According to the judicial statistics of the United Kingdom for 1859, it appears that tho number of professional thieves in England and Wales is 39,530; suspicious characters who are constantly under the eyes of the police, 37,633; vagrants, 23,352. Their cost to the public is about one hundred and fifty millions a year. It is related that a gentleman, recently traveling in Eng* land, took a lunch at a cheap eating house where the viands were served upon pewter plates screwed to the tables, and provided with knives and forks each secured with a chain. This is a " tall story," and goes to show, if true, that the "professional gentry" are fnr more numerous and dangerous than they are in this country. It is well known that, except in cases of forgery and embezzlement, few Americans fall into the custody of the police; our pickpockets, burglars, hall thieves, highwaymen, swindlers, and " fancy " generally, are of foreign birth or foreign parentage. They appear to have been educated to their profession, and, like bookseller, have a set of technical terms intelligible only to those familiar with their usages. Many Hebrew'and gipsejr terms are found in their vocabnlaryprobably importations from London.
This article was originally published with the title "English Rogues and Their New York Brethren" in Scientific American 3, 25new, 390 (December 1860)