A rare collection of police mugshots of people banned from Dundee’s bars in the early 20th Century is to go up for auction.
Published in 1950, each page of the “Known Inebriates Book’ shows those who had been convicted under the Inebriates Act of 1898 three times in a 12-month period – including one girl as young as 16.
Number 24 on the register – which includes 35 females and six males – was Margaret Devannah, who at just 16 was found guilty of “behaving while drunk in a riotous or disorderly manner”.
The book says Bailie Doig referred to her as “the most lamentable case that had come before court – she was little more than a child”.
In 1933 at the age of 43, Margaret then appeared before the police court for the 90th time charged with being drunk and incapable, and died in the poor house three years later.
Another entry is 44-year-old Harriet Croll, a mill worker from Fife living in Brown Street.
She is described in the book as “pock-pitted” with a wart and a finger deformity, with a string of convictions.
However it says she also suffered an assault in 1890 by a John Brown who was convicted of “having brutally kicked and ill-used” her.
Despite her chaotic life, Harriet lived to be 70, considered a reasonable age for the time.
The book was circulated around the city’s pubs, and landlords could be fined up to £20 for serving anyone listed inside it.
The book originally came from CJ Strachan in Small’s Wynd, which was run by the same family from 1853 until it was demolished in 1957 to make way for a Dundee University campus.
It will go under the hammer next Tuesday at Dundee auctioneers, Curr and Dewar.
Auctioneer Steven Dewar said: “It’s a fascinating snapshot of the time, these are hard-working people living in a hard time.
“The large number of women who worked in the thriving jute mills of Dundee perhaps explains the number of women in the mugshots.
“Female employment being higher than male employment meant they earned the money and led the city to be known as ‘she town’.
“I have only had one other copy of the book before and it sold for £1,500 a few years ago.”