The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 and Sexual Assault on Minors

In the summer of 1885 when the Criminal Law Amendment bill languished in the House of Commons after two years of half-hearted debate, Britain was outraged by the exposé of London's sexual underworld. Believing that the current laws did not safeguard young girls from sexual exploitation, the Pall Mall Gazette's editor and investigative reporter, W.T. Stead, published a series of articles which purported to uncover child prostitution and white slavery rings. In the center of his report, Stead recounted how he had "purchased" an eleven year old girl from her mother to prove how easily vice could be obtained. These articles, entitled "The Maiden Tribute" sold over a one and a half million copies and sparked a massive public outcry for more protective legislation. The first installment was published on July 6, 1885; three days later, an uproar from the populace sent vacationing politicians racing back to London to attend sessions in near record numbers, pass laws that raised the age of consent from thirteen to sixteen, and regulate brothels.

Stead and most of Britain credited his "Maiden Tribute" articles with hastening the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act. While this controversy focused upon the vices of child prostitution and white slavery, the new laws and the publicity of Stead's investigation seem to have had a far greater effect upon the reportage and prosecution of sexual assaults upon minors. A survey of The Times' criminal trials and police columns between January 1884 and September 1886 indicates that the reporting of criminal assaults, indecent assaults, and rapes enacted against minors increased dramatically after the publicity of "The Maiden Tribute" and the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act. Where only five sexual offenses against minors were reported between January 1884 and the end of July 1885, The Times lists sixty-five cases between August 1885 and September of 1886. In the space of nine months after the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, twelve times as many cases were reported as in the previous year and a half.

The menace exposed by Stead in "The Maiden Tribute" was not the only aspect of exploitation prevalent in late-Victorian Britain. Only two of the sixty-five cases concerned Stead's dreadful child prostitution--most involved girls molested by neighbors or members of the household. Furthermore, the section of the act that seems to have made the greatest impact applies not to white slavery but to the testimony of young children under oath. Because of this addition, more cases of child sexual abuse and molestation were brought to the legal authorities' attention. Thus the new laws of 1885, in their application, can be seen as less a restriction to sexual activity than a means of prosecuting gross indecency against children.

The 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act(1) was the latest in a twenty-five year series of legislation that raised the age of consent and delineated the penalties for sexual offenses against women and minors.(2) In 1861 Parliament passed the Offenses against the Person Act (24 & 25 Victoria, Cap. 100) confirming the age of consent at twelve, and making carnal knowledge of a girl under age ten a felony and of a girl between the ages of ten and twelve a misdemeanor. Additionally, indecent assault or attempted rape upon a girl under twelve was punished with up to two years imprisonment. While the 1875 amendments to the Offenses Against the Person Act (38 & 39 Victoria, Cap. 94) raised the age of consent to thirteen, both pieces of legislation seemed to place greater penalty and hence value upon the seduction or abduction of women without the permission of their parents or guardians even when the perpetrator intended to marry his quarry. Fearing that their daughters hearts may be stolen for their fortunes, the lawmakers reserved the most stringent punishments for those found guilty of abducting heiresses.(3) These laws were designed to safeguard only the very young or the very wealthy. Girls over the age of thirteen and poor women faced a hostile legal establishment that was more concerned with preserving the accused men's reputations and social standing.(4)

In theory any woman had a right to protection under the law, but in reality the victim's character and status affected the court's consideration of her reliability. Nineteenth century, victims of sexual assault had to demonstrate that they had resisted to the best of their ability and that they had not encouraged their attackers advances. Because of the courts' prejudice against rape victims, few women chose to prosecute. This reluctance was compounded when the victim was a minor. Adolescent girls were particularly vulnerable because unless they had been severely beaten, the judge and jury assumed that they had consented to seduction.(5) Little girls who were victim of sexual assault were presumed to have no knowledge of sex; therefore a sexual assault would have no meaning and, presumably, no traumatic aftereffects.(6) Ironically, children were also suspected of fabricating stories--an assumption that undermined assault cases.(7) Unless there was a strong likelihood of conviction, the English judiciary believed that a public trial would place too great a strain on the child. Even if the child was not too traumatized to testify, common law placed stringent restrictions upon her testimony.

If the victim was under the age of twelve, her ability to understand the nature of an oath was questioned. The court usually deemed her too young to comprehend the gravity of the situation and she was not allowed to present evidence on her own behalf. While this restriction was intended to protect individuals from frivolous cases based on the unreliable evidence of a child that could not be held accountable for perjury, this "reasoning" qualification hampered the pursuit and conviction of child molestation cases. Although girls under thirteen were protected by the law, the cases with the most severe penalties involving girls under ten after 1861 and under twelve after 1875, suffered the greatest limitations the court's acceptance of the victim's testimony. The perpetrator was often acquitted even though the court knew him guilty because of this technicality.(8)

While the laws sometimes hampered the pursuit of justice in child molestation cases, public opinion was clearly in favor of less lenient legislation and harsher punishments for sexual offenders.(9) Vigilance and Purity groups such the Society for the Suppression of Vice and feminists led by Josephine Butler,(10) veteran of the anti-Contagious Diseases campaign, focused on the evils of child prostitution as the chief factor in the sexual exploitation of the young. However, some concerned individuals began to look beyond the streets and into the homes of the poor and disadvantaged; during the 1860s and 1870s child advocacy groups protested parental maltreatment of infants and children through baby farming, refusal to inoculate, and physical abuse.(11)

In the 1880s English philanthropists began to address the limitation of young children's testimony; the newly formed Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (SPCC) was especially interested in resolving this dilemma.(12) Under the leadership of Congregationalist minister Benjamin Waugh and the patronage of Baroness Burdett-Coutts and the Earl of Shaftesbury, the SPCC investigated, reported, and brought to court accusations of child abuse and neglect. Within a three month period in 1884, the SPCC dealt with thirty cases of starvation, eight of which resulted in death, fifty-one cases of desertion, fourteen cases of "inflicting wanton pain," and fifty-one cases "of various kinds, some of which were so terrible they could not be mentioned in public."(13) Several members of Parliament including Samuel Smith and J. A Picton numbered among the SPCC's London associates; they and the national organization decided to make permanent legal changes by taking advantage of the return of the Criminal Law Amendment bill in the late spring of 1885.

The journey of the Criminal Law Amendment bill began in 1881 when the anti-vice campaigner and chamberlain of the city of London, Benjamin Scott, asked Lord Granville to enact legislation to protect young English girls from being transported to the continent for "immoral purposes." In response, the House of Lords established a Select Committee that confirmed an increase in juvenile prostitution and white slave traffic. The committee's report made nine recommendations which became the basis for the Criminal Law Amendment bill, including raising the age of consent from thirteen to sixteen and increasing penalties for criminal assault, soliciting for overseas brothels, and admitting into any premises a minor for the purpose of sexual intercourse. Though the bill passed the House of Lords in 1883, the measure was dropped by the Commons; the same sequence repeated in 1884 during the struggle over Parliamentary reform. The Earl of Dalhousie tempted fate by introducing the bill a third time in April 1885.(14) Despite fears expressed by the Earl of Milltown that the new law would "create a maximum of danger with a minimum of safety" by "making criminals" out of honest men, the bill passed smoothly through the Lords.(15) By May, the bill had once again passed through the Lords with some revisions, notably the lowering of the proposed age of consent to fifteen. Supporters of the bill faced an apathetic and sparsely populated legislature as the Commons prepared for its Whitsuntide bank holiday. Opponents objected to the measure on the grounds that the law already adequately protected the young. Liberals and trade union leaders, led by Charles Hopwood, the representative for Stockport, feared that the bill would threaten personal liberty through its increase of police powers.(16)

Just as Parliament was about to disband for the break on May 22, the Home Secretary, Sir William Harcourt, moved for a second reading. Though the measure was debated until the assembly adjourned, no vote was taken. Fearing that the bill would again be put aside, Benjamin Scott the following day went to W.T. Stead with lurid stories of sexually exploited children. He convinced the journalist to agitate popular support for protective legislation. During the next week, Stead spoke with a former director of criminal investigation at Scotland Yard to get first hand information; he later expanded his interviews to include active and retired brothel keepers, pimps, procurers, prostitutes, rescue workers, and jail chaplains. Yet he wanted a dramatic example of the ease with which vice could be obtained. Stead decided that he would purchase a girl to prove it was possible to do so and then write about the experience.(17)

Meanwhile at Westminster, Parliament was rocked in June by the resignation of Gladstone's government over the budget. The new government, led by Salisbury, intended to dissolve as soon as new registration lists for a general election were completed. Because of its temporary situation, the new administration did not plan to take up any controversial or time consuming legislation for the remainder of the session. However, when the new cabinet met on Monday, July 6, at 10 Downing Street, they faced an unexpected challenge.

Readers of the Pall Mall Gazette had been given "a frank warning"(18) by the editors two days before and on July 6 Stead published the first installments of the "Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon." Taking up six whole pages, Stead attacked vice under such headlines as "Five pounds for a virgin warranted pure" with subheadings that publicized "The Confessions of a London Brothel Keeper." Over the next several days, Stead delineated the entire process of procurement from pick up to seduction and told lurid tales of young girls being sold for continental "pleasure palaces." He also criticized obstructionist members of Parliament and hinted that they might have personal reasons to object to any changes in the law.(19)

London was in an uproar. Fearing riots on a national scale, Home Secretary Harcourt asked Stead to stop publication of the articles; Stead replied he would do so only if he were assured that the bill would be carried without delay. Because Harcourt could not make that guarantee, Stead ordered the Pall Mall Gazette presses to continue until paper ran out.(20) The news agents W.H. Smith & Sons, who held a monopoly of all the newstalls, refused to sell the paper because of its lurid and prurient content. Nonetheless, newsboys and Salvation Army members worked feverishly to distribute copies. Demand for the paper was so great that by the end of the day, black market copies sold for a shilling--twelve times the normal price.(21) Shocking the nation, the "Maiden Tribute," via telegraph, swept the Continent and even America. Stead boasted that his "revelations" were printed in every capital as well as by "the purest journals in the great American republic."(22) Furious members of Parliament demanded that the paper be prosecuted under the obscenity laws and indignant families canceled their subscriptions.(23) Nonetheless, Stead's campaign prompted the co-operation of the government for by Wednesday, Parliament was ready to resume the debate over the Criminal Law Amendment Bill.

While the government deliberated over the articles of the bill, one interest group was preparing its own recommendations for legal change. The Saturday after the first publication of the "Maiden Tribute," the SPCC celebrated its first anniversary at Mansion House. In response to Stead's revelations, Lord Shaftesbury challenged the government to take action against the exploitation of children. The society's executive committee drew up a "Memorial" which urged the government to raise the age of consent to eighteen and to re-examine laws that restricted the testimony of children under twelve. The SPCC urged that in addition to accepting a young child's testimony, the courts should question the child as soon as possible in order to best ascertain the truth.(24) The "Memorial" also requested that any persons having a bone fide interest in a young girl's welfare be granted summary powers to "immediately enter any premises where they have reasonable ground for suspecting that she is detained for unlawful purposes."(25) The society composed the document in hopes of presented it in Parliament through two of its own Liberal members, Liverpool representative Samuel Smith and Leicester's J.A. Picton. Many members of Parliament, however, were infuriated by Stead's tactics in demanding legal change; some began to find ways to obstruct any alterations to the laws.

On July 31, MPs Smith and Picton presented to the Commons a clause to the bill that included the SPCC's recommendation to abolish the oath for child victims of sexual assault.(26) Although a few members of Parliament such as Plymouth representative Edward Clarke and Serjeant Simon agreed that this legislation was necessary and would serve justice,(27) Home Secretary R.A. Cross criticized this proposal because it required a total change in the existing laws and "ran the risk of a miscarriage of justice from the admission of the evidence of children who did not know the nature of an oath."(28) The bill's longtime opponent Charles Hopwood, the Liberal Member for Stockport, warned that "the danger of a child's evidence was that it too readily persuaded judge and jury."(29) He feared that overactive imaginations would impede justice. When a vote was taken to include this clause, the SPCC's proposal lost 123 to 120.(30)

Outraged by this defeat, Stead condemned the vote in the next morning's Pall Mall Gazette, listing the names of all the legislators who had opposed the clause. SPCC leader Waugh, focusing on the fact that the society's amendment had nearly passed, redoubled his efforts to lobby support. At some point Waugh managed to convince former Attorney General Sir Henry James to re-introduce Smith's amendment. James proposed the inclusion of the SPCC's recommendations on August 7 during the last week of deliberations. Though Hopwood continued to object to the clause, Home Secretary Cross supported the measure after consulting with a colleague as to the provisions of Scottish law on the subject.(31) This time there were no divisions when the measure was put to a vote; the SPCC's "oath clause" was included in the final version of the bill.(32)

The Criminal Law Amendment Act as it finally passed on August 14 repealed the sections 49 and 52 of the 1861 Offenses Against the Person Act and the entire 1875 version. The new law raised the age of consent to sixteen(33) and placed severe penalties upon those attempting white slavery. Sexual assaults on girls under the age of thirteen were deemed felonious and assaults on girls between thirteen and sixteen or on imbecile women or girls were termed misdemeanors. The act had sections that outlined the penalties for abducting and detaining in brothels girls under the age of eighteen. It also widened the pool of witnesses who could give testimony in court. While section four allowed children under the age of twelve to testify as advocated by the SPCC, section twenty gave, for the first time, the accused the right to testify on his own behalf.(34)

Stead and his supporters rejoiced at the passage of the act and sponsored a celebratory demonstration in Hyde Park on August 22. As London caroused, the new laws were already being tested in the courts. However, the cases brought before the magistrates in London and the provincial assize hearings had very little to do with the perils described by Stead.

A survey of criminal assault, indecent assault, and rape cases involving minors that were listed in the criminal trials or police sections of The Times between January 1884 and September 1886 reveals an interesting trend. During the eighteen months before the publication of the "Maiden Tribute," only three cases of child molestation were reported in the paper. In the six weeks between Stead's crusade and the actual passage of the act, another two were listed. These numbers are, however, minuscule to the sixty-five cases reported to The Times over the next nine months. Because it is probably safe to assume that the numbers of actual incidents of child molestation were not increasing, other factors must have influenced parents and guardians to bring cases of abuse to the attention of the authorities. Several effects including an increased awareness of child abuse, a belief that the authorities would take an accusation seriously, and a confidence that justice would be served may all have resulted from Stead's articles. Britons, Londoners especially, were clearly outraged by the "Maiden Tribute" series.(35)

For the purposes of this paper, the research will be limited to those cases in which The Times listed a verdict. Of the sixty-five total cases, verdicts are available for forty-five. Within this survey of forty-five, there is at least one example of a violation of almost every section of the 1885 act including procuring, seduction, and an attack upon an imbecile girl.(36) Most cases gave the name, age, and occupation of the accused, his or her acquaintance with the victim, as well as the victims' names, ages, and addresses.(37) While a few involved men of some rank and power, the popular belief of upper-class exploitation of the poor is not borne out in this survey. In almost all of the cases the accused and victim were known to each other because they were relatives or neighbors. A sizable portion of the cases concern men who molested neighborhood girls between the ages of ten and twelve, though in five cases the child was under six.(38)

Some of the accused were habitual predators such as Thomas Gibney who was found guilty on June 11, 1886 of "having carnal knowledge with a little girl." Articles from May 12 and 24 during his trial reveal that Gibney had sexually assaulted over twenty girls. Detective-Inspector Peel who investigated the case remarked that "further charges of criminal assault would have been preferred but for the limitation of age to 13 by the new act ."(39) Of those twenty children, the court utilized the testimony of twelve girls under the age of 13 to convict Gibney on one count. The victims' parents were so outraged with Gibney that when he was first arrested, a group "endeavored to lynch him and nearly succeeded in tearing him from the hands of the police."(40)

While the politicians who framed the Criminal Law Amendment Act were very concerned with protecting the men who might be maliciously accused of sexual assault, the members of Parliament were really only worried about respectable men's reputations being maligned.(41) Perhaps they too believed in the prevalent stereotype of the wealthy hedonist debauching young girls or maybe they thought that only impoverished "dirty old men" whose characters were already tarnished molested children. The survey does not entirely support this assumption. Men who lived in overcrowded slums are certainly represented in the study. While no upper class men were reported for child molestation, the cases indicate a significant spread across the middle and lower socio-economic groups. Thus Hopwood's fear that the working class would be most often charged with sexual assault came true.

Of the twenty-two cases in which the occupations of the men were listed, seven could be described as "professional"(42) five were tradesmen (including one enlisted soldier),(43) and ten were described as laborers.(44) The accused did not give an occupation in twenty-three cases. Of this group, eighteen were found guilty, one was found not guilty, two were acquitted, and two cases were dismissed. Clearly, men who committed sexual assault upon minors were not limited to one social or economic group. The crimes these men were charged with, however, did vary somewhat between socio-economic class.

One study of crime in nineteenth century Kent found that "respectable" men were often accused of lesser charges or had their cases dismissed when the offense was really rape.(45) Within this survey, of the seven "professional" men, only one is accused of criminal assault. Though corn factor Robert Bell Salisbury testified he believed the girl to be over seventeen, he was found guilty of criminally assaulting twelve year old Miriam Cordery on a train. In her statement, the girl remarked "distinctly and intelligibly" that the accused had given her "something peculiar to drink" after which he had overpowered her.(46) Five were tried for indecent assault of which two were found guilty. Surgeon-dentist Alexsis de Negri, police surgeon George Heald, and stockbroker Daniel Kaylor were either found not guilty or the charges were dismissed. In August 1885 French shipmaster Charles Dupont was found guilty of molesting over thirty Liverpool girls. Perhaps because Dupont was a non-resident foreigner, The Times did not hold back in its derision of the prisoner: "The evidence was of a revolting character, the girls being as demoralized as the prisoner."(47) Thomas James Beynon, an assistant master at a boarding school near Cardiff, was found guilty of indecent assault based on the evidence of his thirteen year old accuser. The Times, however, failed to comment on his character.(48)

Depending on the severity of the crime, the accused's social standing could work against him. Fraudulently taking girls under eighteen from the custody of their father was a particularly damning offense especially after Stead's anti-child prostitution crusade. When Oxford auctioneer David Martin was found guilty of abducting fifteen year old Agnes Ogilvy from her father under the pretense of hiring her as his maid, the judge sentenced him to fifteen months hard labor. The Times remarked that there "would be no circumstance of palliation for the prisoner, who was an educated man."(49)

Child prostitution and white slavery, while they were the focus of Stead's "Maiden Tribute" campaign, are almost not represented in this survey. Although two women were accused of procuring young girls, they were not involved in any "white slavery" rings; they were procuring for male relatives. In fact, only Stead's celebrated trial in the fall of 1885 makes any reference to white slavery. Only in the "disorderly house" case of Albert and Selina Gill do any child prostitutes appear for two girls under the age of 14 were known to "resort" at that brothel. While Albert Gill's verdict and sentence are not listed, the court took into consideration the fact that he had previously attempted to make a living at a "respectable" occupation (not given). His wife Selina was found guilty but only sentenced to one day in jail. No other mention is made of the two girls who were obviously under age.(50) The only possible "white slavery" scandal was that of the procuring trial of twenty-one year old Mrs. Louisa Hart who was accused of attempting to procure "for immoral purposes" two girls ages twelve and thirteen.(51) Though Louisa Hart was found guilty and sentenced to five years penal servitude (the longest sentence in this survey), no where in The Times' lengthy coverage of the trial is there any evidence that she was part of any underground organization. The severity of her sentence may reflect the then recent hysteria over the "Maiden Tribute."

Despite all of the publicity surrounding Stead's campaign, the resulting furor is mentioned in only two of the cases in this survey. The August 22 celebratory demonstration in Hyde Park sponsored by Stead and the Salvation Army was blamed for the false statements two girls made about their neighbor Jacob Shortland. The August 27 issue of The Times describes how a nine and ten year old accused sixty-eight year old Shortland of indecently assaulting them in a playground. In the girls' cross examination, the defense attorney determined that the children had "read recent horrible publications" (presumably the "Maiden Tribute") and had participated in the demonstration. Because the "alleged assault was said to have been committed in a crowded playground with workmen frequently passing through" and because of Shortland's "excellent character," the jury foreman dismissed the case and acquitted the prisoner. Despite the girls "dangerous suit," the judge remarked that "the witnesses were not to blame for the evil knowledge which had been put in their way."(52)

A second case in November dramatizes the SPCC's fears of how casually some parents reacted to crimes against their children. Three months before on August 22 in a village outside Manchester, Thomas Holt allegedly sexually assaulted his neighbor's thirteen year old daughter Clara Taylor. The girl said nothing until a neighbor mentioned the incident to Clara's father who confronted Holt and threatened to press charges unless Holt paid him ten shillings. Holt admitted that "he had done wrong" but told Taylor that he had no resources to which Taylor replied that the law would take its course. Sometime later that week, Taylor read in the Pall Mall Gazette that the going price for virgins was £5 so he sought out Holt and raised the price. Holt still could not pay the money so the case was brought to trial. Despite testimony from the child and a neighbor, Holt was found not guilty. Although no action was taken against Mr. Taylor, in his summation, Northern Circuit Judge Matthew "pointed out how this case illustrated the fear...of many that this act , which undoubtedly was a most salutary one, might be used for the purposes of extortion, and the discussion which had been raised upon it might suggest to females of impure mind to bring unfounded charges."(53) Matthew seems to have mistakenly shifted the blame from the assaulter and the conniving father, to Clara who seems to be the only innocent person in this melodrama.

An early progenitor of the SPCC, the Society for the Protection of Women and Children, sponsored the prosecution of an indecent assault case two weeks after the passage of the new Act.(54) Henry Rosewell was indicted for indecently assaulting three girls who were under thirteen years of age. Though the accused chose to testify on his own behalf "as is allowed by the recent act" and called two witnesses to prove his alibi, the jury found him guilty. Rosewell was sentenced to the maximum penalty of two years imprisonment with hard labor.(55) While the case is fairly routine when compared with the others reported in The Times, the fact that a "family advocacy" organization was willing to sponsor legal counsel for the prosecution indicates the commitment of these societies to bringing about justice for exploited children.

When the forty-five cases, listed in The Times between January 1884 and September 1886 and for which a verdict is available, are studied as a whole, several trends become apparent. The proportion of guilty verdicts is important in this survey because many sources attest to the fact that before the passage of the 1885 act, the courts were reluctant to find the accused guilty of sexual assaults upon children unless several witnesses could attest to the occurrence. Within the survey, the overall numbers of "guilty" verdicts is high: thirty-five of the forty-five cases were decided in favor of the prosecution. When the sample is broken down to the types of crimes committed, the numbers vary widely according to the severity of the offense, the age of the victim, relationship of the accused to the victim, and whether or not the victim was able to testify. Ironically, the amendment which the SPCC had hoped would lead to a larger number of guilty verdicts, sometimes led to the accused's acquittal. In all three "not guilty" verdicts and six of the seven acquittal/discharges, the child had testified. Thus out of eighteen cases in which The Times mentioned that the alleged victim testified, only ten led to a guilty verdict. Nonetheless, the fact that these cases were taken seriously, let alone that adult men were found guilty on the word of a young child, is significant.

The most severe crimes of rape and attempted rape had the highest numbers of guilty verdicts. In the two rape cases, both defendants were found "guilty" on the testimony of their child victims. Welshman Joseph Schurmer was accused of "outraging" his daughter as she lay ill with typhoid fever of which she subsequently died. Because the child had given a statement under oath to a justice of the peace in the presence of her father and the police, the judge admitted her testimony. Though the defense attorney objected to the admissibility of this statement on the grounds that the witness could not be cross-examined, the jury found the prisoner guilty. The author of the article admitted that this was a "shocking yet compelling case."(56) In the November 1885 case against John Fleming, his ten year old victim, Eliza Newlands, testified under oath. Her statement was corroborated by a neighbor who saw the offense committed. Fleming was found guilty and was sentenced to eighteen months with hard labor.(57) Had that child not testified, Fleming would have probably been tried for a lesser charge, if he were tried at all. Six were found guilty of the seven cases of attempted rape. Repeat offender James Knight who attacked fifteen year old Caroline Barker on her way to school, was sentenced to two years hard labor.(58) However, on one occasion the victim testified in a trial that resulted in acquittal. Army pensioner James Kennedy convinced the jury that the thirteen year old victim's mother had bribed witnesses to corroborate her daughter's story in order to "get at" his retirement income.(59)

Those accused of criminal assault also experienced a high "guilty" rate; The Times reported guilty verdicts in six out of seven cases. The punishments for criminal assault, however, was not uniformly severe. In May 1886, fourteen year old Arthur Barlow was found guilty of assaulting a little girl less than six years old. Rather than committing him to prison, the court chose to punish him by inflicting "fifteen strokes with a birch rod" as permitted under article four of the 1885 act.(60) When Preston laborer Isaac Phillips was found guilty of assaulting an unnamed little girl, he was sentenced to ten months hard labor.(61) Fifty year old Thomas Gibney, who as mentioned previously was found guilty of assaulting two girls under the age of thirteen (though he was known to have molested over twenty neighborhood girls), was given two consecutive sentences of the maximum penalty: two years with hard labor.(62) Though indecent assault was considered a lesser crime, the sentence was often as harsh as that for criminal assault. Of the six who were found guilty out of ten cases, only a "boy under fourteen" was sentenced to less than a year of prison with hard labor: three were sentenced to two years of hard labor and another two faced twelve months. While the charges might have been reduced in some cases, the trend in sentencing suggests that those found guilty of sexual assaulting a child faced relatively harsh punishment (in relation to the maximum penalties allowed).

Though the time period studied is relatively short (nine months after the passage of the act) the information gathered raises several questions about the nature of crime reportage and publicity. Why were more cases brought before the courts after mid July 1885? Were parents or guardians more convinced of a favorable outcome because of the public outrage against violations upon under aged girls? Were they more inclined to listen to their children when they made accusations? While the "Maiden Tribute" was mostly concerned with child prostitution, the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act delineated sexual crimes against minors and penalties for those convicted. The publicity surrounding both aspects probably raised the level of the public's comprehension of child abuse. The evidence suggests that parents and guardians became more aware of the problems of sexual assault upon children. While the "Maiden Tribute" was explicitly mentioned in only two of the cases reported in The Times, the number of cases reported suggests that parents and politicians alike took the problem of sexual assault upon children more seriously after the summer of 1885.

During the debates over the Criminal Law Amendment Act, several members of Parliament, led by Hopwood, objected to any change in the law for several reasons. Not only did they fear that the new legislation would curtail civil liberties and be unduly enforced among the poor, but they believed that underage girls were already protected by the acts of 1861 and 1875 and that incidents of molestation were rare. The fact that so few cases were reported in The Times before the summer of 1885 certainly explains Hopwood's conclusion and may suggest the reason why it took so long for the measure to pass through both houses of Parliament.

While The Times probably listed all charges and trials brought to the newspaper's attention, the survey indicated that The Times covered more details of the crimes beyond the names, ages, occupations, and verdict. Perhaps the editors of The Times decided to increase the paper's coverage of sexual crimes in order to regain some of the publicity lost to the Pall Mall Gazette. After mid-July, this most respected newspaper included venues, circumstances, character, and sometimes even speculated as to motive. Despite this added publicity, relying entirely upon the newspapers for facts about child abuse cases can be problematic. Because The Times quoted only those portions of the testimony that the writers or editors deemed important, it is impossible to definitely conclude that justice was served. Nonetheless, the brief summaries give enough information to chart trends even during the short time period studied. The Times was apparently not alone for the Pall Mall Gazette also reported a significant increase in assaults during this same period. Indeed, in the years following the 1885 act, there was a considerable overall increase in the number of recorded indictments and prosecutions for sexual offenses. The editor of the 1896 Criminal Statistics noted this trend by observing "the growth of public sentiment with regard to sexual crime, of which the Criminal Law Amendment Act was one manifestation, is no doubt responsible for the more vigorous prosecution of offenses."(63) Interestingly, while a new category, "sex crime," was used to designate those offenses that came under the new Criminal Law Amendment Act, as of June 1886, The Times did not adapt that term in its coverage.(64)

In light of new evidence that suggests that the immediate results of the 1885 act was an increase in the prosecution of child molesters, earlier interpretations of the act need to be modified. Over the past ten to fifteen years, most of the scholarship on the act has focused primarily on the effects this legislation upon child prostitution. Some, especially feminist historians, believe that the act was one of a series of laws passed to restrict the sexual freedom of women and to advance patriarchal influences by further circumscribing and influencing the poor.(65)

While these interpretations are certainly justified, other provisions of the act , especially the SPCC's amendment providing for the testimony of young children, extend the influence of the measure beyond the regulation of sexuality or even social control. The success of this provision granted to the SPCC and other child advocacy organizations the momentum to propose and direct legislation such as the 1889 "Children's Charter" and the 1908 act that criminalized incest. These laws would have a profound effect upon the ability of welfare agencies and the legal establishment to protect the health and interests of children. Furthermore, by providing a precedent for state intervention into what were considered private family matters, this turn of the century legislation laid the foundation for the expansion of national government-run welfare agencies in the inter-war and middle decades of the twentieth century.

Despite the "Maiden Tribute's" warning of the pernicious debauchery of child prostitution and white slavery, the most prevalent form of sexual assault on minors seems to have been child molestation. The real villain turned out to be neighborhood pedophiles and not the upper class libertines described by Stead. Of all the sections of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885, the one that seems to have made the greatest impact on the sexual exploitation of children, besides raising the age of consent, was the new provision that allowed children under the age of twelve to present evidence in court. While not all cases reported after the August passage of the act mention this provision, within those that do, The Times suggests that evidence given by these injured parties made a profound impact upon the juries' decisions. It is possible that young children presented evidence under oath in most of the cases after the passage of the act but The Times only included that information when the reporter deemed it important to the case.

Because young children could now testify under oath, their statements were used as vital pieces of first person evidence that determined the fate of an adult. The prosecution usually had a stronger case if the child could make an admissible statement; the defense, too, had another opportunity to question the veracity of the accusation of the child testified. Even if the child's sworn statement resulted in an acquittal or "not guilty" verdict, at least the jury was presented all of the viewpoints and not just those of adult witnesses. In an age when over half of the adult population was denied many of the privileges of citizenship such as the franchise, the legal establishment's granting to a young child the ability to testify under oath was a powerful means of effecting justice.

1. The 1885 act's full title was (48 & 49 Victoria, Chapter 69) "An Act to make further provision for the Protection of Women and Girls, the suppression of brothels, and other purposes."

2. Feminist historian Carol Smart places the 1885 act among those passed in the second half of the nineteenth century that regulated female sexual activity and reproductive behavior. She includes in this list the 1861 Offenses Against the Person Act that contained clauses dealing with abortion, concealment of birth, and exposing children to danger in addition to rape, carnal knowledge, and procurement; the 1866 and 1869 Contagious Diseases Acts that imposed incarceration upon suspected prostitutes found to suffer venereal disease; and the 1872 Infant Life Preservation Act that regulated the baby-farming practices of working class mothers who could not care for their children because of employment outside the home. (Carol Smart, "Disruptive bodies and unruly sex: the regulation of reproduction and sexuality in the nineteenth century," in Carol Smart, ed., Regulating Womanhood: Historical Essays on Marriage, Motherhood, and Sexuality. [London: Routledge, 1992] , pp. 13-14)

3. "Where any Woman of any Age shall have any any Real or Personal Estate, or shall be a presumptive Heiress...whosoever shall, from Motives of Lucre, take away or detain such Woman against her Will, with Intent to marry or carnally know her...shall be guilty of Felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable...for Penal servitude not less than Three years and not exceeding Fourteen..." (24 & 25 Victoria, Cap. 100, § 53)

4. While the laws provided for the protection of under aged girls, it did so not to protect their sexual rights, but to enforce the authority of their parents or guardians. Though the legal designations of majority and minority were not crucial distinctions in the lives of young people in the period before industrial capitalism, by the nineteenth century, the idea that childhood was distinct and that children were beings apart from adults was expressed in several new ways both social and legal. (Deborah Gorham, "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon" Victorian Studies [Spring 1978], p. 362-363.)

5. 5In her study of court records in mid-nineteenth century Kent, Carolyn Conley found that of thirty-one grand jury indictments for the rape of girls between twelve and sixteen, twenty-six of these cases were dismissed because the victims had insufficient marks of a violent struggle. The judge and jury assumed that the girls had consented unless the victim had been severely beaten. (Carolyn Conley, The Unwritten Law: Criminal Justice in Victorian Kent (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 122. In 1868 Justice Stephen elaborated on the idea of consent by "'submitting that the true rule must be that where a man is led from the conduct of the woman to believe he is not committing a crime known to the law, the act of connection cannot under any circumstances amount to a rape.'" (Stephen quoted in Anna K. Clark "Rape or Seduction? A Controversy over sexual violence in the nineteenth century" in The Sexual Dynamics of History, p. 20.)

6. Because the laws against sexual assault on a male person did not specify age, any legislation that directly addressed child-molestation referred only to female children. (Conley, The Unwritten Law, p. 116.)

7. For instance, in the August 1885 case against Charles Folks, the defense convinced the jury that a nine-year old girl "with a most terrible facility" and an "unclean imagination" had falsely accused Folks of criminal assault. The case was dismissed and Folks discharged. (The Times, August 20, 1885, p. 3e)

8. Ann Stafford, The Age of Consent, (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1964), p. 144.

9. Carolyn Conley found that in Victorian Kent, many child molesters were captured because of the vigilant surveillance of neighbors who knew the men's reputations and proclivities. In one case, two men saw a known offender approach little girl. One of the men followed the offender and the other ran to tell the child's mother of the situation. (Conley, The Unwritten Law, p. 119.)

10. While Josephine Butler was an ardent supporter of the personal rights of individuals, she was outraged by the laissez-faire attitude of the politicians who blocked the age-of-consent legislation. Butler believed this opposition to be a "flagrant example" of the "pernicious belief" that "a large section of female society should be set aside to administer to the irregularities of the excusable men." (Butler quoted in Jeffrey Weeks, Sex Politics, and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality Since 1800 [London: Longman Group, 1989], pp. 88-89.) Butler's suspicion were not entirely unfounded. In response to Dalhousie's 1884 attempt to raise the age of consent, one peer remarked that "very few of their Lordships...had not, when young men, been guilty of immorality. He hoped that they would pause before passing a clause within the range of which their sons might come." ([3 Hansard {24 June 1884} § 1219], quoted in Gorham, "Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon," p. 366.) This attitude, however, was not espoused by the majority of the British population. Fearing that their daughters were being sold for the pleasures of the wealthy, an increasing number of ordinary citizens began to clamor for changes in the legislation.

11. In his work on the battle against child abuse in nineteenth and early twentieth century Britain, Behlmer speculates that interest groups began to focus on child-protection in the 1880s because of several interlinked shifts in society. Chief among them is the fact that as factory legislation rapidly restricted work opportunities for children, they spent more time at home and in closer contact with their parents than did working children two generations earlier. Compulsory education pulled older children into schools, but younger siblings remained at home. Furthermore, as those who could afford to began to flee to the suburbs, the social gulf between classes widened both physically and emotionally. (Behlmer, Child Abuse and Social Reform, p. 46-47.)

12. The SPCC was formally organized in Liverpool on April 19, 1883 and was modeled after the SPCC organization in New York. Ironically, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had been in operation since the 1820s. (George K. Behlmer, Child Abuse and Moral Reform in England, 1870-1908. [Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1982], p. 53.)

13. Stafford, Age of Consent, p. 144.

14. The motives behind Dalhousie's tenacity are obscure. Scottish peer John William Ramsay, thirteenth Earl of Dalhousie was only thirty-eight years old and had sat in the House of Lords for five years in 1885. A former naval officer, he was returned, against his Conservative father's wishes, as a Liberal for Liverpool in general election of 1880 but his career in the Commons was cut short in July of that year by his father's death and his succession to the peerage. While the Dictionary of National Biography does not mention his involvement with the Criminal Law Amendment Act, Dalhousie apparently was a staunch supporter of Gladstone's Irish Home Rule policy. Dalhousie's career was sadly cut short by his and his countess' death during a tour of the United States in 1887. (DNB, p. 686)

15. Milltown and other opponents of the measure pointed out that any changes in the law would criminalize certain activities, such as hiring fifteen-year old prostitutes, that were at the time legal. By enlarging the age of consent, the new laws would make even more men vulnerable to arrest, bribery, or even blackmail. Any change in the law would also place some restrictions on child brides. Because the legal age of marriage was twelve, raising the age of consent to sixteen would call into question the legality of this early marriage age. The fact that twelve-year old girls were already under the age consent was not brought up in this discussion. (April 14, 1885) However, when in 1889 the Canadian legislature was debating a law similar to Britain's Criminal Law Amendment Act, one politician quoted Cardinal Manning who in 1884 had complained that though a man could not marry a female until she was twenty-one, he could "ruin" a child of thirteen with impunity. (Graham Parker, "The Legal Regulation of Sexual Activity and the Protection of Females" in Osgoode Hall Law Journal 21 [June 1983]: 220.)

16. These politicians were not defending vice or the exploitation of children; many had advocated the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. MP Charles Hopwood, like many antagonists of the bill, opposed the measure because it encroached on civil liberties, restricted the individual's right to freedom of choice, and would only serve to further persecute the poor. (Frank Mort, Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England Since 1830 [London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987], p. 128.) Hopwood believed that "oppressive legislation of this kind is not calculated to improve public morals...the real means of insuring the improvement in morals was by the elevation of the population, and by providing them with constant employment." (3 Hansard [9 July 1885] § 199) Hopwood's fears for poor men would indeed be realized; within this study of forty-five child molestation cases reported to The Times in which the paper listed a verdict, fifteen of the alleged offenders were from the working class and twenty-three gave no occupation. Thirty of these thirty-eight non-middle class men were found guilty. While the evidence reported to the newspaper suggests that these men did in fact commit sexual offenses, the fact that so few men from the other sectors of British society were brought to trial may stem from the reluctance of a grand jury to indict "respectable" gentlemen.

17. Raymond L. Schults, The Crusader in Babylon: W.T. Stead and the Pall Mall Gazette, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1972.), p. 130.

Stead prevailed upon Bramwell Booth of the Salvation Army to place him in contact with a reformed procuress, Rebecca Jarrett, who still had ties to the London underworld. In turn, Jarrett, through an old associate, learned of a thirteen-year old named Eliza Armstrong whose alcoholic mother was in need of money. Although Jarrett told the mother that the child was to serve as a maid for an old gentleman, Jarrett believed that the mother understood that she was selling her daughter into prostitution.

Jarrett then took Eliza to a midwife and known abortionist who attested to her virginity and sold Jarrett a bottle of chloroform. The girl was then taken to a room in a brothel where Jarrett administered the chloroform; the child woke up, saw Stead in the room with her, and began screaming. Stead immediately left and Eliza was handed over to Bramwell Booth who spirited her to France where she was taken care of under the auspices of the Salvation Army. (Schults, Crusader in Babylon, p. 131.) While she was in Paris, Eliza mailed two postal orders to her mother that brought the final price for the child up to £5. (Pearson, Age of Consent, p. 152.)

Although Stead embarked on his investigation with the full support and approval of the Salvation Army and such religious leaders as Cardinal Manning and the Bishop of Bristol, his plan ultimately backfired. Because Jarrett did not get the permission of the child's father--Jarrett believed that the mother could speak for both parents--and because Stead himself had violated several sections of the new law, Stead, Rebecca Jarrett, the abortionist/midwife, and two others were charged, tried, and found guilty of abduction and procurement. Perhaps in retaliation for all the publicity stolen in the summer months over the "Maiden Tribute," The Times published lengthy accounts and commentaries of the trials which proved to be almost as sensational as the PMG articles that spurred the passage of the act. While Stead and Jarrett's cases could have been included in this study, I chose to focus on the other less spectacular cases.

18. The warning included the explanation that the Criminal Law Amendment Bill was about to be dropped: "We have, therefore, publish the report of a Special and Secret Commission of Inquiry which we appointed to examine the whole subject...of sexual criminality which the bill was found to repress." (Schults, Crusader in Babylon, p. 152)

19. In his articles, Stead recounted a conversation "with a well-known MP" in which the politician remarked that there were plenty of people "entirely devoid of moral scruples...whose daughters are kept strait...solely because their virginity is a realizable asset. They are the girls who can be had at so much per head but its nonsense to say its rape; it's merely the delivery as per contract of the asset virginity in return for cash down." (Terrot, Maiden Tribute, p. 166.)

20. Terrot, Maiden Tribute, p. 168.

21. Pearson, Age of Consent, p. 155-56.

22. Walkowitz, City of Dreadful Delight, p. 82.

23. On Tuesday morning in Parliament, Cavendish Bentinck asked the Home Secretary if he was aware of "a certain paper publishing objectionable matter throughout the metropolis...the Pall Mall Gazette, and whether any means of subjecting the authors and publishers of this objectionable publicity to criminal proceedings" were possible. For several days after this outburst, whenever Bentinck appeared in the House, certain members shouted "Pity the poor old fornicator!" (Terrot, Maiden Tribute, p. 171.)

24. "First, that where there is evident truthfulness in a little child, her statements may be received without oath...and second, that the committing Justices may take down in writing her statement to be used at the trial." (Behlmer, Child Abuse and Moral Reform in England, p. 74.)

25. This particular clause significantly broadened the government's powers of search and would have alarmed many opponents of the proposal as an encroachment upon the civil liberties vaunted by MP Hopwood.

26. Amendment proposed, In line 30, at end, to add the words...(1.) When a girl by whom or on whose behalf a charge is brought under this Clause is, in the opinion of the court...before whom the charge is brought, too young to understand the nature of an oath, such court...may receive any statement she may make without oath, in corroboration or explanation of any other evidence which may be given in support of the charge." (3 Hansard CCC [31 July 1885] § 754.)

27. Clark stated "...a careful and kindly cross-examination of a young child would as certainly discover the truth as the most severe cross-examination of a very much older witness who had been tutored would." (Hansard CCC, July 31, 1885, p. 760-761.

28. 3 Hansard CCC (31 July 1885) § 755.

29. 3 Hansard CCC (31 July 1885) § 759.

30. Though Smith "begged to move the second part of the clause" that permitted the statements of the child to be written down at the time of reporting the crime and then later read in court, the chairman reminded Smith that the entire clause had been voted down. (3 Hansard CCC [31 July 1885] § 763.)

31. Cross's colleague, the Lord Advocate assured him that "no difficulty or risk had arisen in consequence of the Scotch law, which was practically the same as that proposed in the Amendment." Cross further stated that he "saw no reason why, in fairness, a child equally young should not be allowed to be called as a witness for the accused." (3 Hansard CCC [7 August 1885] § 1471.)

32. 3 Hansard CCC (7 August 1885) § 1974.

Also included in the final draft of the bill was "Labouchere's Amendment" that criminalized homosexual acts between men. Radical member Labouchere proposed a clause for section eleven of the bill that was accepted without debate and passed with little or no comment from either the politicians or the press. This section of the act gained widespread publicity during the 1890s as the authorities used the law to crack down on male homosexuality. Probably the most famous trial that resulted from this amendment was that of Oscar Wilde who was found guilty and sentenced to two years hard labor. Ironically, Wilde had been an appreciative reader of Labouchere during the politician's tenure as editor to the magazine Truth during 1880s. (F.B. Smith, "Labouchere's Amendment to the Criminal Law Amendment Bill," Historical Studies 17 [1976]: 173.)

33. In a July 31 letter to MP Stuart which was read aloud in Parliament, former Prime Minister Gladstone remarked "in my opinion the protected age might properly be advanced beyond 16 in the Criminal Law Amendment Bill...I personally should have been glad if the Government had found it consistent with their views to name 18, rather than 16, as the protected age. (H.C.G. Matthew, ed., Gladstone Diaries, Vol. XI, July 1884-December 1886 [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990], p. 378.)

34. "Every person charged with an offense under this Act...and the husband or wife of the person so charged, shall be competent but not compellable witness on every hearing at every stage of such charge, except an inquiry before a grand jury." (48 & 49 Victoria, Ch. 69 § 20) Out of the survey of forty-five cases with verdicts, The Times mentioned that the accused spoke in his own defense in only two articles. Both cases were found for the prosecution but one, painter Henry Rosewell actually pled guilty while Shopkeeper Henry Auton pled not guilty to the attempted assault of a four-year old but was sentenced to twelve months hard labor. (The Times, August 28, 1885; July 28, 1885 p. 6f)

35. While some earlier histories, namely Charles Terrot's Maiden Tribute, Raymond L. Schults' Crusader in Babylon and Anne Stafford's Age of Consent are comfortable with Stead's conclusions, Judith Walkowitz questions the reliability of his narrative and believes Stead's account to be a distorted representation of prostitution. (Walkowitz, City of Dreadful Delight, p. 83.) Nonetheless, Stead's articles seem to have had a profound impact upon the public in terms of the reportage of crime and the willingness of offended parties to prosecute under the terms of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885.

36. Boilermaker Moses Turner was indicted for "unlawfully and carnally knowing Ellen Evans, an imbecile girl of eighteen, and for an assault upon her occasioning actual bodily harm." The jury found Turner guilty of both charges and "added that they considered his conduct most abominable." (The Times, September 20, 1886, p. 6f.)

37. The Times, however, is very vague about what actions were involved in the various crimes. The newspaper distinguishes between rape and carnal knowledge but does not clarify the difference though one would assume that "rape" implies force whereas "carnal knowledge" suggests that the child acquiesced. The term "statutory rape" is never used. Indecent assault has been defined as "the act of a male person taking indecent liberties with the person of a female, without her consent and against her will, but with no intent to commit the crime of rape." (Black's Law Dictionary p. 768) However, the crime of criminal assault, while prevalent in this study, is less easy to define because the term has not been sufficiently defined nor distinguished from the other charges of sexual assault in any of the primary or secondary sources. Even Black's Law Dictionary fails to give a definition of criminal assault--the closest is that of "assault with intent to commit rape." The "criminal" part of criminal assault may stem from the fact that the victim was under the age of consent. Furthermore, in almost all of the cases of criminal assault within this study, the accused sexually assaulted the child with violence.

38. In this study, the average age of the victim, out of the forty four whose ages were listed, is 11.57.

39. The Times, May 24, 1886, p. 13a.

40. The Times, May 12, 1886, p. 4f.

41. A reading of Hansard determined that most of the Members of Parliament were most concerned with the reputation of the men against whom charges were filed. Almost no one in either house, was particularly concerned with the victim. Furthermore, many professed outrage at the public furor surrounding "The Maiden Tribute" of W.T. Stead in The Pall Mall Gazette. During each session beginning on July 9, at least one MP denounced the publication and denied the veracity of both Stead's allegations against Parliament's inaction and the content of the articles.

42. Dentist Alfred de Negri, police surgeon George Henry Heald, schoolmaster Thomas James Beyon, auctioneer David Martin, corn factor Robert Bell Salisbury, shipmaster Charles Dupont, musician Walter Reed, and stockbroker Daniel Kaylor. While these men certainly were of the "respectable class" described by F.M.L. Thompson, they were not necessarily socially acceptable. For instance, dentist de Negri's surgery was in a relatively impoverished neighborhood: the two girls he allegedly assaulted lived only a few streets away and were seeking indigent dental care.

43. Pvt. Stephen Lawry, collier James Smith, boilermaker Moses Turner, shopkeeper Henry Auton, and painter Henry Rosewell.

44. William Salisbury, Charles Milton, William Barker, Isaac Phillips, William Bone, Joseph Shurmer, William Carr, and Charles Brand. Of the nine laborers, eight were found guilty of crimes ranging from the rape of a daughter (Joseph Shurmer against fourteen-year old Annie on May 24, 1886), criminal assault of a child under four (William Barker on May 17, 1886) to the attempted criminal assault on a child procured by the accused's girlfriend and victim's sister (William Carr and Martha Trench against fifteen-year old Annie Trench in June and July 1886).

45. Carolyn Conley observed that when the medical evidence was too conclusive to dismiss the case the grand jury would often indict reputable men on lesser charges. Furthermore, those cases in which the charges were less serious could be resolved relatively quickly. Whereas rape was a felony and hence had to be tried at the assize courts, the lesser (misdemeanor) charge of indecent assault could be heard at the quarter sessions. (See note 34) In several cases the charges were reduced to the lesser indecent assault or assault between indictment and the actual trial.

arolyn A. Conley, The Unwritten Law: Criminal Justice in Victorian Kent. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 83.

46. Nine months later she had given birth to a baby, but the child had died. If Salisbury was the father of the child, as Cordery claimed, then he was clearly guilty of at least statutory rape. (The Times, January 20, 1886, p. 3f.)

47. The Times, August 29, 1885, p. 3e.

48. The Times, May 18, 1886, p. 12d.

49. The Times, October 29, 1885, p. 7d.

50. The Times, October 28, 1885, p. 3d

51. Hart claimed that the girls had come to her home as prostitutes and that the girls had said they were sixteen years old. The court maintained, however, that the girls were "of good character." (The Times, April 10, 1986, p. 6)

52. The Times, August 27, 1885, p. 10b.

53. The Times, November 7, 1885, p. 7e.

54. Because this organization dealt primarily with assaults of husbands upon wives, several future SPCC members believed that another was necessary to focus upon children's needs. After the "Maiden Tribute," however, the Society for the Protection of Women and Children attempted to expand its operation and give assistance to families who wished to prosecute perpetrators of sexual assault. (Behlmer, Child Abuse and Moral Reform in England, p. 59.)

55. The Times, August 28, p. 10a.

56. The Times, May 24, 1886, p. 7b.

57. The Times, November 7, 1885, p. 7f.

58. The Times, November 11, 1885, p. 6f.

59. The Times, November 9, 1885, p. 7f.

60. Any person who unlawfully and carnally knows any girl under the age of thirteen years...provided that in the case of an offender whose age does not exceed sixteen years, the court may...order him to be whipped, as prescribed by the Act of 25 & 26 Victoria, Chapter 18...and if it should appear expedient, the court may, in addition to the sentence of whipping, order him to be sent to a certified reformatory school, and to be there detained for a period of not less than two years and not more than five years... (48 & 49 Victoria, Ch. 69 § 4)

61. The Times, May 17, 1886, p. 7c.

62. The Times, June 11, 1886, p. 11d.

63. Weeks, Sex, Politics, and Society, pp. 90-91.

64. Walkowitz, City of Dreadful Delight, pp. 280-81, note 16.

65. See Carol Smart's interpretation in note 2.


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