For the uninitiated, the Newgate Calendar (also known as the "Malefactor's Bloody Register" - which is a much better name, I think) is the number one most popular book of historical true crime stories ever published (and published and published and published....). The first edition came out in 1760 and covered the most infamous crimes in recent British legal history, from about the late 1670s forward, stories so old that they've become part of our mythology.
- Elizabeth Marsh was treated much less tenderly than we treat 15-year-old murderesses today. But William York, age 10, convicted of the torture-murder of a 5-year-old girl, would receive much harsher treatment now. Or one would hope.
- The Calendar includes some awful stories of family annihilators, like this one from 1807 and this one, from 1694, "a black, unnatural monster."
- Anne Broadric presented such a pitiful spectacle that she was acquitted of the premeditated murder of her lover.
- Amy Hutchinson's story is the best written entry in the Calendar.
- A common theme in the Calendar is the very poor treatment of servants and orphans by cruel mistresses (like this story and this story.)
- The Calendar also includes morality tales from 1744 and 1673 on the dangers of polygamy (like this story and this story.)
- But murder isn't the only crime depicted; there are stories of robbers, cutpurses, and a minister who seduced young girls.
- And on the lighter side, Ann Marrow disguised herself as a man to marry and dupe women of property.