Celebrating 6 years of the podcast. I delve into the world of detectives in England during the 1840s. It’s time to explore the fascinating development of Victorian detective work, and how it was used to solve some of the most notorious crimes of the era, including the Bermondsey Horror.

I begin by looking at the emergence of detectives in England during the early 19th century. Learn how detective work evolved from the work of primitive thief-takers and the Bow Street Runners, and how the creation of the Metropolitan Police in 1829 helped to professionalize the field of criminal investigation. 

Then I’ll show how one of the most sensational crimes of the era: the murder of Daniel Good in 1842, turned into the catalyst for the new kind of policeman – the detective. I’ll show how the case showed a desperate need for detectives as an essential part of the criminal justice system, but also highlights the barbarity of the Victorian public execution. Then I’ll put it all in context, bringing together changes in society & technology, set against the background of crime & then look at what kind of people these early detectives were.

With the detectives in place, I’ll help you explore another gruesome crime that shocked Victorian England: the Bermondsey Horror of 1849. A descent into the slums together together to see detectives working tirelessly to unravel the mystery of the crime, and. We’ll also discuss how the case highlighted the darker side of Victorian society, including poverty, vice, and crime.

Finally I’ll show you the inevitable outcome of the crime; a scaffold and a rope. I’ll help you understand the fear of the victim and criminal to leave you to muse philosophically on crime and the death penalty. 

If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it takes less time than making a coffee. You can also subscribe for free on most major podcast apps. To support the show on Patreon, either CLICK HERE or you can go to Patreon and search for Age of Victoria podcast or my name. Take care and bye for now.


There are a lot of sources for this episode. I used a lot of general background material on the period, and on the British Military that I’d used for the Napoleonic Episodes and Mt Tambora

Specific sources for the Peterloo episode were

2ND Anniversary Special (pt2) – Charles Peace, Master of Disguise

What makes a master criminal? That type of person who goes beyond the normal petty crime or brute violence. Charles Peace was one of the most notorious criminals in the Victorian age, but why? He didn’t kill many people, or steal the crown jewels, or overthrow a government.

He had that special star quality the newspapers loved though. He was a master of disguise, constantly escaped the police, lived a double life and even had a horde of buried treasure. But what the Victorian’s loved MOST was his sensational trial for murder…..

Join me as we learn about the real Charles Peace. He was a brilliant actor. An intelligent, ruthless, ingenious and talented man. He also a killer and a twisted stalker. The papers made him a celebrity criminal, but underneath he became what he was called – “the very devil”

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