Christchurch Crimes and Scandals 1876-99

ISBN: 9781927145517

Author: Geoffrey Rice    Publisher: Canterbury University Press

The Boxing Day Riot of 1879 when a parade of Orange Lodge members was attacked by a mob of Irish Catholic navvies swinging axe-handles, a slander case involving one of the city's richest merchants, the famous Severed Hand Mystery of 1885 ... Following on from his first volume, Christchurch Crimes 1850-1875: SCandal and Skulduggery in Port and Town, historian Geoffrey Rice presents another fascinating collection of Christchurch crimes and scandals drawn from nineteenth-century newspaper court reports, this time covering the later Victorian period from 1876-1899.
We meet some of the city's most notoirous citizens of the period, such as the photographer Eden George, and the preacher-fraudster Arthur Bently Worthington, who caused the one and only reading of the Riot Act in Christchurch. The Opawa axe murder of 1897 includes a rare photograph of the body.
Magistrates and judges had to deal with a procession of society's law-breakers passing through their courts, from apologetic drunks and brazen prostitutes, shifty forgers and brutal thugs, rapists and arsonists, bigamists and embezzlers to desperate women charged with manslaughter or murder. The defence lawyers were often faced with a difficult task, yet Christchurch in this period had several highly skilled courtroom lawyers who knew how to persuade a jury.
The author's easy-to-read story-telling style and genuine enthusiasm for and knowledge of his subject bring to life another rich, colourful and intriguing chapter from the city's past.

Bind: paperback

Pages: 260

Publication Date: 20-11-2013

Availability Date: 25-11-2013

Tags: October 2013   2013 Xmas List   History   New Zealand

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