When you read through the charges you quickly see that many times the children stole clothing or food. Sometimes they stole small items that could easily be sold. I have no doubt the money obtained went towards food or clothing.
The photo on the left is of Ellen Woodman. At the young age of 11, Ellen was ordered to do 7 days hard labour after being convicted of stealing iron when caught with Mary Catherine Docherty, Rosanna Watson and Mary Hinnigan.
It's sad to see these young faces as you get the feeling that most were victims of poverty and not hard-core criminals. Sometimes in our quest to find an exciting blacksheep ancestor we forget about the human side of things.
The Archives also has a small sample of photos of women called Criminal faces of North Shields - the women. These images are a selection from an album of photographs of prisoners brought before the North Shields Police Court between 1902 and 1916
All photos are copyright to Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and are used on Olive Tree Genealogy blog in accordance with their copyright information.