Game Bounder Desired Quack

Cyanotype print and acrylic on calico, eight 2 x 0.6 metre panels, plus audio visual spoken word summary piece.

 Alun Kirby and Stephen Lee Hodgkins, 2020.

Drawing on material from the Explore York archive this piece presents five local historical moments, within a theme of ‘crime and punishment’. Four of these moments are highlighted with example fonts from a specimen book produced by York’s Delittle Wood Type Manufacturer. A fifth moment is presented using a woodcut print taken from an account of the trial and execution of James Moseley and William Roberts in 1822. This piece is one of three banners created for Explore York, one focused on how we came to have a free library in York and another on a history of protest in York. 

Game – Following his execution for highway robbery in 1792, Spence Broughton’s body was displayed in a gibbet until the 1820s. A letter he wrote to his wife on the eve of his death, in which he pleads for her to warn their children of the baneful vice of gaming, was mass printed as a form of criminal deterrent propaganda.

Bounder – Entry in the York Castle Prison Goalers Journal on 25th March 1852 describing the attempted escape by several prisoners.  The Goaler records, whilst transporting 14 prisoners by train to the ‘Wakefield House of Correction’, a scuffle and a convict by the name of ‘Ellis’ jumping from the train.

Desired – Edward Rayer and Thomas Sykes charged with having on 2nd July 1843 last, at Halifax, in West Riding, feloniously, wickedly and diabolically committed an offence against the order of nature. The couple were found guilty of sodomy and sentenced to death.

Quack – Account of the commissioning in 1652 and installation by Edmund Giles of a ducking stool at the ‘Crane House’ Skeldergate, York.

Woodcut print – Taken from an account of the trial and execution of James Moseley and William Roberts for murder and highway robbery in 1822.

Delittle Wood type specimen book – A catalogue of various wood type examples produced by the Delittle Wood type manufacturer in York.  The catalogue includes a random array of unrelated and somewhat obscure words, icons and border designs.  

Published by SLH