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James Dunn Barr – Victorian young offender

14 year old James Dunn Barr tells how he was sentenced to 9 months in prison in 1889 for housebreaking. Until the mid 19th Century, the only records of child offenders were written accounts of their trials. Then the invention of photography changed everything. By the 1870s every criminal, young and old, had their photograph taken for police records. Many of these still exists, giving us a remarkable insight into the harsh reality of being a young Victorian in Scotland. Two historians guide us through what life would have been like for young James.

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7 minutes

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