Monday, 13 April 2015

An A - Z of Victorian Crime and Culture - D is for...

D is for - Dilemmas -  1850 Leicester was not a good place to be if you were poor. The choices were to work for a miserly wage, probably in a menial job where early death was likely; life in the workhouse, where you would be broken for nothing other than a bed and poor food; a life of crime, where you took the risk of being caught, with death, transportation or hard labour as likely outcomes. Which would you favour?

D is for - Do Down - or to give someone a serious beating. Many of the pubs around the borough, especially within the Irish Quarter around Abbey Street and along Belgrave Gate were full of 'Bruisers' - boxers and prize fighters who would sort out problems with their fists and boots. A hard area to play and a hard area to police. Early constables were a hardy breed if they were to survive.

D is for - Duffer - a seller of stolen or 'hot' goods - often selling covertly along the streets and alleyways, eating a living.

D is for - Derbies - the slang name for the D ring handcuffs that early coppers would use to shackle their prisoners.

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