I came across a cool resource while researching our Now What blog question about convicts sentenced to indentured servitude abroad
. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London 1674 to 1834
is a searchable version of the accounts of more than 100,000 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court.
Elizabeth Cox is one of the “non-elite” (as the site calls them) whose trials are detailed here. On Oct. 8, 1684, she was found guilty of petty larceny for stealing a silk gown
from George Winterton’s shop. Her sentence? Whipping.
The same day, a “notorious thief” named Anne Parker, who’d been convicted three times of stealing silver from households where she was employed as servant, received respite from her death sentence
due to pregnancy.
You can browse by date
or search the trials
on a name, date, keyword, crime, place and a variety of other terms. Click a match for a transcription of the trial account, links to other trials the same day, plus a digitized image of the account as it appeared in the original volumes of Old Bailey proceedings.
The site also offers fascinating background information
on the courthouse, laws of the day, the gender factor in criminal proceedings, and London communities.
Even better, a digitization project is underway for trials from 1834 to 1913.