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Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I should be posting painted models and finishing off my backlog and I will very soon, but right now I’m still training Tiger to leave them alone. She stops after being kicked off the painting table 5or 6 times. I have six nearly finished miniatures so there should be a glut very soon. I the mean time I haven’t posted anything so here is a fact filled post for you.

  The Illustrated Police News

The Illustrated Police News was a weekly illustrated newspaper which was one of the earliest British tabloids. It featured sensational and melodramatic reports and illustrations of murders and hangings and was a direct descendant of the execution broadsheets of the 18th century. The name was inspired by The Illustrated London News, which had been launched in 1842 and revealed that newspapers with illustrations could achieve very high sales. The IPN was first published in 1864, and ceased publication in 1938. It consisted of one pictorial page and three text pages in folio, and sold for one penny. The normal weekly circulation was between 150,000 and 200,000 copies, but spec­ial issues could sell as many as 600,000. The paper had most buyers and subscribers in the Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham areas; its London circulation was just one eighth of the total issue.

 In November 1886 a more traditional newspaper ran a poll where the readers voted the Illustrated Police News “the worst newspaper in England". But that didn't matter to the mostly young lower class readership of the IPN, the graphically sensational illustrations like the one picture above did. The IPN employed as many as 70 freelance artists at a time. Like photographers in modern times these artists where on call day and night to be dispatched to the scene of an crime or public disaster. Graphic representations of horrific murders, police discoveries of corpses and representations of tragic fires where the bread and butter of the Illustrated Police News.

If crime was slow in the British Isles then animal attacks will fill the pages.

If the news in Britain was very slow the IPN had a solution for that, it employed cutting services all over the world to dig up weird and sensational stories to fill the IPN pages. Women somnambulists was a common filler article they where always accompanied buy a graphic of a scandalously clad lady. Illustrations from some of these filler stories can be found below.

The IPN is most famous for its infamous coverage of the Jack The Ripper Murders. IPN's willingness to print depictions of the victims corpses, maps to the crime sites and most of all likeness of the upper class suspects caused a backlash from the highest level of British society. IPN was accused of instilling a paranoid "Ripper" hysteria among the lower classes. Ironically many of the map illustrations found in Jack the Ripper articles and books are taken directly from the IPN coverage. 
 I hope you like this article. If you want me to publish more articles on Victoriana please let me know in the comments below.