Mugshots of habitual Edwardian drinkers go on display

A series of black and white mugshots have unveiled how boozed-up Brits were the scourge of society - way back in 1903.

Police took the grainy images to try and stop 'habitual drunkards' being served alcohol in London’s hostelries.

Pictures of problem drinkers were circulated, along with descriptions, after being taken by officers from the Metropolitan Police under the terms of the 1902 Habitual Drunkards Licensing Act.

Frail Elizabeth Nicholls, 76, was the most senior habitual drunkard to have her picture circulated. She sppears here wearing an Edwardian bonnet with her coat tightly wrapped around her, reflecting the harsh reality of London at the time, which head of public history at The National Archives David Langrish said was the reason so many sought comfort through alcohol

Frail Elizabeth Nicholls, 76, was the most senior habitual drunkard to have her picture circulated. She sppears here wearing an Edwardian bonnet with her coat tightly wrapped around her, reflecting the harsh reality of London at the time, which head of public history at The National Archives David Langrish said was the reason so many sought comfort through alcohol

Problem drinker Thomas Sullivan's disgruntled image was displayed across the capital as police used relatively new technology to take photographs of boozing Brits from the front and side in an attempt to get them banned from pubs. He was among 122 men to feature on the list  

Problem drinker Thomas Sullivan's disgruntled image was displayed across the capital as police used relatively new technology to take photographs of boozing Brits from the front and side in an attempt to get them banned from pubs. He was among 122 men to feature on the list  

The name and shame list is thought reflect the hardships experienced by those living on London's poverty line. But Nellie Hooper's fetching boater hat suggests she might have been used to a higher class of boozing than the other 216 women who were photographed by police officers

The name and shame list is thought reflect the hardships experienced by those living on London's poverty line. But Nellie Hooper's fetching boater hat suggests she might have been used to a higher class of boozing than the other 216 women who were photographed by police officers

The practice - which basically barred the customers from pubs - was effectively the original ASBO as heavy drinkers were named and shamed across the capital.

Their fascinating photographs have been released by The National Archives and will go on display next month.

Researchers have revealed women made up the majority of problem boozers, with 217 blacklisted compared to only 122 men.

Thomas Clarke appears relaxed about his inclusion on the list of undesirables as he sports debonair Edwardian attire belying his boozing habits. His image hardly hints at somebody struggling to survive in the capital, as his slumped shoulders indicate an easy-going temperament, which could no doubt be achieved by spending most days in the pub

Thomas Clarke appears relaxed about his inclusion on the list of undesirables as he sports debonair Edwardian attire belying his boozing habits. His image hardly hints at somebody struggling to survive in the capital, as his slumped shoulders indicate an easy-going temperament, which could no doubt be achieved by spending most days in the pub

Maurice Brown appears slightly annoyed at the prospect of being barred from his favourite boozers as it dawns on him that he'll have to leave London to stand a good chance of getting served. Were he to chance his arm in the capital, he'd likely be met with a firm 'no' from landlords

Maurice Brown appears slightly annoyed at the prospect of being barred from his favourite boozers as it dawns on him that he'll have to leave London to stand a good chance of getting served. Were he to chance his arm in the capital, he'd likely be met with a firm 'no' from landlords

Stephen Harding looks a little worse for wear in this image, which probably served as a persuasive reminder not to pour more booze down his throat. Of course, it my not be a hangover that's giving him the haggard appearance, as it's likely cutting him off from his nearest watering holes would put him in a less than optimistic mood

Stephen Harding looks a little worse for wear in this image, which probably served as a persuasive reminder not to pour more booze down his throat. Of course, it my not be a hangover that's giving him the haggard appearance, as it's likely cutting him off from his nearest watering holes would put him in a less than optimistic mood

And six on the ‘list of shame’ were more than 70 years old, with Elizabeth Nicholls, 76, the most senior.

David Langrish, head of public history at The National Archives, said the pictures reflected how tough life on the poverty line could be.

'The photographs of people convicted of being habitually drunk provide a powerful and emotional reminder of how tough life could be for some sections of society,' he said.

Stroppy Mary Smith appears bored and beaten as the prospect of a dry future dawns on her. Women were far more common on the list than men, with 217 circulated to the capital's pubs compared to only 122 men. She as effectively blacklisted when this image was sent to landlords and obviously wasn't cheerful at the prospect

Stroppy Mary Smith appears bored and beaten as the

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