Liverpool: Gangs, Vice and Packet Rats
Now world famous for football and music, in the nineteenth century Liverpool had a very different reputation. One of the greatest sports in the world, and Europe's western gateway to the Atlantic, Liverpool's emerging wealth and prosperity brought with it a huge influx of crime to the streets, and a new breed of men whose job it was to try to enforce law and order on the increasingly unruly city streets.
Much of Liverpool's crime was based around the docks and the sea. Crimps and runners waited to lure the homecoming seamen to dens of immorality where over 2,000 known prostitutes and rot-gut spirits would separate them from their money and their liberty. Tough, hardcore sailors - known as Packet Rats - caused mayhem at sea while in the stinking alleys around Scotland Road the High Rip gang wielded vicious power.
Liverpool in the nineteenth century was a place full of stories of assault, robbery and murder as well as poachers, footpads and highwaymen who preyed on the unwary. Against this tide of lawlessness stood men like Constable Casey of the Liverpool police, who disarmed two pistol wielding terrorists, and his police colleagues who not only dealt with the day to day crimes but more unusual crimes such as bombs in the town hall and redcoats rioting in the streets.
Liverpool was, without doubt, a challenging and exciting place to live and work in the nineteenth century as the battle for the streets between the criminals and the lawmen raged on.
Published: 2nd April 2015
Format: Paperback 234x156mm
Extent: 288 pages
Author Malcolm Archibald received the 2005 Dundee Book Prize. A Sink of Atrocity came about from his Masters dissertation in history and includes original and new research about the story of crime in Dundee. Malcolm Archibald lives near Elgin in Northern Scotland.
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