Policing and Punishment in London 1660-1750: Urban Crime and the Limits of Terror

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Oxford University Press, 2001 - History - 491 pages
This study examines the considerable changes that took place in the criminal justice system in the City of London in the century after the Restoration, well before the inauguration of the so-called 'age of reform'. The policing institutions of the City were transformed in response to theproblems created by the rapid expansion of the metropolis during the early modern period, and as a consequence of the emergence of a polite urban culture. At the same time, the City authorities were instrumental in the establishment of new forms of punishment - particularly transportation to theAmerican colonies and confinement at hard labour - that for the first time made secondary sanctions available to the English courts for convicted felons and diminished the reliance on the terror created by capital punishment. The book investigates why in the century after 1660 the elements of analternative means of dealing with crime in urban society were emerging in policing, in the practices and procedures of prosecution, and in the establishment of new forms of punishment.
 

Contents

Introduction The Crime Problem
1
The City Magistrates and the Process of Prosecution
77
Constables and Other Officers
114
Policing the Night Streets
169
Detection and Prosecution Thief takers 1690 1720
226
The Old Bailey in the Late Seventeenth Century
259
The Revolution Crime and Punishment in London 1690 1713
313
Crime and the State 1714 1750
370
William Thomson and Transportation
424
Conclusion
463
Bibliography of Manuscript Sources
476
Index
483
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About the author (2001)

J. M. Beattie is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Toronto.

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