Women form a small component of today’s criminals, and their crimes are often linked to poverty. It seems things don’ change.The world was still small, and it seems that once you fell on hard times it was difficult – or impossible – to recover. This is from the Caledonian Mercury of December 1774:
Anne Mackenzie an old offender, was apprehended by the city guard, very early in the morning, with upwards of 15 bottles concealed in her apron, and other places. On her examination before the Magistrates she refused to account how she came by them; but, in virtue of her enactment to leave the city, she was sent to the house of correction for 6 months; and along with her, a woman of the name of Wilson, for stealing clothes form a green at Broughton and
This day, Margaret Kirkwood, a Glasgow woman, who was, in the year 1772, scourged through the city by sentence of the sheriff, for stealing goods from a shop in the Luckenbooths, was ordered to the house of correction for 12 months, for stealing stockings from a hosiers shop in this city, in which she was detected. Two other Glasgow women, named Leith and Hyndman, were also confined to the House of correction for stealing a pair of shoes, some cheese and sugar, from a grocer in the Luckenbooths.
I am impressed with the 15 bottles concealed. They must have been heavy. Mind-boggling!