Whores and Highwaymen: Crime and Justice in the Eighteenth-Century Metropolis
- 1st paperback
The ‘whores’ and ‘highwaymen’ of Gregory Durston’s title are just some of the dubious characters met with in this absorbing work. They include thief-takers, trading justices, an upstart legal profession whose lower orders developed various ways to line their own pockets and court officials who did the same. The book shows how little was planned and how much sprang up due to individuals?—?so that the origins of social control, particularly at a local level, had much to do with personal ideas of morality, class and perceived threats. Based on news reports, Old Bailey and local archives and other records, the book weaves a compelling picture of a critical time in English history. This it does through the voices of contemporary observers as well as the best of writings by experts. It spans the period from the Glorious Revolution to the early 1820s. In three parts: Crime and the Metropolis?—?including metropolitan crime, attitudes to crime and policing, explanations for crime, and criminal law and procedure. Policing?—?including policing the metropolis, constables, the watch, beadles, the role of the military, and the detection of crime. Justice?—?including the magistracy and its work, ways of prosecution, trial in the lower and higher courts, and penal regimes.
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