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New PDF release: Crime, Policing and Punishment in England, 1750–1914

By David Taylor

One of many fastest-growing and most fun parts of ancient study lately has been the research of crime and the legal. The intrinsic fascination of the topic is more advantageous via the truth that among the mid eighteenth century and early 20th century, the English legal justice procedure used to be essentially remodeled as a brand new disciplinary nation emerged. Drawing on contemporary study, this publication presents a complete and up to date synthesis of those vital adjustments.

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41 Other features of the new agrarian capitalism, notably enclosures, also came under attack. In Northamptonshire, protest against enclosure was more persistent and more varied than is usually suggested. 42 Although violence was but a minor tactic, it still had a part to play in local resistance. However, it was non-violent crime against property that dominated the work of the courts. Until the early nineteenth century all forms of larceny, except petty larceny which involved goods under the value of 12d (5p), were capital offences.

Attitudes towards male violence were changing and this was reflected in the volume of critical material condemning assaults on women and children. There was greater awareness and less tolerance of such behaviour. Attitudes and actions were changing and many contemporary observers certainly felt that their world was a safer place and that violence had declined since the mid-nineteenth century. Conclusion Bringing together the various discussions of the level of crime, we can offer the following broad conclusions.

35 Her detailed analysis shows that, despite widespread pilfering and fraud in a variety of occupations, prosecutions by employers remained relatively rare. Furthermore, they were used as one of a range of sanctions. An increase in employer prosecutions was as much related to periods of prosperity, when the sanction of dismissal was less powerful, as to real levels of employee theft. 36 In similar vein, Davis points to the large amount of crime that was known to but not prosecuted by the police.

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