Found within the Broadsides collection are over 100 posters, documenting thefts, murders and burglaries that span 1792 – 1859. The posters are a great example of use of the long s (ſ) – which fell out of use in Britain in the early 19th century. It looks extremely similar to a lowercase f and can be found at the beginning and in the middle of words, whilst the short s (which is used today) was only used at the end of words in the posters.

GB127.BR FF 942.72 S176

29 September, 1792.


By a perfon who call’d herfelf Mary Elizabeth, fervant to Mr. Thomas Berry, in Manchefter, who hath abfconded from her fervice, and is fuppofed to have taken with her the following articles, viz. eight filk handkerchiefs, a new pair of ftuff fhoes, 5 filk ribands, a grey frize cloak, with one arm hole fewed up, one muflin apron, half a guinea in gold, one filver fpoon, a childs frock, &c.  She is of a middle ftature, dark hair, much pitted with the fmall pox, a remarkable thick lip, and limps in her walk; faid fhe came laft from Liverpool; has only been a few days in her fervice.

Had on in particular , a green ftuff petticoat lin’d with filk ; whoever will apprehend, or give information to Mr. Thomas Berry, or Mr. Unite the deputy conftable of Manchester, will be well rewarded.

GB127.BR FF 942.72 S176

11 November 1792


Last Night,

From the

Houfe of correction at Prefton

The following prifoners,

James-Cook Campbell,

A creole, born in Jamaica, 5 feet 10, by Trade a Coach-Maker, aged 30 years, had on his leg a shackle.

Thomas-Perry Roberts

Born in Wales, aged 19 years, 5 feet 5, had on iron links.

James Gregory,

A hatter from Kirkham, born in the Fylde, 5 feet 7, had on a shackle, they were dreft in the Prifon Uniform, viz. white Flannel Jackets, Waiftcoats and breeches, made like Troufers.

Whoever fecures them in any of his majefty’s Gaols, will receive Five Guineas each , from Edwd. Cowburne , Keeper.

You can view a guide to Manchester’s court and prison records, locate historic prisons on Google Maps and view a selection of the Broadsides collection on Flickr.