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Anderson, G., Victorian clerks, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1976.
Ballinger, A., Dead woman walking: executed women in England and Wales 1900-1955, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2000.
Chapman, C., The poor man’s court of justice: twenty-five years as a metropolitan magistrate, London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1925.
Cressey, D., Other people’s money: a study in the social psychology of embezzlement, Belmont, Wadsworth, 1971.
Croall, H., Sentencing the business offender, The Howard Journal, 1991, 30, 4, pp. 280-292.
Croall, H., White collar crime, Buckingham, Open University Press, 1992.
Croall, H., White-collar crime: an overview and discussion, in Davies, P., Francis, P., Jupp, V., Invisible crimes: their victims and their regulation, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1999, pp. 29-53.
Davies, M., Croall, H., Tyrer, J., Criminal justice, London, Longman, 1998.
Davis, J., Prosecutions and their context: the use of the criminal law in later nineteenth-century London, in Hay, D., Snyder, F., (Eds). Policing and Prosecution in Britain 1750-1950, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. 397-426.
Dickens, C., Convict capitalists, All the year round, 1860, 3, 59, pp. 201-204.
Godfrey, B.S., Locker, J.P., The nineteenth-century decline of custom and its impact on theories of workplace theft and white-collar crime, Northern history, 2001, 38, 2, pp. 261-273.
Gray, A., Crime on the line, Penryn, Atlantic, 2000.
Green, G.S., White-collar crime and the study of embezzlement, Annals of the American academy of political and social science, 1993, 525, pp. 95-106.
Grinling, C.H., The history of the great northern railway company 1845-1895, London, Methuen, 1898.
Hall, J., Theft, law and society, Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill, 1952.
Heidensohn, F., Gender and crime, in Maguire, M., Morgan, R., Reiner, R., The Oxford handbook of criminology, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 491-530.
Henry, S., The hidden economy, London, Martin Robertson, 1978.
Heron, D.C., Joint-stock frauds, Transactions of the national association for the promotion of social science, 1861, pp. 185-191.
Horler, S., Black souls, London, Jarrolds, 1931.
Hudson, K., Working to rule: a study of industrial discipline, Bath, Adams & Dart, 1970.
Ireland, R.W., An increasing mass of heathens in the bosom of a christian land’: the railway and crime in the nineteenth century», Continuity and Change, 1997, 12, 1, pp. 55-78.
Joby, R.S., The railwaymen, Newton Abbot, David & Charles, 1984.
Kindleberger, C.P., Manias, panics, and crashes: a history of financial crises, London, Macmillan, 1981.
Kingsford, P.W., Victorian railwaymen: the emergence and growth of railway labour 1830-1870, London, Frank Cass, 1970.
Laing, M.M., Finance, failures and frauds, Temple Bar, 1866, 17, pp. 381-395.
Letsom Elliot, H., What are the principal causes of crime, considered from a social point of view?, Transactions of the national association for the promotion of social science, 1868, pp. 324-337.
Levi, M., Fraudulent justice? Sentencing the business criminal, in Carlen, P., Cook, D., (Eds). Paying for crime, Milton Keynes, Open University Press, 1989, pp. 86-108.
Locker, J.P., This most pernicious species of crime’: embezzlement in its public and private dimensions, c.1850-1930, unpub. PhD thesis, Keele University, 2004.
Martin, J.P., Offenders as employers, London, Macmillan, 1962.
Morier Evans, D., Facts, failures and frauds: revelations financial, mercantile, criminal, London, Groombridge & Sons, 1859.
Nelken, D., White-collar crime, in Maguire, M., Morgan, R., Reiner, R., (Eds). The Oxford handbook of criminology, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 844-877.
Perkin, H., The age of the railway, Newton Abbot, David & Charles, 1971.
Railway clerk’s association, The life of the railway clerk, London, Railway clerk’s association, 1911.
Robb, G., White-collar crime in modern England: financial fraud and business morality, 1845-1929, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Robbins, M., Points and signals, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1967.
Shapiro, S., Collaring the crime, not the criminal: reconsidering the concept of white-collar crime», American sociological review, 1990, 55, 3, pp. 346-365.
Sindall, R., Middle-class crime in nineteenth-century England, Criminal justice history, 1983, 4, pp. 23-40.
Stutfield, H. The higher rascality, The national review, 1898, 31, pp. 75-86.
Sutherland, E., White collar crime, New York, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1961.
Taylor, D., Crime, policing and punishment in England, 1750-1914, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1998.
Van Oss, S.F., The limited company craze, The nineteenth century, 1898, 43, pp. 731-744.
Wiener, M. Reconstructing the Criminal: Culture, Law, and Policy in England, 1830-1914, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Whitbread, J.R., The railway policeman, London, Harrap, 1961.
For example, Jennifer Davis has concluded that nineteenth-century employers never considered the law as the primary mechanism of justice in dealing with criminal acts perpetrated in the workplace. As such, «prosecuted law breaking represented only a tiny proportion of similar behaviour, which for various reasons, never reached the courts» Davis (1989, p. 400). Similarly, in his discussion of the birth and proliferation of modern «white-collar crime» during the Victorian and Edwardian period, George Robb has emphasised the «hidden nature» of such offending behaviour and the inadequacies of the official picture of fraud and embezzlement Robb (1992, p. 8). See also Taylor (1998, pp. 44-45); Kindleberger (1981, p. 78). Likewise, in specific reference to the pursuance of embezzlement within the modern business environment, socio-legal scholar Jerome Hall has argued, that «very few known embezzlers are prosecuted», since employers are extremely reluctant to do so, preferring instead to deal privately with such matters. Indeed, for Hall, a key feature of embezzlement remains its overwhelmingly hidden nature Hall (1952, p. 305). From within the field of criminology see, Sutherland (1961); Croall (1992); Croall (1999); Nelken (2002); Davis, Croall, Tyrer (1998, pp. 57-59, p. 71); Levi (1989, p. 107).
Hall (1952, p. 305).
Partly (if not largely) this failure to fully engage with this subject area is a consequence of the general historical neglect of business and white-collar crime. Despite a small amount of recent exploration into the subjects of «respectable», «business» and «white-collar crime», research of this area remains sparse. Criminologists, to their cost, have shown little interest in varieties of workplace and «white-collar crime» before 1940, while historians have barely scratched the surface of this key area. Indeed, notwithstanding its centrality to the emergence and proliferation of business crime during the Victorian era, embezzlement has received little more than passing comment.
This article utilises the records of a number of the larger companies, most prominently the Great Western Railway Company, and to a lesser extent the North Eastern and London & North Western Railways, both for practical and ideological reasons. The records of such companies are more extensive and survive in larger numbers than those of other smaller companies. Indeed, the records of the GWR represent the most significant and complete source of railway records available. Furthermore, the often held association between company expansion (through the joint-stock company) and the widespread development of «white-collar crime», suggests that the larger railway companies were those most likely to keenly and widely feel the effects of this problem. See Perkin (1971); Robb (1992); Locker (2004). For general Victorian contemporary debate on this issue see also Dickens (1860); Heron (1861); Laing (1866); Letsom Elliot (1868); Stutfield (1898); Van Oss (1898).
This is, of course, a complex area to negotiate; see, Croall (1991, p. 281); Davis (1989, p. 400).
Hall (1952, ch.7). Hall’s work remains the most detailed theoretical insight into the predominance of private justice against the embezzler and such factors have continued to be viewed as key signifiers in explaining the reactions of private industry to the «respectable» offender. Thus, scholarly understandings of the complex underpinnings of prosecutorial trends remain closely aligned with Hall’s work. For instance, see Anderson (1976, pp. 34-41); Green (1993, p. 101); Henry (1978, ch.7).
See also, Robb (1992, p. 133).
Hall (1952, p. 311, p. 318).
Such powers were considerably bolstered throughout the nineteenth century through the extension and consolidation of the legal offence. See, Godfrey, Locker (2001); Locker (2004, ch.3).
This was particularly the case after 1868 when embezzlement was incorporated within the range of summarily triable crimes, encouraging greater levels of prosecution. See Locker (2004, ch.3); Wiener (1994, p. 11; pp. 259-60).
The number of persons involved in the daily running of the United Kingdom railway network increased considerably across the second half of the nineteenth century from 47,000 in 1847, to 127,000 in 1860, and 274,000 by 1873 Hudson (1970, p. 12); also Kingsford (1970, p. xii).
For instance, Ireland (1997) notes that embezzlement entered Carmarthenshire’s felons register most commonly in connection with the railway industry.
Great Western Railway, Director’s Minutes (GWR, DM) extract, 28th March 1924, min. no.6; GWR, DM circular no.2920, General Manager’s Office, Paddington Station, 30th June 1924, London Public Records Office (hereafter PRO) Rail 258/261.
The staff records of the railway industry are peppered with examples of prosecution against financially «irregular», dishonest and embezzling staff. Typical examples include, Mr Pybus, North Eastern Railway (NER) stationmaster, prosecuted for embezzling £30, North Eastern Railway, Traffic Committee Minutes, (NER, TCM), 16th September 1853, min. no.407, PRO Rail 527/61; Mr Robinson & Mr Lane, NER clerks, similarly prosecuted, NER, TCM 13th April 1854, min. no.1007, PRO Rail 527/61 & NER, TCM, 15th September 1854, min. no.1441, PRO Rail 527/61; George Siddle, goods clerk, convicted of the embezzlement of £59 NER, TCM, 30th December 1874, min. no.10440, PRO Rail 527/67; Charles Heath, chief booking clerk, prosecuted for embezzling over £60, Great Western Railway, Travelling Auditor’s Reports (GWR, TAR), 4th February 1882, AC74/2; 17th February 1882, AC74/90, PRO Rail 258/261; Walter Evans, prosecuted in 1929 for «cash irregularities», GWR Staff Register, 2 volumes, 1900-1958, Chester Records Office, NPR 2/22. See also the annual reports of the Chief Constable of the GWR, which record that during the years 1925-6 & 1928-30 the company prosecuted more than fifty members of its staff for embezzlement, GWR, PRO Rail 258/347.
It is not possible to accurately quantify the extent to which private justice was utilised against the embezzler, not least owing to the alternative (non-legal) discourses which persisted within the private arena and which made specific offence types impossible to disentangle. Nevertheless, the records of the railway industry demonstrate, very clearly, significant numbers of offences of a financial nature, involving sums of missing money and involving trusted servants that remained within the private arena. For examples, see GWR, DM, at PRO Rail 250. Alternatively see the similar NER, TCM, at PRO Rail 527. For further anecdotal evidence see also, Chapman (1925, p. 56).
Hall (1952, pp. 304-319).
Railway Policeman Journal, 1, 2, January 1949, p. 7.
Shapiro (1990, pp. 353-355).
GWR, DM, 22nd August 1850, p. 124, PRO Rail 250/4.
GWR, DM, 11th September 1851, p. 154, PRO Rail 250/5.
NER, TCM, 10th June 1853, min nos.90 and 91, PRO Rail 527/61.
NER, TCM, vol.1, 1853-1855, min nos. 229 and 402, PRO Rail 527/61.
The Times, 29th March 1865, p. 11.
GWR, DM, 10th December 1857, p. 142, PRO Rail 250/12. For similar examples, see the case of Mr Tarplet, GWR, DM, 18th September 1856, pp. 143-4, PRO Rail 250/10; Mr Card, GWR, DM, 15th October 1857, p. 46, PRO Rail 250/12; Mr Hoffman, GWR, DM, 3rd July 1851, p. 80, PRO Rail 250/5; Mr Neal, GWR, DM, 19th June 1851, pp. 67-8, PRO Rail 250/5; see also Gray (2000, p. 158) for similar evidence relating to the early twentieth century.
GWR, DM, 19th August 1852, PRO Rail 250/6; for similar see the case of Mr Winterbottom, GWR, DM, 31st July 1851, p. 119, PRO Rail 250/5.
Railway Clerk’s Association (1911, pp. 5-6).
Joby (1984, p. 20).
GWR, DM, 18th December 1851, p. 288, PRO Rail 250/5.
Letter from Charles White to the GWR board of directors, 16th September 1892, PRO Rail 258/261.
Letter from Charles White to the GWR board of directors, 16th September 1892, PRO Rail 258/261.
GWR letter from Hugh Owen to G. Mills, 5th October 1892, PRO Rail 258/261.
NER, TCM, 17th July 1857, min. no.3426, PRO Rail 527/62.
GWR, DM, 31st May 1855 p. 352; 14th June 1855, p. 359, PRO Rail 250/8; see also GWR, DM, 6th December 1855, p. 103; 13th December 1855, p. 111, PRO Rail 250/9.
GWR, DM, 28th August 1856, p. 107, PRO Rail 250/10.
NER, TCM, 23rd May 1856, min. no.2839, PRO Rail 527/62. Emphasis added.
NER, TCM, min no.407, 16th September 1853, PRO Rail 527/61.
GWR Secretary’s Special Report: Defalcations at Bath and Bristol by Booking Clerks, 16th March 1871, PRO Rail 267/126.
GWR Secretary’s Special Report, Defalcations at Bath and Bristol by Booking Clerks, 16th March 1871, PRO Rail 267/126.
GWR, DM, 26th July 1855, pp. 404-5, PRO Rail 250/8.
GWR, DM, 2nd August 1855, p. 412, PRO Rail 250/8.
NER, TCM, min no.1007, 13th April 1854, PRO Rail 527/61.
GWR Letter from A.L. Jenkins to F.G. Saunders, referring to the embezzlement of William Goddard Owen, 2nd April 1878, PRO Rail 258/261.
GWR Letter from W.D. Williams to G.K. Mills, Birmingham, regarding the embezzlement of David Owen, 16th March 1896, PRO Rail 258/261. Following Owen’s trial it was discovered that his «defalcations» were really in excess of £100.
See the case of Mr Prowse, who absconded with £177.15s.11d and was traced to New York, GWR Letter for H. Lambert, 23rd April 1881, PRO Rail 258/261; alternatively Isaac Taylor, NER, TCM, 14th October & 11th November 1853, min. no.506, 594; Mr Lane, NER, TCM, min no.1441, 15th September 1854, PRO Rail527/61. See also the infamous case of Leopold Redpath. Whitbread (1961, p. 231).
Robb (1992, p. 8); Sindall (1983); Martin (1962, pp. 87-89); Davis (1989, p. 408); Hall (1952).
For a detailed account of Redpath’s case see Grinling (1898, ch.11); Morier Evans (1859, ch.9); Horler (1931); Robbins (1967, pp. 139-143). See also Great Northern Railway, Reports of the Committee of Investigation into the Redpath Frauds, 1846-1859, PRO Rail 236/424.
GWR Annual Reports of the Chief Constable, 1925-26, 1928-30, PRO Rail 258/347.
While the minutiae of the financial guarantee varied between companies, sureties were mandatory amongst those whose position involved handling company money. For instance, in confirming its policy of financial guarantees in 1893, the directors of the GWR stated that «salaried officers and clerks holding specially responsible positions» were to provide sureties of between £500-£3,000; officers in receipt of a salary of £500 or upwards were to give guarantees up to the sum of £1,000; those earning between £300-£500 per annum were to be guaranteed for £500; and all officers earning less than £300 were required to provide the same amount in guarantee; GWR General regulations, rule no.48, 8th June 1893, p. 104, PRO Rail 250/8. See also Kingsford (1970, pp. 33-34).
GWR, Letter from James Saunders, Special Police Department, Paddington to J.D. Higgins, Secretary, 15th October 1890 regarding «Regina v Reilly», PRO Rail 258/261.
GWR «Prevention of Fraud» circular, 15th February 1848, PRO Rail 1014/3
For example, NER, TCM, 11th November 1853, min. no.609, «Expenses allowed to company servants when employed as witnesses»; NER General Orders and Instructions from various Head Offices 1884-1903, general order no.10, 1884, which stated that servants attending court as witnesses in cases of interest to the company would be entitled to «reasonable» out-of-pocket expenses, PRO Rail 527/966; see also Midland Railway, DM, 1st August 1866, min. no.7086, PRO Rail 491/20.
Locker (2004, ch.4).
The concept of «double deviancy» is most familiar within criminological discourses relating to the subject of female criminality. See for instance, Heidensohn (2002, pp. 504-506); also Ballinger (2000, p. 203). However, the concept is a useful tool through which to interpret employer attitudes towards the issue of trust breach and embezzlement.
GWR, DM, 29th June 1854, p. 406, PRO Rail 250/7.
See for example, Letter from Charles White to the GWR board of directors, 16th September 1892, PRO Rail 258/261.
NER, TCM, 7th July 1854, min. no.1252, PRO Rail 527/61.
The committee minutes of various companies are peppered with examples. See for instance, the board minutes of the GWR directors at PRO Rail 250; alternatively, for specific reference to clerical staff, GWR, Registers of Clerks, at PRO Rail 264 provide many examples. The minutes of other companies are equally fruitful, for instance, the TCM of the NER found at PRO Rail 527.
Evidence suggests that dismissal was used frequently. For example, Kingsford notes that during 1858-60 the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway dismissed approximately 5 per cent of its workforce per year. Kingsford (1970, p. 21). Alternatively the records of the GWR illustrate that between 1912-1930 while the company prosecuted 1961 servants (for all offences, unspecified), it dismissed a further 1198 servants without prosecution. See Annual Reports of the GWR Chief Constable, 1923-30, PRO Rail 258/347. The frequency with which confidential servants were called before superiors to explain financial «irregularities», and the high levels of dismissal in such cases, suggests a considerable amount of suspicion of fraudulence and embezzlement, since where directors believed an «irregularity» to be genuine and honest, their main response was to retain the clerk.
LNWR Meeting of the Special Committee, min. no.17.307, PRO Rail 410/62.
See for example, the case of Mr Bond, GWR, DM, 19th April 1855, p. 303, PRO Rail 250/8.
Anderson (1976, p. 36).
Letter from Frederick Dadd to Viscount Churchill (GWR director), 3rd December 1914, PRO Rail 258/261.
GWR Letter from H. Brown to W.H. Stainer, Swindon, 30th September 1907, PRO Rail 258/261.
GWR Letter from H. Brown to W.H Stainer, Swindon, 30th September 1907, PRO Rail 258/261.
For evidence of high staff turnovers see for example, GWR, Registers of Clerks, PRO Rail 264; also Kingsford, Victorian, p. 21.
GWR Letter from S. Boxall (Chief Assistant to Hugh Owen), Cashier’s Office, Swansea Station, to F.G. Saunders (Director), 9th December 1879; see also GWR Report of Hugh Owen to the board of directors with regard to the defalcations of the later Mr Bond, late cashier, Swansea, 10th December 1879, PRO Rail 258/261.
GWR Letter from Mr Gwyn to Mr Owen, 31st December 1879; also GWR Letter from Mr Gwyn to the board of directors, 1st January 1880, PRO Rail 258/261. See also, Letter from Charles White to the GWR board of directors, 16th September 1892, PRO Rail 258/261.
Letter from Charles White to the GWR board of directors, 16th September 1892, PRO Rail 258/261. See also the case of Frederick Dadd, Letter from Frederick Dadd to Viscount Churchill (director of the GWR), 3rd December 1914, PRO Rail 258/261. For further discussion of the wider impact of dismissal upon families see also the case of Herbert Jones, GWR letter from Mr Jones to Mr Roberts respecting the defalcation of his son, Herbert, Newport, 28th June 1878, PRO Rail 258/261; for similar see also GWR, DM, 29th June 1854, p. 406, PRO Rail 250/7.
GWR Letter from Mr Howell to Mr Jenkins, 9th November 1881, PRO Rail 258/261.
GWR Letter from Mr Howell to Mr Jenkins, 28th November 1881, PRO Rail 258/261; GWR Letter from Mr Howell to Mr W. Dean, Swindon, 13th December 1881, PRO Rail 258/261.
GWR letter from H. Brown to W.H Stainer, Swindon, 30th September 1907, PRO Rail 258/261.
GWR letter from H. Owen to F.G. Saunders, 27th March 1886, PRO Rail 258/261.
Extract from the minutes of GWR, DM, Paddington Station, 31st March 1886, min. no.2, PRO Rail 258/261.
GWR, DM, 7th August 1856, p. 72, PRO Rail 250/10.
GWR, DM, 7th March 1895, min. no.10, p. 151, PRO Rail 250/42.
Cressey (1971, p. 19).Haut de page