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 deep 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.
Unseen police mugshot albums and transcripts from criminal trials will reveal fascinating personal details about criminals and their victims.
The wider society that produced the offenders will also be explored,
Jocelyn Grant, outreach achivist at the National Records of Scotland is looking forward to sharing the exhibition with the public.
She said: “The free exhibition in partnership with Edinburgh City Archives reveals fascinating personal details about criminals, their victims and the society that produced them.
“Rogues Gallery demonstrates how much we can learn about people of the past from criminal records and provides an insight into the development of policing and detection methods in Scotland.
“The exhibition also includes a snapshot of the development of photography, as police and their forensic assistants began to realise its potential to record crime scenes and other physical evidence included the footprints that helped to convict serial housebreaker John Aitken Swanston in 1909.”
On display for the first time will be case papers from the trial of infamous poisoner, Eugène Chantrelle. The criminal is thought to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s character, Dr Jekyll, and he was put on trial for the murder of his wife, Elizabeth, in 1878.
A selection of the trial records will be exhibited, including a transcript of one of Elizabeth’s letters and plans of their flat.
Rogues Gallery will open at Matheson Dome, General Register House, from October 25 until December 1.