Mary Buckingham was photographed in July 1886 after her conviction for larceny (possession of someone else's property) in Christchurch earlier that year. Her occupation was listed as prostitute. Like many other women engaged in sex work, Buckingham appeared before the courts on a number of different charges, including drunkenness. Prostitutes looking for customers in 'respectable' parts of the city were often charged with offences such as drunkenness, idleness or disorderly behaviour.
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