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As part of their History topic on the Victorians, Form 5 had a fantastic visit to the Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum.

The class learnt about Victorian crimes and punishments by investigating actual sources about an 11 year old boy called Elijah Upjohn. He was sent to the court room at the Shire Hall for stealing a pair of trousers and received a punishment of six weeks in Dorchester prison and two strokes of the cane! He didn’t learn his lesson and continued to steal, ending up being transported to Australia where he was sent back to prison again and, after serving his sentence, became the prison’s hangman, receiving the grand sum of £90 a year! Elijah was responsible for hanging the infamous Ned Kelly!

The class then went to see the holding cells, where Harvey was put in chains and escorted by the guards, Millie and Tina, and locked in a cell for a short while!

Next they went to the court room and re- enacted a case, with Elodie making a superb. but harsh judge!

The final activity was to make exquisite Victorian peg dolls.

Everyone is looking forward to when Anne Brown from the Shire Hall visits us on Friday for more Victorian activities!

Karen King

Author Karen King

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