Tales from the hanging court

Hitchcock, Timothy and Shoemaker, Robert (2006) Tales from the hanging court. Hodder and Arnold, London. ISBN 9780340913758

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Tales from the Hanging Court draws on published accounts of Old Bailey trials from 1674-1834, a rich seam of social, political and legal history. Through these compelling true stories of theft, murder, rape and blackmail, Hitchcock and Shoemaker capture the early history of the judicial system and the colourful, vibrant and sometimes scandalous world of pre-industrial London:

'This was a time when an orphan could live for a week by stealing a single handkerchief, but be hanged for less; when stocks and pillories were still in use, duels were still fought, and the medieval punishment of 'pressing' to death - spreadeagled on the ground and poled with heavy weights - was still on the statute books; when your jailer could invite you upstairs for a beer or leave you in an airless dungeon with no water on a whim; when you might be murdered in your bed for some linen or a silver tankard ...' Time Out

In its heyday the court was a soap opera of intrigue, sensation and murky goings on where authors such as Dickens and Defoe would go for inspiration. Thieves and murderers were often caught by members of the public and prosecutions brought by victims. Hitchcock and Shoemaker chart an increasingly sophisticated society taking crime and punishment away from the anarchy of the London mob to put it into a court where a judge and jury meted out justice.

The authors paint a vivid picture of a flourishing city where market capitalism and Enlightenment thinking battled to impose order on the chaotic crime that accompanied Britain's economic miracle.

Item Type: Book
Keywords: Old Bailey, Crime, London, Eighteenth Century
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA090 Antiquities. Social life and customs. Ethnography
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA129 By period > DA300 Modern, 1485-
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA129 By period > DA300 Modern, 1485- > DA498 1714-1760
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA129 By period > DA300 Modern, 1485- > DA505 George III, 1760-1820
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Timothy Hitchcock
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2015 09:07
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2015 09:07
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/58064
📧 Request an update
Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
2008 AHRC PaymentsRD27AHRC-ARTS & HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCILUnset