Dr Emma D. Watkins is a Lecturer in Criminology at Roehampton University. She completed her PhD at the University of Liverpool, as part of the Digital Panopticon. Research interests include: life-course analysis and data-linkage, and historical criminology.

While much of Emma’s research to date has focused on juvenile convicts and their lives, Emma has now moved on to focus on former convicts who died in pauper establishments in the colonies.


Emma giving a paper at the Crime Historians Conference at The University of Edinburgh 2016


Watkins, E D (2020) Life Courses of Young Convicts Transported to Van Diemen’s Land, (London: Bloomsbury).

Watkins, E D. & Godfrey, B. (2018) Criminal Children: Researching Juvenile Offenders 1820-1920, (Pen & Sword).

Watkins, E D. (2018) ‘Transported Beyond the Seas: Criminal Juveniles’, In Nineteenth Century Childhoods in Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives, Series: Childhood in the Past Vol 6 (eds.) Baxter J E. & Ellis, M. (Oxford: Oxbow).

Alker, Z. & Watkins, E D. (2018) ‘History, life course criminology and digital methods: new directions for conceptualizing juvenile justice in Europe’ In Juvenile Justice in Europe: Past, Present and Future (ed.) Goldson, B. (Oxon: Routledge).

Watkins, E D. (2018)Juvenile convicts and their colonial familial lives’, The History of the Family.

Watkins, E D. (2017) “The Criminal Class” and “Life Course Analysis”, In Companion to Crime and Criminal Justice History (eds.) Turner, J., Taylor, T., Morley, S. & Corteen, K A. (Bristol: Policy Press).



Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 15.57.40@emmdwatkins


2 thoughts on “Background

  1. Hello Emma,
    I am pleased to have found your blog and will follow you on your journey.

    I am proud to be a descendant of John Press and although he was a recidivist offender, is it any wonder his life took that path. No friends, no family and the only role models the transportees he spent the first 14 years in Tasmania with.

    Kind regards…………..Noelene

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great to hear from you Noelene!

    Indeed John Press was just 10 years old when he was convicted at the Old Bailey and sentenced to transportation. And while he did carry on committing crimes, what this research also aims to it explore is his economic, social and domestic life. During a time of economic depression in the colonies John Press built a new life – married and had children. My aim is look at the whole picture, to get a rounded understanding of the lives of those in my sample.

    Liked by 1 person

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