Crime, pp.xxxv-xxxvi.

[Gazetteer of Scotland Contents]

The number of public offences in Scotland was. in the year 1834, 2,711; in 1836, 2,922; in 1837, 3,126; in 1838, 3,418; in 1839, 3,409; and in 1840, 3,872. Of those in the year 1838, 787 were offences against the person, 724 by males, and 63 by females; 577 were violent offences against property, 432 by males, and 145 by females; 1,588 were against property, but without violence, 1,078 by males, and 510 by females; 57 were malicious offences against property, 51 by males, and 6 by females; 112 were forgeries and offences against currency, 81 by males, and 31 by females; and 297 were miscellaneous offences, 243 by males, and 54 by females, – aggregately, 2,609 by males, and 809 by females. Fifty-eight of the male offenders were aged 12 years, and under; 368 aged 16 or above 12; 700 aged 21 or above 16; 738 aged 30 or above 21; 407 aged 40 or above 30; 144 aged 50 or above 40; 59 aged 60 or above 50; 8 aged above 60; and 117 whose ages could not be ascertained. Of the 809 female offenders, there were 16 aged 12 years and under; 66 aged 16 and above 12; 199 aged 21 and above 16; 268 aged 30 and above 21; 140 aged 40 and above 30; 67 aged 50 and above 40; 29 aged 60 and above 50; 8 aged above 60; and 16 whose ages could not be ascertained. Of the 2,609 male offenders, 353 could neither read nor write; 1,529 could read, or read and write imperfectly; 569 could read and write well; 91 had received a superior education; and there were 67 whose education could not be ascertained. Of the 809 female offenders, 198 could neither read nor write; 541 could read, or read and write imperfectly: 61 could read and write well; 2 had received a superior education; and there were 7 whose education could not be ascertained. Of the 3,418 offenders, 356 were discharged by the Lord-advocate and his deputies, 177 were discharged from other causes, and there were tried 2,885, namely, by the High-court of Justiciary 309; by the Circuit-court of Justiciary 560; by Sheriffs with a jury 733; by Sheriffs without a jury 646; by burgh-magistrates 558; by justices or other court 79. Of the 2,885 persons tried, 56 were outlawed, 6 were found insane, 38 were found not guilty, 162 not proven, and there were convicted 2,623, including 578 who were convicted under the aggravation of previous convictions, and 54 who were convicted of other offences at the same trial. Of the 2,623 persons convicted, 3 received sentence of death, of whom 1 was executed, and the punishment of 2 was commuted into transportation for life; 6 were sentenced to transportation for life, 83 for 14 years, 379 for 7 years, and 15 for other periods; 75 were sentenced to imprisonment (with, in some cases, whipping, fine, &c.,) for 2 years or above 1 year, 245 for 1 year or above 6 months, 1,607 for 6 months or under; 195 were punished by fine; 3 were discharged on sureties; 12 received no sentence. – Of the 3,872 persons committed for trial in 1840, 2,945 were convicted or outlawed, and of these 4 received sentence of death for murder; 520 were convicted of assaults; 296 of theft by housebreaking; and 1,392 of acts of simple theft. The following table shows the distribution and sex of the 3,872 persons committed for trial in 1840. 

Counties. Males. Females. 
Aberdeen, 70 44 
Argyle, 85 17 
Ayr, 53 
Banff, 30 
Berwick, 17 
Bute, 12 
Caithness, 17 
Clackmannan, 31 
Dumbarton, 53 31 
Dumfries. 66 12 
Edinburgh, 405 199 
Elgin and Moray, 18 
Fife, 240 66 
Forfar, 263 104 
Haddington, 32 12 
inverness, 60 16 
Kincardine, 16 
Kinross, 
Kirkcudbright, 35 
Lanark, 365 164 
Linlithgow, 55 
Nairn, 
Orkney and Zetland, 40 
Peebles, 12 … 
Perth, 133 34 
Renfrew, 487 166 
Ross and Cromarty, 21 
Roxburgh, 78 13 
Selkirk, 
Stirling, 104 37 
Sutherland, 10 … 
Wigton, 37 15 
Total, 2,866 1,006 

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