TV, Talks and Publications


When I first began this blog, I never imagined I would have a section entitled Tv, Talks and Publications let alone a lists of things to fill it with. How times change. Anyway, here’s a brief summary of what I’ve done so far and links, where available. Whilst I don’t have downloadable links to most of the papers themselves some of the abstracts are available here. If there is anything you want to ask or check with me, or better still something you think might interest me, then please feel free to email on

In the last few years, thanks entirely to this blog, I have been lucky enough to be asked to provide expert testimony on historical executions in the North East of England for BBC’s Murder, Mystery and My Family. I have put links, where available, below.

Murder, Mystery and My Family (BBC):

1. Michael Gilligan execution 1875 – Durham Prison

Murder Mystery and My Family BBC
Murder Mystery and My Family BBC. Michael Gilligan case. Image courtesy of BBC Iplayer

2. Herbert Rowse Armstrong 1922 – Gloucester Prison

Murder Mystery and My Family - Herbert Rowse Armstrong
Murder Mystery and My Family – Herbert Rowse Armstrong. Image courtesy of BBC Iplayer

3. John Stephenson Bainbridge 1935 – Durham Prison

Original Broadcast: 28/07/2020


**** – Daily Mail

Screenshot 2020-07-28 at 10.50.15

4. Joseph Lowson 1884 – Durham Prison

*Forthcoming 2020


Rumour Has It – Searching for a Hangman.


July 2020 (BBC Radio Newcastle) Interview on Breakfast with Jilly Hope

(Nov, 2016) “Pseudoscience in the North East.” A Post-show talk for The Live Theatre, Newcastle’s show Harriet Martineau Dreams of Dancing.

NB: My Talk starts around 27.27

(Jan, 2016) ‘Social Memory and the Landscape: Tracing Execution in the North East of England’. Presented at CIRCA Arts’ Social Memory and the Landscape Discussion. Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Sunderland. 23rd January 2016.

(June 2015) *Winner of the People’s Choice Award* (June, 2015) 3 Minute Thesis Competition North East. Durham University. 11th June, 2015. A national competition in which you must summarise, without any notes, your thesis in under 3 minutes and in the most accessible way possible. NB: (video above) They seem to have edited out the raucous laughter and whooping from the crowd!

Video from North East of England 3 Minute Thesis competition, which I was lucky enough to win the People's Choice Award for in 2015


Execution Culture in Nineteenth Century Britain: From Public Spectacle to Hidden Ritual (Routledge: 2020).

The Changing Presentation of Execution in Newcastle Upon Tyne 1844-1863, SOLON, Law, Crime and History (2018), 1.


A Civilizing Moment? Reflecting on 150 years since the abolition of public execution, Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle. 6th June 2018.



(2015) ‘Capital Punishment, Phrenology and the Press: The Curious Case of the Newcastle Journal and the “Bumpologist” Mayor, John Fife.’ Presented at Research Society for Victorian Periodicals Annual Conference: Life and Death in the 19th Century. University of Ghent, Belgium. 10 – 11 July 2015.


(2018) “What will future ages say at such barbarous proceedings as this?”
Witnessing an execution, the diaries of Richard Lowry. A Civilizing Moment? Reflecting on 150 Years Since the Abolition of Public Execution, Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle

(May 2017) ‘The blackguardism of the town was indeed fully represented’: A study of the execution of George Vass. Lives, Trials and Executions: Perspectives on Crime. Liverpool John Moores University

(May 2017) Glancing The Gallows: Seeing Justice Done in the N0rth East of England 1752-1878. Presented at Through a Legal Lens: Images of Crime and Criminals, Law and Lawyers. Northumbria University

(October 2016) “A Warning for the Future and a Memento of the Past:” Punishment in the North East Landscape. Presented at the Society for the Study of French History Visiting Scholar Scheme’s Thematic Humanities and Social Sciences Workshop. Northumbria University

(Mar, 2016) ‘The Discipline of Discipline Itself: Execution in the North East 1868-1878’. Presented at Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies (CNCS) Conference: Victorian Culture and the Origin of Disciplines. University of Durham. 12 March 2016

(Feb, 2015) ‘Capital Punishment, Phrenology and the Lit and Phil: The Curious Case of Alderman Fife and his “Mental Delusions.” Presented at Medieval & Early Modern Studies’ One Day Symposium: The Archive at the Lit & Phil. 18th February, 2015.

(Feb, 2015) ‘Privacy, Punishment and the Press: Capital Punishment in the North East of England 1752-1878’. Presented at Sunderland University’s History Lab. 12th February, 2015.

(2014) Privacy, Punishment and the Press: Capital Punishment in the North East of England 1752-1878. Presented at the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, Durham University. 20th November 2014.