A rare collection of pictures and handwritten notes from convicted persons, describing their physical appearances, criminal records and aliases, belonging to Inspector Robert Mather of the Manchester Police has been put for sale in London. The collection will be available for auction on 27 March.
The 57-page scrapbook contains details of 65 convicts and old-time crooks and will be auctioned by Bonhams. The details were reportedly collected between 1909 and 1912 and include some notorious names like "Safebreaker" Thomas Frieth, Michel Riley aka James Dolan and a "half-caste" criminal from Martinique Cuba called Jose Dias, aka Joseph Dejouru.
The offences range from petty pick pocketing to burglary and a "dressing case." Jose Dias was convicted for stealing a golden watch and dressing case and given a total of ten months in prison.
"Safebreaker" Thomas Frieth, on the other hand, received a total of seven years for cases of housebreaking and shop breaking. Frieth reportedly used the alias Thomas Wilson and was described as being 39 years old and 5' 5.5" tall with dark brown hair and grey eyes.
The Telegraph also reported on records of the Learson brothers - Samuel and Ernest. Incidentally, Ernest is seen grinning widely in his mug-shot and was described as being 47 years old, 5' 2.5" high with a light brown moustache and a scar between his eyebrows. He received six months for shop breaking.
The book is expected to fetch around £1,000.
"This looks like something the officer compiled for his own use. Although some of the photographs are clearly official police pictures, the rest does not look official. It might have been for his own amusement, but he might also have carried it around with him in order to spot criminals," the Daily Mail quoted manuscripts expert Simon Roberts, from the auction house, as stating.
Get a glimpse of the images from the scrapbook collected by Inspector Mather below: