Female Drunkenness in Mid-Victorian Lancashire

May 19, 2018

This Saturday lecture will be given by Craig Stafford on 19 May

Craig Stafford from the University of Liverpool has written for our most recent volume of ‘Transactions’ about sentencing patterns for female drunkenness in mid-Victorian Lancashire and will talk to us on the topic of ‘Female Drunkenness in Mid-Victorian Lancashire’.

His lecture will be held on Saturday, 19 May 2018, in the top-floor meeting room of Liverpool Central Library and will start at 2 p.m.

Please check the website or facebook for any last-minute changes.

In the nineteenth century, drunkenness became known as the ‘crowning curse’ of society. Lancashire, in particular, developed a reputation, unfairly, for being a county in which drunkenness and violence were rife. The 1870s represented a peak in these concerns, when the political influence of the temperance movement resulted in regular debate and legislative change. The number of arrests for drunkenness rose, both nationally and locally, in the first half of the decade and there was heated discussion amongst contemporary commentators on the large number of men and women being committed to prison for the offence. Victorian gender ideology deplored female drunkenness in particular, as it was deemed to be a particularly ‘unfeminine’ activity. This talk will look at how these concerns played out in Lancashire, examining in particular the boroughs of Salford and Rochdale, two of the county’s most important industrial areas. It will use a variety of sources, such as the Strangeways female prison registers, contemporary newspapers and the census to not only explore the actions of the police and magistracy but also to examine the lives of the women who found themselves imprisoned for drunkenness.