Daily Chronicle, January 12, 1903

1 (Statistics show that the number of criminal women is considerably less in proportion than that of male criminals.)

Oh, the progress of Woman has really been vast
 Since Civilisation began.
She’s usurped all the qualities which in the past
 Were reckoned peculiar to Man.
She can score with a bat, use a rod or a cue.
 Her tennis and golf are sublime.
Her aim with a gun is uncommonly true,
 But Man beats her hollow at crime.

The strings to her bow are both varied and quaint.
 There are maids who can work with the pen.
There are maids who can handle the palette and paint
 With a skill that’s not given to men.
There are ladies who preach, lady doctors there are.
 M.P.’s will be ladies in time.
And ladies, I hear, practise now at the Bar.
 But Man holds the record for crime.

So it’s hey for the jemmy, and ho for the drill,
 And hurrah for the skeleton keys.
Oh, to burgle a house or to rifle a till!
 I am more than her equal at these.
She may beat me at home; she may beat me afield.
 In her way I admit she is prime.
But one palm at least I compel her to yield;
 I can give her a lesson in crime.

P. G. W. 




“The case of Emma Byron, the Bootle murder, and the arrest of Madame Humbert have brought the subject of crime among women prominently before the public during the last few weeks. Statistics prove that at present the number of criminal women is considerably less in proportion than that of male criminals. In the United States the census gives 54,190 males and 5068 females. Great Britain’s number of criminal women is disproportionately large. In 1834 the ratio of women in the criminal population of England was one in five; of late years it has exceeded one in four.” (Evening Telegraph, January 12, 1903)

John Dawson