Number of dots in dots tattoos by record set and convict gender

These bar charts indicate the number of dots in dot tattoos for each of the three main datasets with evidence about tattoos. Each bar indicates the number of tattoos with the specified number of dots. Whereas the transported convicts in the Founders and Survivors dataset had significant numbers of multi-dot tattoos, particularly with 5 and 7 dots, the imprisoned 'habitual' criminals in the Register of Habitual Criminals mostly only had a single dot. Despite the stereotype that gangs of male criminals in Victorian London wore five dot tattoos as an assertion of their criminal identity, the convicts who were most likely to have five dot tattoos were men and women transported to Australia. For more information on tattoos as an expression of criminal identity, see Convict tattoos.

Credit: Sharon Howard

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