Peter Jolly ‘A Study of Bigamists in Pre-Victorian London’

We’re pleased to announce that postgraduate student, Peter Jolly, has recently had an article published in Local Population Studies.  For any who are interested, a copy of journal can be found in the Reading Room in Special Collections, MERL.


This article explores the potential reasons for and extent of bigamy in London in the early nineteenth century.  The nature of the criminal offence is considered, examining the evidence required to secure a conviction, and the penalties imposed.  Based largely on records of Old Bailey convictions, together with associated newspaper reports, the varied personal circumstances of those involved are noted.  Some were victims of the system; others were exploited targets of their callous partner.  Gender distinctions are considered and the sentences imposed analysed to ascertain how they reflected society’s view of the particular misconduct.

Peter Jolly ‘A Study of Bigamists in Pre-Victorian London’, Local Population Studies, no.96 (Spring 2016) pp.50-65

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