Bedstone Court

Historians visit London to investigate crime and punishment in Victorian England

Year 10 and 11 history students enjoyed a tour of London, focusing on crime and punishment in the Victorian era.

The first stop of the day was the Houses of Parliament where the students were treated to a fascinating guided tour, even entering the public gallery of the Commons. It was a real treat to see Parliament in action. Following this they participated in a workshop on voting and had the opportunity to question two aides of Bedstone’s local MP, Phillip Dunne. It was fantastic to find out that one of the aides was an old Bedstonian! Students asked questions about climate change, agriculture and Brexit.

The National Archives brought a fantastic element to the trip. Students looked at documents from the case study they have been learning about, the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888. George B was lucky enough to handle the actual census records of 1881, albeit very carefully. It was a brilliant opportunity to see the primary sources of this infamous crime. The last artefact the students were able to view was the famous ‘Dear Boss’ letter written by Jack the Ripper (or maybe not as we discovered).

In the evening the students took part in a walking tour of Whitechapel, discovering what life was like in the East End of London and mapping where the murders of 1888 took place. This made students really consider the context of the time and the social economic conditions of Victorian London.

Students at the Commons