Friday, 22 March 2013

Frightful Imprecations.

Photographing Prisoners.

On Saturday morning last a ludicrous scene was witnessed in the Preston Police Station. As is known, al persons charged with felony, etc, are compelled to have their photographs taken, so that the police authorities may “mark” them and  identify them in other places if ever they should offend again. Following out this practice, a female convicted of felony was was on Saturday ordered to stand in the Preston Police Station whilst hetr likeness was taken. But to this she evinced a decided repugnance, and threatened to knock the photographer and his appliances down if he attempted to take her portrait. The police insisted, and ashe as pertinaciously  reppelled their efforts, and threw herself upon her back on the  floor. On being raised up she drew her hair over her face, and swore they should not have her photograph. Seeing that persuasion was of no avail, the constables had to use violence, and whilst one clutched her firmly about the body another drew her hair back and held it  tightly behind her head. Though thus secured, she employed another means to defeat their purpose, and this was by making the most ludicrous grimaces and putting out her tongue. She would, she said, rather serve ten years penal servitude than than that they should take her photograph. The photographer, after repeated attempts, which occupied little short of and hour, succeeded in at last securing something like a normal likeness; and the woman, who continued to use frightful imprecations, was conducted to the police cell.

British Journal of Photography, November 2nd, 1877

Images from ledgers of police records dating to the 1870s found in an archive.....somewhere.

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