Crime and Mentalities in Early Modern England by Malcolm Gaskill

By Malcolm Gaskill

Crime and the legislations have now been studied through historians of early glossy England for greater than a new release. This ebook makes an attempt to arrive extra than most traditional remedies of the topic, to discover the cultural contexts of law-breaking and legal prosecution, and to get well their hidden social meanings. It additionally examines intimately the crimes of witchcraft, coining--counterfeiting and coin-clipping--and homicide, in an effort to show new and significant insights into how the taking into consideration traditional humans was once remodeled among 1550 and 1750.

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Moreover, because most depositions were documents drawn up at magisterial hearings, it is these hearings which they best describe as historical sources. Nevertheless, depositions still raise concern, especially over how faithfully they re¯ect plebeian voices. 98 James C. Scott has argued that behind the attitudes of subordinate 93 94 95 96 97 98 Quoting Thompson, Customs in common, p. 102. On pre-trial procedure in general, see Herrup, Common peace, chs. 4±5; Beattie, Crime and the courts, ch. 6.

Finally, the third level comprises mainly administrative sources, which best re¯ect the input of ordinary people, and perhaps the way things really were. This is a very loose model, but can help to conceptualize contemporary perceptions and experiences in terms of contexts of communication and their inter-relationships. The most valuable administrative documents are assize depositions ± the informations and examinations of plaintiffs, witnesses and defendants ± which provide a more detailed background for the offences recorded in 82 83 administrative study (Oxford, 1986); J.

M. Beattie, Crime and the courts in England 1660±1800 (Oxford, 1986), ch. 8. Douglas Hay, `Property, authority and the criminal law', in Douglas Hay et al. ), Albion's fatal tree: crime and society in eighteenth-century England (London, 1975), pp. 17±63; E. P. Thompson, Whigs and hunters: the origin of the Black Act (London, 1975); John H. Langbein, `Albion's fatal ¯aws', P&P, 98 (1983), pp. ), An ungovernable people, p. 20; Peter King, `Decision-makers and decision-making in the English criminal law 1750±1800', HJ, 27 (1984), pp.

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