Criminal Histories in East Midlands

Criminal Histories in East Midlands

This week I thought I should explore further the local history of my adopted region, East Midlands. Luckily, I came across a series of youtube videos made by Paul Bradshaw, a video journalist who covers news stories for BBC East Midlands Today. His work is imaginatively produced and indicates an intense interest in history. The added bonus of violent scenes and clashes between knights or peasants will satisfy the most fierce critics!

The first video is the story of the Folville Gang, a group of seven aristocratic brothers who were the terror of the region for over 20 years in the fourteenth century. Only one of them lost his head in the process, while another one got knighted.

The second video includes a comparison between modern and medieval Riots in Nottingham. The modern riots are well known since BBC covered them extensively; less known are the eighteenth and nineteenth century riots, which gave Nottingham the reputation of been a violent and radical town. One of the participants who was condemned to death but survived seems to have prospered later in Australia!

The third video is entitled ‘The Highway Woman’ and focuses on the story of a prosperous young woman who marries a conman and a thief in the seventeenth century. Husband and wife partnered up to rob the travellers of the highways. After the wife is caught and her female identity is revealed to the public, she confesses to all crimes and is sentenced to death.

The fourth video is on the Derby silk mill. The owner of the mill decides to steal the precious technology that made Italian (not English) silk of such exquisite quality. His adventures in Italy were successful and he returns back to England with the secrets at hand. The Italians with the help of a female agent poisoned the cheeky owner and industrial order has been restored. Or so they thought…

All of them are worth watching!

Economic historian and numismatic consultant

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