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Victorian rogues on display in city's bar; Jail turned pub puts its history on show.

Byline: Rachel Wearmouth

CRIMINALS who plagued the streets of Newcastle in Victorian times are part of a rogue's gallery.

These were just some of the offenders kept at the Newcastle Gaol and House of Correction before they were sentenced to hard labour for their crimes.

Today, like so many historical buildings across the North East, the building at Newcastle's Carliol Square has been transformed into a watering hole.

Staff at what is now The Ware Rooms have been delving into the history of the pub's building to discover the characters once housed there.

The faces of the city's thieves, robbers and petty criminals have been pulled together from archives by the pub's reservations team leader Graham Thompson.

The 29-year-old, from Gosforth, Newcastle, began research after learning about Henry Cunningham ... Newcastle's answer to Charles Dickens' famous Victorian villain Bill Sykes.

Cunningham is thought to have stored his ill-gotten gains in "ware rooms" in the area, a tale which led to the naming of the bar. Graham explained: "At the time these people were sentenced, poverty was rife in Newcastle, but particularly in this area, not too far from the Quayside.

"There were a lot of reprobates and unruly behaviour."

Graham carried out his research by speaking to local authors and also using archives titled Particulars of Prisoners in Newcastle Gaol, compiled in 1873.

Among the criminals detained in the former jail was 16-year-old James Donneley. He was a labourer from Shotley Bridge, County Durham, who was sentenced to three months in prison for stealing three shirts.

He was sentenced summarily and, upon his arrest, his complexion was described as "sallow".

Another was Patrick O'Neil, a 19-year-old "shoeblack" was given 18 months' of hard labour after he was convicted of robbery.

Mary Catherine Docherty - a servant who was just 14 - stole an iron and was given seven days.

Joshua Hobson, 19, born in Newcastle, was a pickpocket who received six months of hard labour.

Edward Sherlin, a bearded 32-year-old labourer from Ireland, was also convicted of theft, and was sentenced to six months. Shoemaker Frank Hair, 20, another thief, stole clothes and was given 14 days for the crime, while Thomas Tweedy, a 20-year-old labourer from Newcastle stole money and was sent down for six months.

The youngest from the line-up, Clement Coyle, just 13, was an errand boy from Aldershot.

He was convicted of stealing clothes and given 14 days, to be followed by five years at Market Weighton Reformatory School.

The Victorian Gallery of Rogues is unveiled as the bar decides to sponsor the musical Oliver! when it comes to Tyneside. The hugely popular show will be at Newcastle's Theatre Royal from Wednesday, September 12 to Saturday, November 3. For more information, or to book tickets, visit the website at www.theatreroyal.co.uk/whats-on/oliver

CAPTION(S):

NE'ER DO WELLS From left, an 18-year-old housebreaker, a 26-year-old who stole leather, and a 56-year-old and 13-year-old who stole clothes MUGSHOTS Graham Thompson, reservations team leader at The Ware Rooms, with the bar's rogues' gallery
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2012
Words:504
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