’s police courts, which were the predecessors of today’s magistrates courts. They are based on newspaper reports from the 1830s to the early 1900s, and detail accounts of all sorts of criminal activity, violence and cruelty, as well as everyday tales of poverty, desperation, mental illness and a fair amount of humour.
You can use this site to search for specific crimes or use the Themes link in the menu on the left to look for areas or topics that interest you. If you are interested in a particular court (such as Bow Street or Marylebone) you can also limit your search to one court in particular.
Please feel free to comment on anything you read and if something in particular interests you then please get in touch. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I am also available to give talks to local History Societies, schools and colleges, and academic or professional audiences and happy to advise on TV or radio documentaries or dramas.
If you enjoy these you may like read more of my work.
Drew’s new book (co-authored by Andy Wise) is published by Amberley Books. It is a new study of the Whitechapel murders of 1888 which offers up a new suspect, links the ‘Jack the Ripper’ killings to the unsolved ‘Thames Torso’ crimes, and provides the reader with important contextual history of Victorian London. The book is available on Amazon here
My 2010 book London’s Shadows: The Dark Side of the Victorian City is published by Bloomsbury and available direct from them or via Amazon (or similar booksellers). For a kind review see The Victorian Web.