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Home > Crime and Punishment in Durham > Crime > Robberies

 What was shocking about these robberies?

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Extract from the Durham County Advertiser, 22 Nov 1833.

Extract from the Durham County Advertiser, 22 Nov 1833. (DUL ref: M/F 072 DUR)


This newspaper report dates from 1833 and refers to a worrying outbreak of highway robberies. Read the source carefully and then try to answer the questions to see what it tells you about crime at this time. A transcript is available and there is a worksheet for you to record your thoughts.

1. How many robberies have taken place according to this report?

2. Does the report make it sound as though these robberies were common? What gives you that impression?

3. What does the author find shocking about these robberies?

4. What does this tell you about crime, or the perception of crime, at this time?

5. The report mentions the police. What does the author want them to do?

6.What does this tell us about the role of police in the 1830s. How does this differ from today?

7.Who does the author think is responsible for the robberies? Does this tell us anything about crime at the time?

Once you have finished, move on to the next source to find out about the notorious serial killer, Mary Ann Cotton.

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