Coming face-to-face with the crooks of Edinburgh’s past

Bridget Duffy, 34, of Edinburgh, appears among the mugshots on show. She was accused of theft. PIC: Edinburgh City Archives.
Bridget Duffy, 34, of Edinburgh, appears among the mugshots on show. She was accused of theft. PIC: Edinburgh City Archives.
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The public will come face-to-face with the thieves, confidence tricksters and pickpockets of Edinburgh’s past at a new exhibition.

Rogues Gallery: Faces of Crime 1870-1917, delves into police and court records held by Edinburgh City Archives and National Records of Scotland to create a picture of crime and punishment in Scotland during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Thomas Queen was taken into custody in Edinburgh in 1910. PIC: Edinburgh City Archives.

Thomas Queen was taken into custody in Edinburgh in 1910. PIC: Edinburgh City Archives.

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Unseen police mug shot albums and trial transcripts will reveal fascinating personal details about criminals and their victims, said Jocelyn Grant, outreach archivist at National Records of Scotland.

The wider society that produced the offenders will also be explored as well as the development of policing and detection records in Scotland.

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Horace William Chapman was arrested for offences of stealing and false pretences in Edinburgh in 1915. PIC: Edinburgh City Archives.

Horace William Chapman was arrested for offences of stealing and false pretences in Edinburgh in 1915. PIC: Edinburgh City Archives.

Case papers from the trial of infamous poisoner Eugène Chantrelle, who was reportedly the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s character Dr Jekyll, will go on show for the first time at Rogues Gallery.

Chantrelle was tried for the murder of his wife, Elizabeth, in 1878.

A selection of the trial records will be exhibited, including a transcript of one Elizabeth’s letters, the volume of precognitions, Chantrelle’s declaration and detailed plans of their flat on Edinburgh’s George Street, Edinburgh.

Rogues Gallery will open at Matheson Dome, General Register House, Edinburgh from 25 October and run until December 1.

Rogues Gallery will open later this month in Edinburgh. PIC: Contributed.

Rogues Gallery will open later this month in Edinburgh. PIC: Contributed.

A series of talks will also support the free show.