Background and Introduction

Emma D. Watkins is is in the final year of her PhD, entitled The lives and criminal careers of nineteenth-century juvenile offenders at the University of Liverpool. Emma is part of the Digital Panopticon, her supervisors are Professor Barry Godfrey and the panopticon team.


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

Of particular interest to Emma are the lives of juvenile offenders <14 years of age, sentenced to transportation to Australia at the Old Bailey, between 1816 – 1850. Emma will be using data – linkage, using criminal and civil records, in order to carry out life-course analysis. While looking for quantitative trends in the data, of equal importance will be the life narratives Emma is able to build up – taking into account the criminal as well as economic, social and familial lives of these young offenders.

As well as containing accounts of any conferences or events visited, this blog will be made up of case studies of criminal juveniles as well as the difficulties or triumphs encountered when building them. This blog will also be filled with any other crime history found interesting – I hope you enjoy!



Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 15.57.40@emmdwatkins



2 thoughts on “Background and Introduction

  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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