History of morals, crime and punishment


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If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law – Winston Churchill

The more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous people will be – Lao Tsu


The Law, in its grand equality, forbids both the rich and the poor to sleep under bridges, to steal bread and beg on the streets - Anatole France

Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.” Jonathan Swift


A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. Ariel Durant


Colour key:


Child Protection

Talent contests


Abolition of punishments


Abortion & Birth Control – see Appendix 1 below

Capital Pubishment and its abolition – see Appendix 2 below

Abolition of other punishments  - See Appendix 3 below

Clothing and Cosmetics – see Appendix 4 below.

Homosexuality and attitudes towards – see Appendix 5 below

Prisons  -see Appendix 6 below

Temperance & Prohibition (of alcohol) – see Appendix 7 below


4/7/2014, Former entertainer Rolf Harris, 84, was sentenced to 5 years 9 months for sexual crimes against children in the 1970s and 80s.

1/1/2014, The US State of Colorado legalised the sale and consumption of cannabis for personal use.

27/1/2010, The first criminal trial without a jury for 400 years opened in London.

18/2/2005, In England and Wales, hunting with dogs became illegal.

1/4/2002, The Netherlands became the first country to legalise euthanasia.

4/6/2000. In the UK, the Conservative opposition announced plans whereby they would have prisoners work full-time whilst in jail in order to pay compensation to their victims.

30/7/1998, The conviction of Derek Bentley for the murder of a policeman in 1952 was posthumously rescinded; Bentley was hanged in 1953.

1/1/1998, California banned smoking in all its bars and restaurants.

14/7/1997. In California a Bill was signed allowing women to breast feed in public.

26/8/1996. The courts in Sweden heard their first ever case of dangerous handling of a shopping trolley.

7/5/1995. UK betting shops opened on Sundays for the first time.

3/4/1993, Animal Rights activists disrupted the Grand National at Aintree, Liverpool.

1/3/1993. Funeral of two-year-old James Bulger, abducted from Bootle shopping centre on 12/2/1993 and later murdered by two youths on a Liverpool railway line; his body was found by the tracks on 16/2/1993. Two boys aged ten from Walton, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, were charged with the murder on 20/2/1993. The case provoked a moral panic about social breakdown in society and ‘loss of values’.

12/1/1993. London’s first refuge for battered husbands opened.

14/4/1992, In Florida, an 11-year old boy successfully ‘divorced’ his parents in court.

1991, In Britain the Child Support Agency (CSA) was set up.  The principle was to trace errant absent fathers not paying maintenance for their children. However single mothers acting ‘unreasonably’ in failing to divulge details of the father faced Benefits sanctions, leading to accusations that the CSA was in fact to save the Treausry money, rather than assist single mothers.

15/12/1991. Wildlife investigators uncovered an illegal plot to sell 15,000 elephant tusks for £6 million, in defiance of the international ban on the ivory trade. The 83 tons of ivory had been bought from the Government of Burundi by 2 South African businessmen, to sell in the Far East. 80% of Africa’s elephants had been slaughtered for their tusks in the previous 10 years.

10/12/1991, The marriage rate in England and Wales was less than half what it was 20 years ago, as nearly a third of couples in their 20s chose to cohabit, not marry. At least 10% of marriages ended in divorce within 5 years.

16/10/1989, At a committee of the Convention in International Trade of Endangered Species, at Lausanne, Switzerland, a ban on the international ivory trade was passed by 76 votes to 11.

3/10/1989, The Shetland Island of Foula was shocked by its first crime in over 80 years. A Land Rover had been vandalised; a 17-year-old was later convicted and fined £50.

17/8/1989. Richard Hart, accused of theft, became Britain’s first electronically tagged suspect and was allowed home.

21/8/1988, British licencing laws were relaxed to allow pubs to open for 12 hours a day.

13/6/1988, The first beauty contest was held in the USSR.

27/5/1988, In Canada, a man who ‘sleepwalked’, drove over to his mother’s house and killed her with an iron bar, was acquitted of murder.

13/11/1987. The first criminal conviction based on genetic fingerprinting saw a rapist sentenced to 8 years at Bristol Crown Court.

1/9/1987, Belgium became one of the first countries to ban smoking inside public buildings, a decade before Britain followed suit.

4/2/1987. Death of US pianist Liberace, unofficially of AIDS. The official cause of death was a brain tumour.

23/10/1984. The Police Federation in Britain said that from now all Police Forces in England and Wales should be equipped with plastic bullets.

15/2/1981. Football League games were played on a Sunday for the first time.

9/8/1979. Brighton established Britain’s first nudist beach.

22/4/1979, Keith Richard of the Rolling Stones escaped a drugs conviction in return for performing a benefit concert for the Canadian National institute for the Blind.

2/2/1979, Sid Vicious (born as John Ritchie), former band member of the Sex Pistols, died of a heroin overdose at a party in New York, aged 21.

8/4/1977, The Dammed played in New York, the first punk band to play in the USA.

5/3/1977. The first Punk Rock LP, Dammed, Dammed, Dammed, was released.

6/1/1977. EMI dismissed the Sex Pistols due to their outrageous behaviour and foul language, with a £40,000 payoff. The resultant publicity boosted sales of the Sex Pistol’s album Anarchy in the UK; sales reached 50,000.

1/12/1976, The Sex Pistols, a punk rock group, were interviewed by Bill Grundy on Thames TV Today.

25/9/1976. A Danish film director was planning a film on Jesus’ sex life.

1975, A survey in the USA found that 30% of women thought extramarital sex was wrong; in 1963 80% of women thought it was wrong.

6/11/1975. The punk rock band Sex Pistols played their first gig at St Martin’s College of Art in London.

1974, The Police National Computer at Hendon became operational. Set up in 1969, it stored information from the UK’s 800 police stations.

6/9/1974. Mary Whitehouse described as ‘completely irresponsible’ a sketch on the BBC children’s programme Jackanory in which actors walked away unharmed after blowing up a car.

8/1/1974. In Rome, youths protested against the film Jesus Christ Superstar. The film’s makers protested that this film should not be confused with the Danish film Jesus Christ Superstud.

4/1/1974. Teachers requested that 16 year old ‘bovver boys’ (“they don’t even speak English, they just grunt”) should be allowed to leave school as soon as exams were over rather than having to stay on till the end of term.

12/10/1973. Students jostled the Queen when she visited Stirling University.

31/8/1973. The growing drugs menace in Britain was investigated by the TV programme Midweek on Drugs.

1/3/1972, A 14-year-old boy, Timothy Davey, from London was convicted of conspiring to sell cannabis in Turkey.

8/2/1972, Fans demonstrated outside the Albert Hall, London, after Frank Zappa and the Mother of Invention concert was cancelled due to obscenities in one of their songs.

1971, In the UK, the old Assize Courts were abolished by he Courts Act 1971. The Assize Courts were presided over by High Court judges, who travelled on ‘Circuit’; they dated from ther reign of King Henry II.

17/11/1970. The Sun published its first ‘page three girl’, Stephanie Rahn.

17/7/1970, The sex comedy Oh! Calcutta! opened in London.

2/7/1970. The London Tourist Board spoke out against young tourists roughing it in London, sleeping out around the Peter Pan statue in Hyde Park, causing ‘squalor and moral problems’. 250 seal pups were shot in The Wash in the last cull of the open season, before the Conservation of Seals Act finally outlawed the seal killing on 29/8/1970.

25/1/1970. Mick Jagger was fined £200 plus 50 guineas costs for possessing cannabis resin.

1/1/1970. In the UK the age of majority was reduced from 21 to 18.

26/5/1969. John Lennon and Yoko Ono began a ‘bed – in’ at a Montreal hotel in aid of world peace. See 8/12/1980.

22/3/1969. Soccer hooligans ran riot on the London Underground, causing thousands of pounds of damage.

23/1/1969, The British Government rejected proposals to cut penalties for smoking cannabis.

27/9/1968, The Rock musical Hair with 13 naked actors opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, the day after the Theatres Act lifted censorship of it.

31/12/1967, Hippies embraced love, flower power, LSD and the Rolling Stones as a cure for the world’s ills.

30/10/1967. Statistics showed that the number of Britain’s drug addicts under 20 rose from 145 in 1965 to 329 in 1966.

5/10/1967, The first majority verdict was recorded in a UK court, 10 to 2, at Brighton Quarter Sessions.

24/7/1967, Graham Greene, Francis Crick, and The Beatles were among those who signed a full-page advertisement in The Times, saying the law against marijuana was ‘immoral in principle and unworkable in practice’.

21/7/1967, Majority verdicts were now allowed in UK courts.

15/6/1967. In Britain the Latey Commission reported that the voting age should be lowered to 18.

18/10/1966. The hanged Timothy Evans won a posthumous Royal Pardon, see 15/7/1953.

4/8/1966, John Lennon suggested that The Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus’. Within days US radio stations had banned their music and there were public bonfires of their records.

16/7/1966. The Home Secretary Roy Jenkins decided that the drug LSD-25 should be controlled under the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act, following a rise in use of the drug by young people.

29/11/1965. Mary Whitehouse began her clean up campaign concerning TV broadcasts, by setting up the National Viewers and Listeners Association to tackle ‘bad taste and irresponsibility’.

5/9/1965, The word ‘hippie’ first appeared in print, in an article in the San Francisco Examiner by reporter Michael Fallon, who was writing a series about the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood. "Five untroubled young 'hippies'," Fallon began, "sprawled on floor mattresses and slouched in an armchair retrieved from a debris box, flipped cigarette ashes at a seatbelt in their Waller Street flat and pondered their next move."

31/7/1965, The last advert for cigarettes appeared on British TV.

18/5/1964, Mods and Rockers clashed at UK south coast resorts.

30/3/1964, Mods and Rockers clashed on the seafront at Clacton.

1/2/1964. The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain called for unauthorised possession of amphetamines to be made an offence.

15/1/1963. The BBC ended its ban on mentioning politics, royalty, religion, and sex in comedy shows.

11/1/1963, The world’s first disco, called Whisky a Go Go, opened in Los Angeles.

1/5/1961. Betting shops became legal in Britain. 10,000 of them opened within the first 6 months thereafter.

1960, In the US, the percentage of married women who were employed had risen to 32%, up from 25% in 1950.

10/11/1960,  The initial print run of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, 200,000 copies at 3s 6d each, sold out on the first day.

2/11/1960, The publisher of Lady Chatterley’s :Lover was found not guilty on 2/11/1960. On 10/11/1960, the first day of publication, 200,000 copies were sold in Britain.

20/10/1960. D H Lawrence’s book Lady Chatterley’s Lover put Penguin Books in the dock at the Old Bailey, under the Obscene Publications Act.

19/8/1960, In London, Penguin Books was prosecuted for obscenity over its plans to publish Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

29/2/1960, Hugh Hefner opened the first Playboy Club in Chicago. Brought up in a strict Methodist home, Hefner started the Playboy Magazine with US$ 10,000 in 1953.

27/2/1960. The magazine ‘Playboy’ was banned in Connecticut.

19/11/1959, The Archbishop of Canterbury said adultery should be a criminal offence.

9/3/1959, A doll named Barbara Millicent Roberts, or Barbie for short, was exhibited at the New York Toy Fair, wearing a black and white swimming costume.

13/2/1959, The first Barbie Doll went on sale, priced at US$3 (£2), in a zebra-stripe swimsuit. She was created by Ruth Handler, whose daughter was called Barbara.

30/8/1958, The police clashed with 500 ‘Teddy Boys’ in Nottingham.

16/3/1958. Mothers who worked full-time were condemned as enemies of family life by the Bishop of Woolwich.

9/2/1958, A play by Irish-born Samuel Beckett was banned from London stages due to blasphemy.

1/6/1957. The Church condemned the £1 Premium Bonds as a ’squalid raffle’.

3/9/1956, After riots in several towns at cinemas involving Teddy Boys following the film Rock Around The Clock, the film was banned.

26/1/1956. The UK banned the import and export of heroin.

28/5/1955, 16 Teddy Boys were arrested after a disturbance at a dance hall in Bath.

6/5/1954, Sir David Maxwell-Fylde, British Home Secretary, said the problem of Teddy Boys was not widespread.

15/7/1953, John Christie was hanged ( see 25/3/1953) one day after a government tribunal maintained that Timothy Evans was rightly convicted of murdering his wife at Christie’s house and hanged for the crime. Christie had been convicted of murder on 25/6/1953; three years earlier Christie had been key witness against Evans. After Christie’s conviction, Evans’ family asked for a judicial review. See 18/10/1966.

28/1/1953, Derek Bentley was hanged at Wandsworth Prison, see 11/12/1952.

11/12/1952, Derek Bentley, 19, was sentenced to death for the murder of a policeman, even though his accomplice Christopher Craig, 16, fired the fatal shot. The incident occurred during a bungled robbery in which police surrounded the pair on the roof of a Croydon warehouse. Craig was too young to hang and was detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. Bentley had shouted to Craig “Let him have it”; did he mean ‘shoot him’ or ‘let him have the gun’?

2/11/1952, The Croydon Rooftop Murder took place. Two illiterate young men, Christopher Craig (16) and Derek Bentley (18, almost 19) were seen breaking into a confectionery warehouse. The police were called and Bentley was arrested almost immediately. When the police moved to arrest Craig he pulled out a gun; Bentley, then under arrest, shouted at Craig “Let him have it!” Craig then shot two policemen, one fatally. Craig was too young to hang, and got life imprisonment; Bentley was sentenced to death. Many thought that Bentley too should have got life, as, firstly, he had been under arrest when the fatal shot was fired, and secondly, the doubt surrounding Bentley’s motive in what he said; did he mean ‘let him have a bullet’ or ‘give him the gun’? The jury recommended mercy in Bentley’s case. However executing Bentley satisfied a general sense of revenge for the death of the policeman, and was supported by the Home Secretary.

19/4/1951. Eric Morley, publicity officer for Mecca, devised the first Miss World beauty contest as part of the Festival of Britain. The contest was held at the Lyceum ballroom off The Strand, London. The Swedish entrant, Miss Kiki Haakonson, won.

27/3/1947, To stem the rising tide of divorce, the |British Government pledged more funding for the Marriage Guidance Council.

28/11/1946, In Britain the House of Lords was told of a ‘tidal wave of divorce sweeping Britain’.

24/9/1942, Linda McCartney, American photographer who married ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and campaigned for animal rights, was born.

10/9/1938. Death of the dog show founder Charles Cruft.

25/4/1938, Postal workers, tradesmen and Baptists joined forces against the growing popularity of football pools. Baptists disapproved of them on moral grounds, as a form of gambling. Post offices wanted extra payments for handling the rapidly growing volume of pools traffic. Meanwhile a butcher in Worthing claimed his customers were buying cheaper cuts of meat to save up for the pools.

1937, The Factory Act prohibited persons under 16 from working more than 44 hoirs a week. Persons aged 16 – 18, and women, were limited to 48 hurs a week.

18/1/1934. British police made their first arrest using pocket radios. They caught a thief in Brighton three minutes after he had stolen three overcoats from a shop.

1933, In the UK, the Children and Young Offenders Act raised the age band for being tried at a juvenile court from 7 -  16 upwards to age range 8 – 17. See 1908.

14/2/1933, Oxford students declared that ‘they would not fight for King and Country’.

4/5/1932, The mob leader Al Capone began his prison sentence for tax evasion.

16/10/1931. Spain legalised divorce.

16/6/1930. Mixed bathing allowed for the first time in the Serpentine, Hyde Park.

25/2/1930, In the UK, a Bill to abolish blasphemy as a criminal offence was dropped.

28/8/1928, In Britain the Dangerous Drugs Act (1925) was amended to make the use of cannabis illegal.

18/10/1927. Dancing bears were banned from the streets of Berlin.

19/4/1927, The US actress Mae West was convicted of obscenity for writing, producing and directing a Broadway musical called Sex.

9/1/1927. Greta Garbo and John Gilbert  -real life lovers – shocked cinemagoers in New York by their uninhibited kissing in the silent film Flesh and the Devil.

1925, Coco Chanel, fashion designer, appeared with a suntan, challenging previous notions that a lily-white skin was the height of sophistication. This created a demand for suntan oils, and in 1936 L’Oreal began marketing the first mass-market sun lotion, called Ambre Solaire.

7/9/1921. The first Miss America beauty contest was held in Atlantic City.  The winner was 15 year old, blonde, Margaret Goorman, of Washington DC.

20/9/1917. The first RSPCA animal clinic was opened in Liverpool.

13/8/1915, George Joseph Smith, the infamous ‘Brides in the Bath’ murderer, was hanged by John Ellis at Maidstone Prison. Smith had ‘married’ three different women, then murdered them to claim on life insurance policies or gain their fortunes.

13/4/1914, George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion caused a stir with its use of the word ‘bloody’.

25/12/1913, In New York, a couple were arrested for kissing in the street.

1/1/1913, Film censorship began in Britain.

5/11/1912, The British Board of Film Censors was appointed.

23/11/1910, The American Dr Hawley Crippen was hanged in London’s Pentonville Prison for the murder of his wife,

30/10/1910. Henri Durant, Swiss founder of the Red Cross in 1863, died.

22/10/1910. American born Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen was convicted at the Old Bailey of poisoning his wife Belle Elmore. The trial began on 18/10/1910. Born in Michigan, USA, Crippen achieved notoriety as a poisoner. He graduated from Michigan University, and married. He then moved to England where he worked as a dentist and medicine salesman. After a party at his home in Holloway, London, on 31/1/1910, he poisoned his wife. The police began inquiries after he brought a young typist, Ethel Le Neve, to live in the house. The couple fled, and the remains of Crippen’s wife Belle were found in the cellar on 14/7/1910. Crippen was caught after the captain of the ocean liner Montrose radioed a message about two suspicious passengers to Scotland Yard. He was arrested on SS Montrose on 31/7/1910, with Ethel dressed as a boy. He was charged on 29/8/1910. This was the first time radio had been used to track down a criminal. Crippen was hanged on 23/11/1910 at Pentonville Prison, still protesting his innocence.

29/8/1910, Dr Crippen was charged with murder.

31/7/1910, The murderer Dr Crippen was arrested aboard the SS Montrose just before docking in Quebec.  He was the first criminal to be captured by the use of wireless.

13/6/1910, Mary Whitehouse, General Secretary of the National Viewers and Listeners Association, was born.

5/4/1910. France banned kissing on its railways, because it caused delays.

31/1/1910, Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen poisoned his wife Belle Elmore, music hall singer, then cut her in small pieces and buried her in the cellar. See 22/10/1910. Telling suspicious friends of Elmore that she had gone to America, Dr Crippen brought secretary Ethel Le Neuve, 27, into his house as his lover. See 22/10/1910.

4/1/1910, The first Juvenile Courts in Britain opened in London.

23/5/1909, US police broke up a lecture given by the anarchist Emma Goldman.

22/4/1909, In Westminster a Bill was introduced to abolish censorship in plays.

1908, In the UK, the Children Act abolished the practice of sending children aged under 14 to prison. Special juvenile courts were set up for young offenders aged 7 to 16. See 1933.

14/8/1908, The first international beauty contest was held at the Pier Hippodrome, Folkestone, Kent. Contestants included six English, three French, one Irish, and one Austrian.

23/12/1905, The final of the earliest known beauty contest in Britain was held at Newcastle on Tyne.

1/11/1905. Police closed George Bernard Shaw’s play, Mrs Warren’s Profession, because of its portrayal of prostitution.

13/9/1902. Britain’s first conviction on fingerprint evidence was obtained by the Metropolitan Police in a case at the Old Bailey against Harry Jackson.

3/7/1902. In Britain, a House of Lords ruling restricted betting to the sites of sporting events.

9/1/1902. New York State introduced a bill to outlaw flirting in public.

1901, In Britain the Factories and Workshops Act raised the minimum age of employment in factories to 12.

See also Education for improvements in Child Education during the 19th and 20th Centuries

13/3/1894. The world’s first professional striptease performance took place at the Divan Fayanou Music Hall, Paris. It consisted of a woman getting ready for bed.

9/2/1893. The world’s first public striptease took place at the Moulin Rouge, Paris.

1891, In Britain the Factories and Workshops (Consolidation) Act raised the minimum age of employment in factories to 11.

6/10/1889, The Moulin Rouge cabaret opened in Paris.

19/9/1888. The world’s first beauty contest took place at Spa, Belgium. The winner was 18-year-old Bertha Soucaret from Guadeloupe, who won a  5,000 Franc prize.

1886, Italy made it illegal to employ children aged under 9, or under 10 in mines, or under 12 in night work.

10/3/1886, The first Cruft’s dog show in London took place; the first ever Cruft’s was in 1859 in Newcastle on Tyne.

8/7/1884. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was founded in London.

1874, In Brtiain the Factory Act raised the minimum age of employment to 9 in all sectors. Women and all young people to work no more than 10 hours a day in the textiles industry. Children under 14 to work only half a day.

29/4/1874, In Britain, the Cremation Society was formed.

2/11/1871, In Britain, systematic photographing of convicted prisoners began.  This was the start of the ‘rogue’s gallery’.

13/7/1871, The first cat show took place.  It was held at Crystal Palace, London, organised by Harrison Weir.

14/8/1870. John Galsworthy, English author, was born in Combe, Surrey. When his Forsyte Saga was dramatised on BBC TV on Sundays in the 1960s, clergymen had to change times of their evening service to get a congregation.

1867, Thomas John Barnardo (1845-1905) established the East End Mission for Destitute Children. This subsequently expanded to comprise a number of homes across London, known as ‘Dr Barnardo’s Homes’. The organisation is now the charity known as Barnardos, the largest child care charity in the UK.

1867, The Factory Acts (Extension) Act extended all previous Factory Acts to all places of employment with more than 50 employees.

1864, In Britain the Factory Acts (Extension) Act extended the regulations on child employment hours in textiles and mining sectors to other dangerous sectors, including match-making, pottery and cartridge manufacture.

29/10/1863. Swiss philanthropist Henri Dunant founded the International Red Cross after witnessing the tending of the wounded at the Battle of Solferino, near Mantua, north Italy.

17/2/1863, Swiss philanthropist Jean Henri Dunant proposed the International Red Cross in Geneva.

1862, In the UK, the Children’s Employment Commission was appointed to investigate the conditions of work in as-yet unregulated work sectors.

1856, In Brtiain the County and Borough Police Act complelled all boroughs and counties to set up police forces.

14/10/1854, The first baby show was held, at Springfield, Ohio. There were127 exhibits.

1851, Census figures in Britain showed that only half the population regularly attended church on a Sunday.

1850, In Britain the Factory Act now limited the times of day that women and young persons could be employed. They could only  work between 6am and 6pm, with 1 hour break for meals. In 1853 a new Factory Act extended the compulsory meal break for children to 1 ½ hours.

8/6/1847. Britain passed the Factory Act, limiting the working day of women and children aged 13 to 18 to ten hours.

1842, In Britain the Mines Act prohibited both women, and all children aged under 10, from being employed underground. Inspectors of mines were appointed. Also in 1842 the Factories Act prohibited the employment of all women (aged 18 and over), and youths of both  sexes aged between 13 and 18, from working more than 12 hours a day in textiles factories. Maximum work hours for children under 13 were reduced from 9 to 6 ½, however the mimum age for children starting work was reduced from 9 to 8.

12/10/1845, The social worker and prison reformer Elizabeth Fry died.

1840, In Britain, the Select Committee on the Health of Towns exposed slum conditions in many industrial cities.

16/6/1835, Social reformer Mr William Lovett founded the London Working Men’s Association, to tackle poverty amongst low paid labourers.

1833, In Britain, the Lighting and Watching Act allowed any town woth population exceeding 5,000 to appoint paid watchmen.

1833, In Britain the Factory Act further restricted the emplpoyment of children in textiles factories. Children aged 9 to 12 to work no more than 9 hours a day and no more than 48 hours a week. Young persons aged 13 to 18 to work no more than 12 hours a day or 69 hours a week. No child under 9 to be employed in any textile factory except silk mills. No night work by anyone aged under 18 in any textile works except in lace factories. All children aged 9 to 11 (later, 13) to receive 2 hours compulsory education every day.

1831, In Britain the Truck Act prohibited payment for all workers in tokens and goods; all workers except domestic servants to be paid in coinage only. No young people aged under 18 to work more than 12 hours a day.

29/9/1829, London police went on duty for the first time.

8/5/1828. Jean Henri Dumont, Swiss philanthropist and founder of the International Red Cross, was born in Geneva. See also International Organisations.

1824, In the UK, the Vagrancy Act made it an offence to sleep rough,out of doors. This was modified in 1935. See also price and economics.

15/6/1824. The RSPCA was founded in London.

1819, In Britain the Factory Act prohibited the employment of children under 9 in cotton mills. Thoise aged 9 and over were restricted to a 12-hour day.

See also Education for improvements in Child Education during the 19th Century

1802, In Britain, the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act prohibited workhouse children apprenticed to textile factories from working more than 11 hours a day; they were also to be provided with elementary education. The Overseer of the Poor and local magistrates were supposed to monitor compliance with this Act but often failed to do so.

24/1/1800, Sir Edwin Chadwick, physician who promoted the Ten Hour Bill in the UK Parliament, which restricted children working in factories to a ten-hour day, was born in Longsight, Lancashire.

18/12/1792, Thomas Paine was tried in absentia for publishing The Rights of Man.

5/2/1788, Sir Robert Peel, British Tory Prime Minister and founder of the Metropolitan Police Force, was born at Bury in Lancashire, the son of a cotton millionaire.

26/1/1788, The first batch of British convicts arrived at Sydney Cove, Australia. They came aboard the HMS Endeavour, captained by Arthur Phillip; 570 men and 160 women were the survivors of a 36-week voyage from England on which the pox had killed 48 of the prisoners. Captain Phillip was to administer the penal colony. See 18/1/1788.

See Australia, New Zealand, for exploration of Australia

18/1/1788 A penal settlement was established at Botany Bay, Australia. The first convicts arrived on 26/1/1788. The option of sending its prisoners to America was no longer open to Britain.

13/5/1787, A fleet of 11 ships consisting of 2 two men 3 stores ships, and 6 convict transporters with some 730 convicts set sail from England for Australia under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. The journey lasted until January 1788. The convicts disembarked at Sydney Cove, minus 40 who had died on the voyage. 

1/11/1781. Austria abolished serfdom, and gave all citizens the right of marriage, free movement, and instruction in any handicraft.  This initially applied to Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia; to Galicia soon after, and to Hungary in 1785.  Landowners had certain rights remaining, such as corvee, but these were reduced by later laws.

1736, In England, statutes against witchcraft were repealed.

1623, Patent laws introduced in England, to protect inventions.

9/3/1562. Kissing in public was banned in Naples, contravention being punishable by death. This was an attempt to halt the spread of the plague.

1/7/1559, Missing Church in Britain incurred a fine of one shilling (5p). However by 1581 this penalty had been raised to a swingeing £20 a month.

801, Emperor Charlemagne banned prostitution.

150 BCE, The Romans closed all schools of dancing because they viewed it as effeminate. However dancing was still appreciated as public entertainment, although dancers then had a low social status. In the Bible, Saul’s daughter also look down witrh scorn when King David ‘danced before Jehovah with all his might’ when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem. The early Christian Church similarly looked down on dancing, but again, like the Ro,mans, dancers were used as entertainment yet denied social standing in the Christian Mediaeval world. A similar attitude prevailed in the Islamic world. Dancing rose up the social scale in Europe as the Renaissance got underway.

445 BCE, In Rome the Lex Canuleia permitted intermarriage between patricians and plebeians in Rome.

621 BCE, Draco, an Athenian lawgiver, drew up a code of laws that set out severe pinishments for theft, sacrilege and even laziness, which could be ounished with death. Hence the term ‘draconian’ for any severe or harsh law today.

1750 BCE, The Laws of Hammurabi, King of Babylon, were set out. If a commoner destroyed the eye of a Babylonian noble, his own eye was to be put out; if a noble put out a commoner’s eye, he was only fined. Theft from a burning building and adultery were punished gy death, and a son who struck his father, or a surgeon who botched an operation, had their hands cut off. The Code also set out wage rates for labourers and craftsmen, and for hiring oxen.


Appendix 1 – Abortion & Birth Control

25/4/1990. The UK Parliament reduced the time limit for abortion from 28 to 24 weeks.

17/10/1985, In Britain, the House of Lords voted to allow doctors to prescribe contraceptives to girls aged under 16 without parental consent, despite a campaign against this by Catholic mother Mrs Victoria Gillick.

26/7/1983, Mrs Victoria Gillick lost her case in the High Court to prevent doctors prescribing contraceptives to girls under 16 without parental consent.

20/6/1977, The US Supreme Court ruled that States were not required to fund elective abortions on Medicaid.

22/1/1973, The US Supreme Court ruled, in Roe vs Wade; a ruling that resulted in the liberalisation of abortion laws, so women had the freedom to choose a private abortion. Abortion was subsequently legalised in France (1975) and Italy (1977). The actual case was between Henry Wade, Dallas County District Attorney, and Norma McCorvey; McCorvey’s name was disguised as Jane Roe.

1/4/1972. Hounslow Borough Council began to offer free contraception on the rates. There was no restriction on the type of contraception nor on the marital status of the applicants; they only had to be aged 16 or over and resident in Hounslow.

27/4/1968. Abortion was legalised in Britain, as the 1967 Abortion Act became Law. The Liberal MP David Steel had introduced the Abortion Act to Parliament.

27/10/1967, The UK’s Abortion Act received Royal Assent.

25/10/1967. UK Parliament passed the Abortion Act, decriminalising abortion.

14/7/1967. Parliament in the UK voted to legalise abortion. This was after a record 64 hour debate. The 1967 Abortion Act allowed for the legal termination of pregnancy if two registered doctors believed that continuation of the pregnancy could damage the physical or mental health of the woman, or of members of her family, or where there was substantial risk of the baby being born with physical or mental abnormalities.

19/2/1966. Lord Silkin’s Bill to legalise abortion ran into difficulties in the House of Lords.

4/12/1961. The birth control pill became available on the National Health Service.

30/1/1961. The contraceptive pill went on sale in Britain. It was called Conovid, see 18/10/1960.

18/10/1960, The first approved contraceptive pill, called Enovid 10, went on sale in the USA. Catholics objected. See 30/1/1961.

18/8/1960. The birth control pill, the world’s first oral contraceptive, was launched in America.

2/10/1958, Marie Stopes, promoter of birth control, died (born 1880).

28/1/1935. Iceland became the first country to legalise abortion, on medical grounds, under Law no.38, allowing abortion at up to 28 weeks if there was a threat to the mental or physical health of the mother. Most subsequent abortion laws followed this pattern. However in Ireland the import or sale of contraceptives became illegal.

15/10/1927. Britain’s Public Morals Committee attacked the use of contraceptives for ‘causing poor hereditary stock’.

17/3/1921. First birth control clinic opened in Holloway, London, by Marie Stopes.

1/10/1847, Annie Besant, social reformer and theosophist, was born. With radical atheist Charles Bradlaugh, she promoted birth control, for which she was prosecuted.

28/4/1780, The first advertisement for an abortion clinic appeared on the back page of London’s Morning Post. The address was 23, Fleet Street, London


Appendix 2 – Capital Punishment and its Abolition

23/7/2014, Joseph Wood, convicted of double murder, took nearly 2 hours to die by lethal injection in an Arizona prison. Questions were raised on the practicality of the death sentence in America.

1/1/1990, Romania abolished the death penalty.

5/9/1984, Western Australia became the last Australian State to abolish capital punishment.

18/11/1981, France formally abandoned the use of the guillotine.

18/9/1981, Under President Mitterrand, France abolished the guillotine and capital punishment.

15/4/1978, The death penalty was abolished in Spain.

10/9/1977. The last official execution by guillotine in France; execution of Hamida Djandoubi. See 17/6/1939.

18/12/1969. The death penalty for murder was formally abolished in Britain.

9/11/1965. The Act legally abolishing capital punishment in the UK came into force. This Act was largely due to the efforts of Sidney Silverman MP.

21/12/1964. The UK Commons voted to end capital punishment.

13/8/1964. The last hangings in Britain took place – the murderers Peter Anthony Allen at Walton Prison, Liverpool, and John Robson Walby at Strangeways Prison, Manchester.

12/10/1961. New Zealand voted to abolish the death penalty.

16/2/1956. The British Parliament voted to end the death penalty.

13/7/1955. Nightclub hostess Ruth Ellis became the last woman hanged, at Holloway Prison in Britain, for the murder of her lover David Blakely, following her conviction on 21/6/1955. However there was public sympathy for her; she claimed someone else put the gun in her hand; and her case was influential in bringing about the abolition of the death penalty in the UK.

12/7/1955, The last hanging at Lincoln Prison. Kenneth Roberts, 24, was executed for the murder of 18-year-old Mary Georgina Roberts in Scunthorpe.

10/2/1955, The House of Commons voted by a majority of 31 to retain the death penalty.

23/9/1953, The Royal Commission on capital punishment said it should be left to the jury as to whether to impose the death penalty.

1/7/1953. MPs rejected a Bill to suspend the death penalty for 5 years.

20/1/1949, Attlee set up a Royal Commission on capital punishment.

12/1/1949. In Britain, Margaret Allen was hanged, the first woman hanged for 12 years.

15/8/1941, Josef Jakobs became the last person to be executed at the Tower of London. A German spy, he had parachuted into Huntingdonshire with a radio transmitter; however he injured his leg in the fall and was captured by the Home Guard. He was tried and shot the same day, in a chair.

17/6/1939. The last public execution in France. The German multiple-murderer, Eugen Wiedman, was publicly guillotined outside Versailles gaol, near Paris. See 25/4/1739 and 10/9/1977.

8/5/1933, The first execution by gas chamber in the US, in Nevada.

15/12/1930, A Commons Select Committee recommended ending the death penalty.

8/5/1921. Sweden abolished capital punishment.

1918, Austria abolished the death penalty.

24/3/1911. Denmark abolished the death penalty.

11/1/1909. Four murderers were publicly guillotined in northern France.

25/1/1902, Russia abolished the death penalty.

1874, Switzerland abolished capital punishment, aalthough individual cantons retained the right to restore it if the murder rate rose.

1870, The Netherlands abolished capital punishment.

26/5/1868, The last public execution in Britain took place outside Newgate Prison. Michael Barrett, the hanged man, had murdered 12 people with a bomb.

21/4/1868, In the UK, a Bill to abolish capital punishment, introduced by Mr Gilpin MP, was defeated by 127 votes to 23.

1864, Romania abolished capital punishment.

16/12/1830, The last ‘hanging at execution dock’ in Britain. This punishment involved hanging of pirates, such as William Kidd in 1701; the convict was then left at low water mark and immersed three times by the tide before being buried.

5/6/1790, Burning at the stake was officially abolished as a form of capital punishment in Britain; see 18/3/1789.

21/1/1790, In Paris, Dr Joseph Ignace Guillotin demonstrated to the National Assembly of Paris a new machine for ‘humane’ executions using a heavy blade falling on the victim’s neck.

18/3/1789, Catherine (Christian) Murphy (Bowman) became the last person in Britain to be executed by burning at the stake (see 5/5/1790). She had been convicted of ‘coining’ (forgery), which was punished severely as a form of treason.

1787, Austria abolished capital punishment.

9/12/1783, The first executions at London’s Newgate Prison.

7/11/1783. The last hanging was held at Tyburn, west London. John Austin, convicted of forgery, was executed.  An estimated 50,000 had been executed at Tyburn.

24/8/1782, David Tyrie, having been found guilty of spying for the French, became the last person in Britain to be executed by hanging, drawing and quartering, at Portsmouth.

5/5/1760. The first hanging by hangman’s drop at Tyburn, London. Earl Ferrers was executed for murdering his valet.

28/7/1716, The last hangings for witchcraft in England; Mary Hicks and her 9-year-old daughter Elizabeth were executed at Huntingdon. The last hanging for witchcraft in Scotland was of Janet Horne, in Dornoch in 1727.

14/5/1650, The UK Parliament voted in favour of the death penalty for adultery but this was never implemented.


Appendix 3 – abolition of other punishments

1881, Flogging in the British Army was abolished (although caning in military prisons was still permitted).

1879, The British Royal navy abolished the ‘Cat’o’Nine Tails’ (a whip made of nine knotted ropes) as punishment. This form of penalty was first mentioned in around 1700.

11/6/1872, The stocks were last used as an official form of punishment in Britain.  Their last recorded use was at Adpar, west Wales. They had also been used in 1865 at Rugby, 1863 at Tavistock and 1858 at Colchester.

1871, Flogging in the British Navy in peacetime was suspended.

13/7/1860, The last naval execution at the yardarm took place, aboard the HMS Leven in the River Yantse   The victim was Private John Dallinger.

1840, Transportation of criminals from Britain to New South Wales ceased. Transportation to Tasmania continued until 1853, and to Western Australia until 1868.

30/6/1837. A British Act of Parliament abolished punishment by pillory.

1809, The last recorded use of the Ducking Stool in England, at Leominster.

1726, The last recorded case of burning alive in England as a means of execution. A woman was  put to death this way for pety-treason (the act of murdering someone to whom one owes allegiance, in this case, her husband). Burning of women for similar cases of petty treason continued until ca. 1790 (one such woman was ‘executed’ this was at Ipswich in 1783; however the victim was strangled first.

1727, The last burning of a witch in Scotland took place, at Dornoch.

1685, The last execution by drowning in Scotland (the Wigtown martyrs). In England drowning as a means of execution had ceased by the 1620s; however in France the last such execution was in 1793 at Nantes.

1215, The Catholic Church in Europe decreed that trial by ordeal at the Fourth Lateran Council (for example by ducking the suspect underwater and seeing if God preserved their life, if so they were innocent) was too superstitious. This decree led to the emergence of modern trial by jury.


Appendix 4 – Clothing and Cosmetics

8/2/1973, The Beatles were asked to leave the Carlisle Golf Club because they were wearing leather jackets.

25/1/1970. Mary Crosby, inventor of the bra, died in Rome aged 77.

23/9/1966.Mr Joe Kagan, raincoat maker to Mr Harold Wilson, suggested that by the 1980s men would be wearing something like a mini skirt with a toga over it in cold weather.

21/8/1964, In London, three women were found guilty of indecency for wearing ‘topless’ dresses.

1962, The first silicone breast implants were carried out in the USA.

1960, Lycra was first produced commercially, foir swimwear. Developed by Du Pont in 1959, it was used for swimwear, being stretchy and clingy.

1959, The Mayor of Benidorm, Pedro Zaragoza Orts was excommunicated by the local archbishop after he signed an order permitting the wearing of bikinis on the city’s beaches.

1956, Velcro was patented by the Swiss inventor, George de Mestral. Inspired by the way burs attached to clothes, its name derived from a combination of velour (velvet) and crochet (hook).

4/10/1950, Three generations of the Bowler family marked the centenary of the bowler hat.

See Science and Technology for the plastics inventions of the 1930s and 40s which made new fashions, cosmetics and clothes possible in the 1950s and 60s.

1949, The firsr aerosol hairspray for women was marketed. Hair could now be kept ‘in place’ all day without the need to visit a hairdresser; in 1952 25 million aerosol hairspray cans were sold.

1947, False ‘eyelash strips’ were first used in movies to nehnace the looks of stars such as Elizabeth taylor and Sophie Loren. Female moviegoers soon demanded a version for themselves, which was marketed in the 1950s under the name ‘Eyelure’.

5/7/1946. The bikini was officially invented by French engineer Louis Reard. “It is a two-piece bathing suit that reveals everything about a girl except her mother’s maiden name”,  said the Americans about the bikini. Two months earlier the French designer Jacques Heim had created the Atome, another two-piece bathing suit, so Louis Reard was inspired to create an even smaller bathing suit. Reard knew he had created an explosive item, so he called it the bikini, as the US military exploded an atom bomb on the south Pacific island of Bikini atoll. No Parisian model would wear the bikini at the time as it was considered indecent, but Reard hired a nude dancer, Micheline Bernardini, to wear it at his presentation. The bikini was banned in several Catholic countries such as Spain and Italy, but Reard kept promoting the garment, insisting it was not a real bikini unless “it could be pulled through a wedding ring”. In the 1950s Brigitte Bardot helped promote the bikini and by the 1970s it was more or less accepted in most countries.

3/2/1946, The Hosiery Designers of America chose actress Jane Russell’s legs as the ‘perfect pair’.

18/11/1945, Dr W N Leek, in Cheshire, claimed that the falling UK birth-rate was due to people wearing pyjamas in bed instead of nightshirts.

1942, The US Navy issued specifications for a new type of undershort, called the ‘T-shirt’, made of white cotton with a round neck and short sleeves at right angles to the body making a ‘T’. Thye new garment, eminently suited to bearing printed slogans or symbols, began to be worn as a shirt on its own by the end of World War Two.

15/5/1940. Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time, in America. In New York. Alone, 72,000 pairs were sold in the first eight hours. The name was reputedly inspired by the cities with the greatest fashion potential for this new product – New York and London. Rising hemlines from the 1920s had created a need for some sort of covering to smooth out colour imperfections and bumps on women’s legs, now exposed for the first time in centuries.

16/5/1934, Officials at Wimbledon first allowed women competitors to wear shorts.

8/4/1925. Italian Catholic bishops banned scantily clad or bare legged women from churches.

1922, Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) banned the Fez hat in Turkey as he westernised the country.

22/5/1921. The US city of Chicago planned to fine women for wearing short skirts and exposed arms.

13/11/1914. The brassiere was patented in the USA by heiress Mary Phelps Jacob.

4/11/1914. At the Ritz-Carlton hotel, New York, Edna Chase of Vogue magazine organised the first catwalk fashion show.

15/7/1913. In Richmond Park, near London, a woman was arrested for wearing a split skirt.

9/3/1913, Andre Courreges, French couturier who invented the mini skirt in 1964, was born.

23/7/1912, In the US, the ‘Modesty League’ protested against tight dresses.

10/10/1886. The dinner jacket made its first appearance in public when it was worn by its creator at a ball in the Tuxedo Park Country Club, New York.  Hence it was later known as the Tuxedo.

17/12/1849, Landowner Edward Coke tested a new type of hat he had ordered to protect his head from low-hanging branches whilst out hunting; top hats were too easily knocked off. This day he visited the Lockes hatters shop in St James, London, to test the new bowler hat, named after its designed, by jumping on it twice. It withstood the test and he bought it.

1807, Tsar Alexander I of Russia banned trousers, probably because the French Revolutionaries had worn them in preference to the hitherto fashionable knee-breches worn by men in the 1700s. He ordered Russian troops to stop and inspect carriages, and any trousers found would be cut off at the knee.

15/1/1797, The top hat first appeared in London, worn by James Hetherington. He was fined £50 for wearing this attire, and causing a breach of the peace.

11/2/1765. English wig-makers petitioned George III for financial relief as the male fashion of wearing wigs came to an end.

1503, Pocket handkerchiefs came into use in Europe.

1200, In Europe, engagement rings came into fashion.


Appendix 5 – Homosexuality and attitudes towards

23/5/2015, Ireland voted by a margin of 2:1 to legalise gay marriage. The result, 1,201,607 UES votes against 734,300 NO, was remarkable in a strongly Catholic country. The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, said the Church may have become disconnected with young people, and ruled out gay marriages in Catholic churches.

29/3/2014, Same-sex marriages became legal in England and Wales.

2013, 2% of British Catholics believed homosexuality was wrong, compared to 68% in 1983. However in 2013 52% of british Muslims said homosexuality was wrong.

24/12/2013, Alan Turing, the mathematician who broke the Nazi codes during World War Two but who was convicted of gross indecency for a homosexual act with a man in 1952,  was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II. He was given chemical castration but his criminal record meant he could no longer work for GCHQ and he committed suicide by cyanide poisoning in 1954, aged 41. Prominent figures including Stephen Hawking and Peter Tatchell had been campaigning for a pardon for several years.

17/4/2013, Same sex marriage was legalised in New Zealand.

2/4/2013, Uruguay legalised same-sex marriages.

7/11/2012, Voters in Maryland, Maine and Washington approved same sex marriages.

17/8/2012, Moscow banned any Gay Pride events for the next 100 years.

7/3/2012, The UN presented its report on violations of the human rights of gay people worldwide. Representatives of several African and Arab States walked out.

5/12/2005, In the UK, the Civil Partnership Act came into force; this gave same sex partnerships the same legal status as heterosexual marriages.

1/12/2005, South Africa became the fifth country in the world to recognise same-sex marriages.

24/8/2005,  A Hong Kong Judge, Michael Hartmann, ruled that sodomy laws were unconstitutional.

20/7/2005, Canada’s Civil Marriage Act, legalising same-sex marriages, received Royal Assent.

30/6/2005, Spain joined Belgium and The Netherlands in permitting same-sex marriages.

18/11/2004, In the UK, the Civil Partnership Bill, allowing registered unions for same-sex couples, received Royal Assent.

17/5/2004, Massachusetts legalised same-sex marriages, in compliance with a ruling from the state’s Supreme Court.(Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health).

2/3/2002, The 24th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was held in Australia.

1/4/2001, In The Netherlands, same-sex marriages were made legal.  This was the first time such marriages had been legal there since the time of Nero.

3/3/2001, The 23rd Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was held in Australia.

25/4/2000, The State of Vermont passed the HB847 law legalising civil unions for same-sex couples

10/2/1998, Voters in Maine repealed a gay rights law made in 1997, becoming the first US State to abandon such a law.

1/5/1997. Tasmania became the last Australian State to decriminalise homosexuality.

19/12/1994, Civil unions between homosexuals were made legal in Sweden.

21/2/1994, In Britain, Parliament voted to lower the age of consent for homosexuals from 21 to 18.

19/1/1994, Jane Brown, headmistress of a school in Hackney, London, barred pupils from seeing Romeo and Juliet because it was ‘too heterosexual’.

24/5/1988, In the UK, the controversial Section 28 law was passed. This made the promotion of homosexuality in schools illegal.

11/7/1977. British magazine Gay News was fined £1,000 for publishing a poem about a homosexual Jesus.

27/11/1970. The Gay Liberation Front marched in London for the first time.

6/1969, A riot began when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a venue frequented by homosexuals, in Greenwich Village, New York City.

18/11/1962. Bishop Ambrose Reeves encouraged Oxford students to write to their MPs urging them to repeal the laws on homosexuality.

4/9/1957. In the UK, the Wolfenden Report recommended decriminalising homosexual acts between consenting adults. This would remove a significant cause of blackmail. ‘Adult’ meant aged 21 or over; some feared this would be a licence for child abuse. On 14/11/1957 the Church of England backed the Wolfenden reforms. However the UK government shied away from this controversial change to the law. It was only in June 1967 when the Sexual Offences Bill legalised such homosexual acts as Wolfenden recommended.

1897, The first organisation to promote homosexual rights was set up, in Germany. It lasted until the rise of Nazism in the 1930s.

19/5/1897, Oscar Wilde was released from Reading gaol.

25/5/1895, Oscar Wilde’s second trial ended, and he was sentenced to two year’s hard labour.

26/4/1895. At the Old Bailey, the trial of Oscar Wilde for homosexuality, then a crime, began.

5/4/1895, Oscar Wilde sued the Marquess of Queensberry for libel at the Old Bailey. The Marquess was alleged to have left a note at Mr Wilde’s club accusing him of sodomy. The Marquess, keen on boxing, was annoyed that his son, Alfred, had an intimate relationship with Mr Wilde. Oscar Wilde lost his case.


Appendix 6 – Prisons

1991, Belmarsh Prison in S E London opened.

1972, Canada finally ceased sterilising convicts in prison.

1/8/1963, The minimum age for prison in the UK was raised to 17.

21/3/1963. Alcatraz, the notorious prison in San Francisco Bay, was closed. It had been a maximum-security prison since 1934.

22/8/1953, The infamous French prison of Devils Island, depicted in the film Papillon, was closed after a century of operations.

1937, Nazi Germany had, by now, forcibly sterilised some 225,000 convicts in prison. An opinion pool in the US this year showed two-thirds of respondents supported this idea, and in the UK Churchill also privately supported the idea.

27/5/1936. The first open prison in Britain was opened at New Hall, near Wakefield, Yorkshire.

11/8/1934, The first batch of prisoners, classified ‘most dangerous’, arrived at the new Alcatraz high-security prison in San Francisco Bay.

1908, In the UK, the Children Act abolished the practice of sending children aged under 14 to prison.

16/10/1902. The first Borstal institution opened, at the village of Borstal near Rochester, Kent.

1/4/1902, The treadmill was abolished in British prisons. It was invented by Sir W Cubitt around 1818. The UK’s Prison Act 1865 specified that every male prisoner aged over 16 sentenced to hard labour should spemd at least 3 months of his sentence on ‘first class labour’ – that is, the treadmill, crank, capstan or stone-breaking. The Prisons Act 1877 reduced this period to one month. A day of such labour consisted of two 3-hour sessions, with a 3 minute break between 15 minutes of work.

1899, The US State of Indiana began forcibly sterilising convicts in prison. By 1941, 36,000 criminals had been sterilised.

11/1890, Millbank Prison, London, closed.

3/11/1870. In Britain, the photographing of every prisoner was made compulsory. A photograph had been successfully used on a ‘wanted’ poster in 1861.

1852, Holloway Prison, London,  for women, opened.

1849, Construction work on Wandsworth Prison began. Male prisoners were first admitted in 1851; female prisoners from 1852.

1845, Crumlin Road prison, Belfast, opened.

1842, Pentonville Prison, north London, opened (closed 1996).

1821, Millbank Prison, London, opened.

1820, Brixton Prison opened, as the Surrey House of Correction.

1806, Construction of Dartmoor Prison began.

1790, The New Bailey Prison, in Salford, Manchester, opened, It closed in 1868.

20/1/1790, John Howard, prison reformer, died.

21/5/1780. Elizabeth Fry, prison reformer, was born in Norwich. She was the daughter of a Quaker banker, John Gurney.

1218, Newgate Prison, London, opened.

1166, In Britain, the Assize of Clarendon ordered jails to be constructed in all English counties and boroughs.

250 BCE, The first Roman prison erected, at Tullianum.


Appendix 7 - Temperance & Prohibition (of alcohol)

"I can't think of anything worse after a night of drinking than waking up next to someone and not being able to remember their name, or how you met, or why they're dead." - Laura Kightlinger, US actress

1/6/2008, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, introduced a ban on drinking alcohol on the London Underground.

1988, UK pub hours were deregulated, after 70 years of restriction, allowing them to open all day.

1/4/1985, The UK Government imposed an alcohol ban on selected football grounds.

15/7/1948. Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in London, having been in existence in America since 1935.

12/5/1935, A chance meeting between two alcoholics, Dr Robert Smith and William Wilson, which led to the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous.

5/12/1933. Prohibition Laws repealed in the USA, by the 21st Amendment, after over 13 dry years, leaving individual States free to determine their known drinks laws. See 16/1/1920. Utah was the last state to ratify the 21st Amendment, which nullified the 19th Amendment of 1919 prohibiting the manufacture sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors. Prohibition had not stopped alcohol consumption, but merely driven it underground into the criminal world. America celebrated so much that 1.5 million barrels of beer were drunk the first night. Towns ran dry, and were drunk dry again the next night too. Prohibition had simply created enormous opportunities for organised crime.

11/8/1932, US President Hoover said it was time to scrap Prohibition.

30/1/1932. Finland ended prohibition of alcohol.

12/6/1931. Al Capone and 68 henchmen were charged with 5,000 offences regarding breaching the USA Prohibition laws.

31/10/1929, Nova Scotia voted to repeal Prohibition. This left Prince Edward Island as the only ‘dry’ region in Canada.

13/7/1923, Britain made sales of alcohol to under-18s illegal.

30/4/1923. The US only permitted alcohol consumption on ships 3 miles or more out at sea.

6/10/1922. Alcohol was banned on all US ships in port.

23/11/1921, In the US, President Harding banned doctors from prescribing beer.

4/12/1920. An attempt to introduce Prohibition to Scotland failed.

16/1/1920. Prohibition began in the USA (18th Amendment), and the sale, manufacture, or involvement with alcohol was banned.

See also USA for more dates.

6/10/1919. Norway adopted alcohol Prohibition.

16/1/1919, The US ratified the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors after one year. See 16/1/1920.

18/12/1917, The United States Congress submitted Prohibition legislation to the states. The 18th Amendment was known as the Volstead Act, after its chief sponsor, Andrew Volstead of Minnesota. It took a further 13 months for the necessary three quarters of US states to ratify the Act for it to become law, see 16/1/1919.

2/7/1916. The US States of Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota brought in Prohibition, bringing the number of states banning alcohol to 24.

21/1/1909. Tennessee adopted alcohol prohibition.

18/1/1909. New Zealand brewers abolished barmaids and banned women from buying alcohol in bars.

26/5/1908. The US State of North Carolina introduced Prohibition, banning alcohol.

1/1/1908. The US state of Georgia introduced prohibition, banning alcohol.

12/5/1902, The Court of Appeal reversed the legal decision of 22/4/1902, and allowed barmaids to work in pubs, following protests by pub landlords, barmaids and the public.

22/4/1902, Magistrates in Glasgow ruled that female barmaids must be replaced by men, because of the moral hazards of pubs. Pubs employing female staff would not have their licences renewed. See 12/5/1902.

24/10/1900, In London, the National Union of Women Workers held a meeting about drunkenness and illness.

1893, The Anti-Saloon Leauge was established in the USA, to promote the end of alcohol use through legislation. The Leauge continued to exist during and after Prohibition, and became part of the National Temperance League in 1950.

18/11/1874. In the USA, the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union was founded. Women would invade saloons and sing hymns and pray; the point being that drunkenness and ill-treatment of women often went together.

4/7/1855. New York became the 13th state to ban the production or sale of alcoholic beverages.

2/2/1830, The first Temperance Society in Britain was formed, in Bradford, Yorkshire, by Mr Henry Forbes.

13/2/1826, The American Temperance Society was formed.


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