18th-century convict tattoos offered free in Shoreditch
- Credit: 19 Crimes
A weekend pop-up tattoo parlour in Shoreditch has been offering free tattoos honouring 18th-century convicts shipped to Australia for committing any one of 19 infractions.
It was the idea of 19 Crimes, a wine brand, which delved into the history of tattoos worn by convicts in the 18th and 19th centuries.
University lecturer Dr Matt Lodder found symbols such as anchors and hearts were common and, of course, women — even mermaids figured on his top 10 list of designs uncovered.
"These convicts are revealed through their tattoos to be more than simply criminals,” he said. “The stories of the men and women who were transported to the other side of the world were human beings with social connections and profound emotions familiar to us today.”
Navies recorded the tattoos of enlisted men to identify them if they ever deserted and went on the run, he found.
You may also want to watch:
Between 1780 and 1925, prisons also recorded tattoos as identifying marks on inmates.
The ink parlour is called The Cl(ink), after The Clink jail where convicts were held on the Southbank before being shipped out.
- 1 Sentencing of arms dealers set for one year after Isle of Dogs raid
- 2 Two men arrested in connection with Shadwell double stabbing
- 3 Man found with stab injuries in Stepney
- 4 Teenager suffers 'life-changing' injuries after alleged attack in Shadwell
- 5 Jailed: Robbers who targeted OAPs at east London cashpoints
- 6 Jailed: Tower Hamlets man who tried to rape another man
- 7 Man who died in Mile End park named
- 8 Leyton Orient seal first away win of the season at Bristol Rovers
- 9 Travel round-up: Road and rail disruptions this week
- 10 Joe Gallen full of praise for O's forwards in Bristol Rovers victory
It is open September 11 and 12 at the Ace Corner Shop in Shoreditch High Street, corner of Bethnal Green Road, 10am to 6pm.