The Rich Eats It’s Young!
Child Mugshots of the 1870s

In the 1800s, kids could work full time jobs and they could be thrown in jail or labor camps just like adults. While today only the very worst child criminals are tried in adult court, and even then very rarely, in the 1870s in Newcastle-upon-Tyne kids were routinely sentenced to jail time or hard labor for stealing clothes or food. The Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums have a collection of the Newcastle City Gaol’s mugshots from 1871-1873, and there are a lot of little kids who were doing time! Thankfully these archaic practices had been outlawed by the time I took up petty shoplifting, but then again, maybe a little hard labor would have done me some good…

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catherine_kelly

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Meghan

Meghan

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation webzine and clothing.

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Lani Parker
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Lani Parker

Wow, they just don’t make mugshots like they used to. I am still shocked that kids were treated this harshly just over 100 years. Sure, kids can be assholes like any other grouping of people, but sometimes a person has to do what they have to do.