The Old Bailey Proceedings, 1674–1913: text mining for evidence of court behavior

Hitchcock, Tim and Turkel, William J (2016) The Old Bailey Proceedings, 1674–1913: text mining for evidence of court behavior. Law and History Review, 34 (4). pp. 929-955. ISSN 0738-2480

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Abstract

This article uses text and data mining methodologies to explore the distribution of text among the 197,000 trials published as part of the Old Bailey Proceedings, 1674-1913. By testing how the Proceedings report trials that resulted from different charges and pleas it argues that historians need to be wary of their use as evidence for eighteenth-century court behaviour. It also demonstrates that the Proceedings give a much fuller account of nineteenth-century trials, and provides evidence derived from the distribution of words between trials for the early and growing importance of “plea bargaining” in the nineteenth century, resulting in a significant transformation in the character of the criminal trial.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Old Bailey, crime, data mining, text mining, Proceedings
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Humanities Lab
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
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- > 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
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA129 By period > DA300 Modern, 1485- > DA550 Victorian era, 1837-1901
Depositing User: Timothy Hitchcock
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2017 15:50
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2017 21:02
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/66000

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Datamining with Criminal IntentUnsetAHRCUnset