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 Delivery couriers boycott Dalston McDonald's
- 2 Two of the best boozers in Hackney, voted for by readers
- 3 Hackney acid attack: Man charged over 2019 assault which left two with life-changing injuries
- 4 Stoke Newington eatery voted favourite café by Gazette readers
- 5 Otas Sarkus: Two charged with murder after fatal shooting
- 6 Hackney's field-to-fork cooking school opens in Lower Clapton
- 7 Chinese dumpling house voted top restaurant by readers
- 8 'Food delivery' youth in suspect Shoreditch drugs bust
- 9 Complaints about noise neighbours soared in Hackney during the pandemic
- 10 'It’s scandalous': Hackney LTN's £4m in fines in 18 months
It is open September 11 and 12 at the Ace Corner Shop in Shoreditch High Street, corner of Bethnal Green Road, 10am to 6pm.