Historical Social Research, Vol. 15 — 1990 — No.

2, 3-34

C r i m e and Authority in Eighteenth Century England
Law Enforcement on the Local Level Dietrich Oberwitiler*

A b s t r a c t : T h e history o f c r i m e a n d t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system h a s been a field of i n t e n s i v e research in t h e English social history for s o m e y e a r s . T h i s article p u r s u e s a twofold a i m : Firstly, it is i n t e n d e d to give a b r o a d overview o v e r t h e social history of e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y c r i m e a n d c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e in E n g l a n d * d i s c u s s i n g different app r o a c h e s a n d m e t h o d o l o g i c a l q u e s t i o n s . I n t h e second p a r t , t h e focus will be on t h e actual w o r k i n g of t h e crim i n a l j u s t i c e system o n t h e level b e l o w t h e c r i m i n a l c o u r t s w h e r e it w a s t h e task of t h e j u s t i c e s of t h e p e a c e to enforce t h e law. As t h e analysis of j u s t i c e s ' n o t e b o o k s reveals, i n f o r m a l w a y s of d e a l i n g w i t h d e l i n q u e n c y w e r e c o m m o n o n t h i s local level. T h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e s e f i n d i n g s for t h e c h a r a c t e r of t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system a n d a u t h o r i t y in g e n e r a l will be assessed in part t h r e e .

1. The English History of Crime: A Review on the Field
R o u g h l y fifteen years of i n c r e a s i n g l y i n t e n s i v e research on t h e history of c r i m e h a v e resulted i n a m u c h m o r e a c c u r a t e p i c t u r e o f c r i m e a n d t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system i n E n g l i s h h i s t o r y t h a n h a s p r e v i o u s l y been k n o w n . T r a d i t i o n a l a s s u m p t i o n s t h a t t h e » o l d « system o f c o m b a t t i n g c r i m e w a s basically cruel, i r r a t i o n a l , a n d inefficient a n d t h a t t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system in t h e last t w o h u n d r e d years w a s »a history of p r o g r e s s « (1) h a v e b e e n r e p l a c e d by a m o r e b a l a n c e d view. This, h o w e v e r , w a s t h e result of a lively a n d p a r t l y c o n t r o v e r s i a l d e b a t e a m o n g social h i s t o r i a n s w h i c h took place o v e r t h e last fifteen years or so (2). T h e fundam e n t a l p r e s u m p t i o n o f all h i s t o r i a n s d e a l i n g w i t h t h i s subject w a s t h a t c r i m i n a l i t y a n d t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system reflects t h e c h a r a c t e r of social r e l a t i o n s a n d a u t h o r i t y in a society, a l t h o u g h not all of t h e m h a v e g o n e so

* A d d r e s s all c o m m u n i c a t i o n s to: D i e t r i c h O b e r w i t t l e r , B e e t h o v e n s t r a ße 1, D - 5 3 0 0 B o n n 1. 3

Historical Social Research, Vol. 15 — 1990 — No. 2, 3-34

far as to consider t h i s field as »central to u n l o c k i n g t h e m e a n i n g s of eight e e n t h - c e n t u r y social history.»(3) W h a t w a s p u z z l i n g English h i s t o r i a n s p a r t i c u l a r l y w a s t h e relative a b s e n c e of fierce social t e n s i o n s a n d political instability w h i c h d i s t i n g u i s h e d E n g l a n d from o t h e r E u r o p e a n countries, especially F r a n c e (4). T h e a c c e p t a n c e of t h e legal system ( a n d h e n c e of a u t h o r i t y ) by large p a r t s of t h e p o p u l a t i o n u n d o u b t e d l y played an import a n t r o l e in a c h i e v i n g t h i s stability (5). T h i s article, too, tries to give s o m e a n s w e r s to t h i s f u n d a m e n t a l q u e s t i o n . But t h e focus will be exclusively on t h e lowest level of e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y law e n f o r c e m e n t w h i c h w a s r u n by t h e j u s t i c e s of t h e peace. As will be s h o w n , t h i s level w a s of crucial i m p o r t a n c e for t h e c h a r a c t e r of t h e crim i n a l j u s t i c e system as a w h o l e .

T h e » H i s t o r y F r o m Below« A p p r o a c h It s e e m s useful to c o m m e n c e with a brief discussion of general t r e n d s a n d d e v e l o p m e n t s of t h e history of c r i m e in E n g l a n d . Basically, t h e r e h a v e b e e n t w o different i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s w h i c h tried to explain t h e role of t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system w i t h i n society. T h e first, w h i c h h a s been called t h e » h i s t o r y from b e l o w « a p p r o a c h , claimed t h a t t h e a c c e p t a n c e of t h e legal system w a s t h e result of a great deceit: t h e ideology of equality before t h e law a n d t h e belief in t h e rule of law w h i c h w a s w i d e s p r e a d in eighteenthc e n t u r y E n g l a n d was a c c o r d i n g to t h i s view m e r e l y t h e result of a successful a t t e m p t by t h e small r u l i n g class to disguise t h e real p u r p o s e of t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system, t h e protection of »a radical division of p r o p e r t y . « (6) T h e o r i g i n a t o r of this radical a p p r o a c h , w h i c h s u b s e q u e n t l y triggered t h e » c r i m e w a v e « of t h e 70s a n d 80s, w a s E . P . T h o m p s o n w h o discovered c r i m e w h e n s e a r c h i n g for signs of »sub-political« protest a n d class consc i o u s n e s s in t h e late e i g h t e e n t h a n d early n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s (7). T h o m p son a n d his disciples p r e s e n t e d t h e i r m a r x i s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n m o s t p r o m i n e n t l y in t h e i r collection » A l b i o n ' s Fatal Tree« (8). E x p l a i n i n g t h e p a r a d o x of an increasingly savage p e n a l code w h i c h inflicted t h e d e a t h p e n a l t y on a w i d e r a n g e of petty p r o p e r t y offenses on t h e o n e h a n d a n d relatively few actual e x e c u t i o n s o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , D o u g l a s H a y e m p h a s i z e d t h e imp o r t a n c e of discretion a n d b e n e v o l e n c e exercised in this way in t h e c o u r t s for t h e p a t e r n a l i s t i c k i n d of a u t h o r i t y in e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y E n g l a n d (9). M o r e o v e r , t h e c r i m i n a l law h a s been given an i m p o r t a n t role in t h e process of e s t a b l i s h i n g a capitalistic e c o n o m y in r u r a l E n g l a n d w h e n traditional c u s t o m a r y rights o f t h e l a b o u r i n g p o o r t o use land w e r e m o r e a n d m o r e replaced by t h e capitalistic c o n c e p t of exclusive p r o p e r t y (10). T h e n o t i o n of »social c r i m e « d e n o t e s types of b e h a v i o u r , such as wood gathering, p o a c h i n g or s m u g g l i n g , w h i c h w e r e d e c l a r e d illegal by t h e state b u t w e r e n e v e r t h e l e s s r e g a r d e d as legitimate by large p a r t s of t h e lower classes 4

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(11). T h i s c o n c e p t of social c r i m e h a s since b e e n an i m p o r t a n t theoretical s t a r t i n g p o i n t for English h i s t o r i a n s of c r i m e (12). It is o n e i m p o r t a n t result of t h e » h i s t o r y f r o m b e l o w « a p p r o a c h that t h e h i s t o r y of c r i m e is to a large e x t e n t t h e history of t h e l a b o u r i n g classes a n d t h e p o o r w h o c o u n t e d for t h e great m a j o r i t y o f t h e accused. F o r this reason, t h e history of c r i m e h a s to be e m b e d d e d in t h e social history of t h e lower classes in g e n e r a l (13). H a v i n g said that, it is necessary to deal with t h e criticism directed at this radical view o f t h e e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y c r i m i n a l law. O n t h e o n e h a n d , t h e c o n c e p t of social c r i m e h a s b e e n q u e s t i o n e d for several r e a s o n s . T h i s is not o n l y t r u e for t h e very p e c u l i a r case of a g a n g of p o a c h e r s in t h e royal forests w h o s e story h a s b e e n w r i t t e n d o w n i n E . P . T h o m p s o n ' s » W h i g s a n d H u n t e r s « (14); p o a c h i n g in g e n e r a l w a s not m a d e a c r i m i n a l offence bec a u s e n e w capitalistic p r o p e r t y r i g h t s w e r e at stake, b u t b e c a u s e it was a g a i n s t t h e old a r i s t o c r a t i c interest. P o a c h i n g w a s even c o m m i t t e d partly for »capitalist« m o t i v e s , since t h e r e w a s a rising d e m a n d for g a m e in t h e t o w n s (15). S m u g g l i n g as well could be d e s c r i b e d as an a t t e m p t to maxim i z e profits. Yet, t h e r e a r e e x a m p l e s of c r i m i n a l legislation w h i c h clearly h a d a s t r o n g class c h a r a c t e r . E m b e z z l e m e n t at t h e w o r k p l a c e , especially in t h e p u t t i n g out i n d u s t r i e s , w a s c o m m o n a n d regarded a s legitimate b y m o s t of t h e w o r k e r s , a l t h o u g h it w a s subject to fines a n d short i m p r i s o n m e n t . J o h n Styles h a s e m p h a s i z e d , h o w e v e r , t h a t t h e efforts o f m a n u f a c t u r e r s a n d legislators t o r e d e f i n e p r o p e r t y r i g h t s a n d t o o u t l a w e m b e z z l e m e n t w e r e n o t p e c u l i a r t o t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y but can b e traced back t o e a r l i e r cen t u r i e s (16). J . C . O r t h (1987a a n d 1987b) h a s recently dealt with a n o t h e r e x a m p l e of e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y class legislation: t h e c o m b i n a t i o n acts w h i c h m a d e early t r a d e u n i o n i s t activities a c r i m i n a l offence. O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e b a s i c c o n c l u s i o n o f t h e » h i s t o r y from b e l o w « a p p r o a c h t h a t t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system w a s a m e r e tool of o p p r e s s i o n in t h e h a n d s of a small r u l i n g class h a s b e e n d e n i e d (17). J . H . L a n g b e i n h a s s h o w n t h a t H a y ' s b a s i c h y p o t h e s i s t h a t t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system was d e s i g n e d t o stabilize t h e e x i s t i n g o r d e r i s t o s o m e e x t e n t tautological a n d c a n n o t be falsified (18); P e t e r K i n g (1984b) in a very influential article h a s stressed t h e fact t h a t in m o s t cases of p r o p e r t y c r i m e it w a s t h e m i d d l i n g a n d lower sort of p e o p l e w h o w e r e v i c t i m s of p r o p e r t y c r i m e s ; in fact, in m a n y cases m e m b e r s o f t h e l o w e r classes assaulted o r stole f r o m t h e i r e q u a l s . A n d t h o s e v i c t i m s f r o m t h e l o w e r classes » m a d e e x t e n s i v e use o f t h e c o u r t s for t h e i r o w n p u r p o s e s . « (19) T h e s e f i n d i n g s w h i c h w e r e based o n q u a n t i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h clearly d o n ' t fit t o t h e p i c t u r e D . H a y a n d o t h e r s h a v e g i v e n . O n e f u n d a m e n t a l s h o r t c o m i n g o f t h e » h i s t o r y from b e l o w « a p p r o a c h s e e m s to me to result f r o m a negligence of q u a n t i t a t i v e m e t h o d s (20). T h i s is not to say t h a t social c r i m e s , for e x a m p l e , w e r e of no signific a n c e for t h e c h a r a c t e r of t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system at all; b u t in o r d e r to 5

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get a b a l a n c e d view it is indispensable to look to t h e statistical e v i d e n c e w h i c h suggests that social c r i m e s a c c o u n t e d only for a small p r o p o r t i o n of all c r i m e s p r o s e c u t e d .

The Quantitative Approach T h a t leads to a n o t h e r a p p r o a c h to t h e history of c r i m e w h i c h shall be discussed h e r e : t h e q u a n t i t a t i v e a p p r o a c h (21). T h e r a t i o n a l e for quantit a t i v e research n e e d s h a r d l y to be e x p l a i n e d ; m a n y of t h e key q u e s t i o n s a b o u t c r i m e d e s e r v e q u a n t i t a t i v e a n s w e r s , a n d m a n y o f t h e sources prod u c e d by t h e i n s t i t u t i o n s of law e n f o r c e m e n t a r e perfectly suitable for statistical analysis. Yet, unless applied with t h e u t m o s t caution a n d a high d e g r e e of sensibility for t h e l i m i t a t i o n s of t h i s a p p r o a c h , q u a n t i t a t i v e met h o d s do not necessarily e n h a n c e t h e historical k n o w l e d g e . It is o n e a i m of t h i s article to d e m o n s t r a t e s o m e of t h e p r o b l e m s t h e historian faces w h e n u s i n g statistical data especially f r o m a relatively high level. T h e r e a r e basically t w o different objects of statistical analysis: t h e patt e r n of c r i m i n a l i t y a n d t h e p a t t e r n of p r o s e c u t i o n . It is a t r u i s m for a n y given p e r i o d that t h e k n o w n c r i m e rate is only t h e rate of recorded c r i m e , a n d t h a t t h e r e is a d a r k figure w h i c h c a n n o t be assessed p r o p e r l y . All h i s t o r i a n s a g r e e that this d a r k figure w a s c o n s i d e r a b l y h i g h e r in t h e eight e e n t h c e n t u r y , w h e n t h e r e existed n e i t h e r a detective police force n o r state p r o s e c u t i o n , t h a n it is today. N e v e r t h e l e s s , on condition that » t h e extent of t h e offenses actually c o m m i t t e d w e r e reflected even to s o m e degree in t h e i n d i c t m e n t s b r o u g h t to c o u r t « , an analysis of fluctuations of t h e c r i m e rate o v e r t i m e m a y m a k e sense (22). This is p a r t i c u l a r l y t r u e for s h o r t - t e r m f l u c t u a t i o n s , w h e r e a s long-term d e v e l o p m e n t s in t h e c r i m e rate a r e likely to be caused by i n s t i t u t i o n a l c h a n g e s . O n e of t h e favourite q u e s t i o n s exam i n e d o v e r t h e last years is w h e t h e r t h e r e w a s a correlation b e t w e e n econ o m i c h a r d s h i p a n d t h e level of p r o p e r t y offenses. D . H a y in a very thor o u g h s t u d y h a s c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h e r e was such a correlation w h i c h b e c a m e o b v i o u s only d u r i n g w a r t i m e (23). I t t u r n e d out that w a r a n d peace h a d t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t i m p a c t on t h e c r i m e r a t e with periods of w a r h a v i n g a relatively low level of r e c o r d e d c r i m e s . T h e e n d i n g of wars, on t h e o t h e r h a n d , w e r e followed by t h e release of a great n u m b e r of u n e m p l o y e d exsoldiers w h o w e r e v i r t u a l l y forced to get t h e i r livelihood by d i s h o n e s t m e a n s . T h u s , a s i m p l e positive c o r r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n t h e cost of living a n d t h e level of p r o p e r t y c r i m e s clearly did n o t exist, as S.R.Wilson (1986) has recently e m p h a s i z e d . It is h a r d l y possible for t h e q u a n t i t a t i v e h i s t o r i a n to t a k e i n t o a c c o u n t all t h e c o n t r i b u t o r y factors w h i c h w e r e r e l e v a n t for t h e level of r e c o r d e d c r i m e s . To m e n t i o n j u s t o n e point: it is k n o w n t h a t dur i n g w a r t i m e s , m a n y m a l e o f f e n d e r s w e r e n o t put o n trial b u t w e n t unp u n i s h e d if they enlisted in t h e a r m y , t h u s d i s t o r t i n g t h e r a t e of recorded

Historical Social Research, Vol. 15 — 1990 — No. 2, 3-34

c r i m e s (24). T h u s , I n n e s a n d Styles a r e right t o c o n c l u d e that » t h e r e can b e no h i s t o r y of c r i m i n a l i t y s e p a r a t e from t h e history of law e n f o r c e m e n t « (25). T h e p r o s e c u t i o n of c r i m e s constitutes t h e m a j o r object of q u a n t i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h . H e r e a b o v e all, J . M . B e a n i e ' s b o o k » C r i m e a n d t h e C o u r t s i n E n g l a n d 1660-1800« w h i c h deals with b o t h t h e p a t t e r n of c r i m i n a l i t y a n d t h e p a t t e r n of p r o s e c u t i o n r e p r e s e n t s o n e of t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t achievem e n t s of t h e E n g l i s h h i s t o r y of c r i m e so far (26). A l m o s t every aspect of t h e p r o s e c u t i o n of felonies s t a r t i n g with t h e detection of c r i m e s a n d e n d i n g w i t h p u n i s h m e n t s i s dealt w i t h c o m p r e h e n s i v e l y , c o m b i n i n g q u a l i t a t i v e a n d q u a n t i t a t i v e m e t h o d s . T h e core of his study is, h o w e v e r , a q u a n t i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s of t h e w o r k i n g of t h e assize c o u r t s , t h e highest level of English c r i m i n a l j u r i s d i c t i o n . Beattie is able to show, for e x a m p l e , t h a t t h e r e h a d a l r e a d y b e e n a shift t o w a r d s s e c o n d a r y p u n i s h m e n t s in t h e b e g i n n i n g of t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y w h e n t h e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n o f felons t o A m e r i c a was i n t r o d u c e d (27). T h e n u m b e r of actual e x e c u t i o n s h a d decreased even a h u n d r e d y e a r s earlier a c c o r d i n g t o P J e n k i n s (1986). T r a n s p o r t a t i o n a n d s u b s e q u e n t l y i m p r i s o n m e n t did, t h e r e f o r e , n o t replace capital p u n i s h m e n t s b u t w h i p p i n g a n d b r a n d i n g t h e t h u m b (28). A l t h o u g h B e a n i e ' s b o o k offers very b a l a n c e d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s a n d und o u b t e d l y e n h a n c e s t h e k n o w l e d g e a b o u t c r i m i n a l i t y a n d law e n f o r c e m e n t in s e v e n t e e n t h a n d e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s c o n s i d e r a b l y , r e a s o n s for precaution r e m a i n . It is a c o m m o n feature of m o s t studies of t h i s q u a n t i t a t i v e a p p r o a c h t h a t t h e y a r e based u p o n data s a m p l e d on a relatively high level. Beattie h a s t a k e n his s o u r c e s m a i n l y from t h e c r i m i n a l c o u r t s (assizes a n d q u a r t e r sessions) of S u r r e y a n d Sussex. Yet, it is clear that only a p a r t of all cases of felonies ( t h o s e offenses that h a d to be tried e i t h e r in q u a r t e r sess i o n s or in assizes) actually reached t h i s stage of p r o s e c u t i o n , as Beattie himself a d m i t s . T h a t m e a n s t h a t a n exclusive focus o n t h e cases b r o u g h t t o c o u r t d i s t o r t s t h e reality of early m o d e r n law e n f o r c e m e n t . T h e role of t h e p r e t r i a l process n e e d s t o b e e x a m i n e d m o r e carefully t h a n h a s been d o n e (29). T h i s is even m o r e t h e case as only a m i n o r i t y of offenses w e r e felon i e s ; t h e m a j o r i t y o f offenses w h i c h w e r e called m i s d e m e a n o r s could b e dealt w i t h by j u s t i c e s of t h e peace o u t s i d e t h e c o u r t s . Because t h e s e petty offenses w e r e m u c h m o r e f r e q u e n t i n t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y , t h e y a n d t h e w a y t h e y w e r e t r e a t e d a r e m o r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e sys t e m as a w h o l e t h a n felonies a n d t h e w o r k of t h e c o u r t s . Beattie's objection t h a t o n l y » m a i n s t r e a m « offenses a s theft, b u r g l a r y , r o b b e r y etc. w e r e r e g a r d e d as c r i m i n a l by c o n t e m p o r a r i e s a n d t h a t if h i s t o r i a n s dealt w i t h b o t h p e t t y offenses a n d felonies t o g e t h e r it w o u l d »lead to c o n f u s i o n « d o e s n o t c o n v i n c e (30). It w o u l d be easy to s h o w that t h e c r i m i n a l law r e f o r m e r s of t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y w h o w e r e obsessed by t h e idea of p r e v e n t i o n r e g a r d e d petty offenses a s p a r t i c u l a r l y d a n g e r o u s (31). 7

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T h e lower levels of law e n f o r c e m e n t a n d t h e different k i n d s of offenses w h i c h w e r e typical on these levels h a v e attracted a n u m b e r of h i s t o r i a n s in recent years. A p p r o a c h i n g t h e subject by m e a n s of local case studies r a t h e r t h a n on a high level, they offered a new, a l t e r n a t i v e view on t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system of early m o d e r n E n g l a n d (32).

T h e Institutional A p p r o a c h T h e r e h a s been a m o r e general shift t o w a r d s t h e study of t h e i n s t i t u t i o n s of law e n f o r c e m e n t in recent years. To s o m e extent, this d e v e l o p m e n t s e e m s to be i n e v i t a b l e . It is a result b o t h of t h e history from below a n d t h e q u a n t i t a t i v e a p p r o a c h that a very t h o r o u g h a c q u a i n t a n c e with t h e w o r k i n g of t h e i n s t i t u t i o n s of law e n f o r c e m e n t is necessary w h e n d e a l i n g with t h e history of c r i m e . Various aspects of t h e w o r k i n g of t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system h a v e been t h e subject of studies d u r i n g t h e last years. T h e offices w h i c h w e r e conc e r n e d with law e n f o r c e m e n t starting with t h e village c o n s t a b l e h a v e been dealt with (33). A bulk of studies h a v e been devoted to t h e office of t h e j u s t i c e of t h e peace w h i c h w a s of crucial i m p o r t a n c e for t h e w o r k i n g of t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system, as will be a r g u e d in t h i s article (34). T h e m o s t t h o r o u g h a n d s t i m u l a t i n g w o r k o n t h e j u s t i c e s h a s been d o n e b y N o r m a L a n d a u (1984) w h o put t h e e m p h a s i s especially o n t h e legal f r a m e w o r k a n d t h e p u b l i c image w h i c h s h a p e d t h e i r role in t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system. On t h e level of t h e c r i m i n a l courts, t h e focus in recent years h a s been on t h e j u r i e s . Traditionally boasted as t h e b u l w a r k of British liberties, t h e j u r i e s h a v e been d e n o t e d b y t h e history from below a p p r o a c h a s t h e tools of a r i s t o c r a t i c class interest (35). Little w o r k h a s been d o n e so far on t h e early m o d e r n prison system; a study of J . I n n e s (1987) r e p r e s e n t s t h e m o s t recent a c c o u n t of t h e history of t h e h o u s e s of correction (36). T h e t r a n s i t i o n from t h e t r a d i t i o n a l t o t h e m o d e r n c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system w h i c h took place m a i n l y in t h e early n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y is o n e of t h e m o s t c o m p l e x a n d controversial a r e a s of r e s e a r c h . After a t i m e in w h i c h t h e significance a n d t h e t h o r o u g h n e s s o f t h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n h a s b e e n stressed a n d a very u n f a v o u r a b l e p i c t u r e of t h e r e f o r m e r s ' m o t i v e s h a s been given c l a i m i n g that t h e i r i n t e n t i o n w a s a b o v e all to e n f o r c e social c o n t r o l over t h e lower classes m o r e rigorously (37), t h e r e h a s been a t r e n d t o w a r d s a m o r e careful a n d balanced a s s e s s m e n t of this process. Was c h a n ge or r a t h e r c o n t i n u i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h e actual d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e i n s t i t u t i o n s of law e n f o r c e m e n t ? To a n s w e r this q u e s t i o n , detailed studies of b o t h t h e » o l d « a n d t h e » n e w « system of law e n f o r c e m e n t a r e indispensable. A recently p u b l i s h e d collection of essays by D . H a y , P . K i n g , D . P h i l i p s , J.Styles a n d o t h e r s offers insights i n t o t h e p r o s e c u t i o n process 8

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a n d its c h a n g e s d u r i n g t h e crucial period of t h e late e i g h t e e n t h a n d early n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s (38). T h e i n t r o d u c t i o n a n d early d e v e l o p m e n t of a professional police force is o n e of t h e c e n t r a l p o i n t s of interest h e r e . T h e idea that t h e m o d e of law e n f o r c e m e n t w a s r a p i d l y t r a n s f o r m e d by t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n of t h e m e t r o p o l i t a n police forces in 1829 h a s c o m e u n d e r revision; c o n t i n u i t y r a t h e r t h a n c h a n g e s e e m s t o h a v e been typical for reality of law e n f o r c e m e n t (39). A n o t h e r p o i n t of d i s a g r e e m e n t is t h e question a b o u t t h e causes o f t h e t r a n s i t i o n a n d t h e factors w h i c h d e t e r m i n e d its s h a p e a n d t i m i n g . In h i s m a s s i v e v o l u m e »Police a n d P r o t e s t in England a n d I r e l a n d 1750-1850«, Stanley P a l m e r a r g u e s t h a t it w a s t h e fear of p o p u l a r d i s o r d e r a n d political e x t r e m i s m t h a t i n d u c e d t h e E n g l i s h governm e n t to i n t r o d u c e a paid police force; » e m p h a s i s on t h e detection of c r i m e did n o t e m e r g e until t h e s e c o n d half of t h e c e n t u r y . « (40) O t h e r h i s t o r i a n s a s C . E m s l e y (1986) a n d D . P h i l i p s (1980) h a v e m a i n t a i n e d t h a t t h e m a i n s t i m u l u s for police r e f o r m w e r e d e m a n d s t h a t t h e system o f c o m b a t t i n g c r i m e s h o u l d b e m a d e m o r e effective. I n c i d e n t s o f p u b l i c d i s o r d e r such a s t h e G o r d o n R i o t s in 1780 w e r e of c o u r s e of great i m p o r t a n c e for t h e soft e n i n g of critical a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d s a professional police force; h o w e v e r , t h e w r i t i n g s of t h e early police r e f o r m e r s such as t h e influential »A Treatise of t h e Police of t h e M e t r o p o l i s « by P a t r i c k C o l q u h o u n a n d t h e p u b l i c discussion a b o u t t h e necessity of a police r e f o r m do not a d m i t for a n y d o u b t that c r i m e , w h e t h e r petty or capital, w a s in fact a chief c o n c e r n of t h e r e f o r m e r s (41).

II. The Work of the Justices of the Peace
In o r d e r to learn s o m e t h i n g a b o u t everyday c r i m e a n d law e n f o r c e m e n t , it is t h e w o r k of t h e j u s t i c e s of t h e peace (or m a g i s t r a t e s , as t h e y w e r e syno n y m o u s l y called) t o w h i c h o n e m u s t t u r n . Law e n f o r c e m e n t o n t h e level below t h e c r i m i n a l c o u r t s , o n t h e local level, rested with t h e j u s t i c e s w h o w e r e s u p p o r t e d b y c o n s t a b l e s a n d o t h e r p a r i s h officers. Justices h a d t o deal with all k i n d s of offenses, r a n g i n g from p r o f a n e s w e a r i n g or s t e a l i n g fruit from o r c h a r d s t o theft, r o b b e r i e s a n d h o m i c i d e s . I n m o s t cases, t h e j u s t i c e s a c t i n g o u t s i d e t h e c o u r t s c o u l d h e a r a n d d e t e r m i n e t h e cases t h e m s e l v e s u s i n g s u m m a r y j u r i s d i c t i o n a n d o t h e r legal i n s t r u m e n t s t o deal w i t h all k i n d s of m i s d e m e a n o u r s ; b u t if a felony w a s r e p o r t e d to a j u s t i c e , it w a s his responsibility t o act a s a n i n v e s t i g a t i n g j u d g e b y e x a m i n i n g t h e case a n d c o m m i t t i n g or b a i l i n g a suspected felon for trial. T h u s , m o s t cases of c r i m e w h i c h w e r e officially p r o s e c u t e d c a m e b e f o r e a j u s t i c e . T h i s is w h y t h e w o r k of t h e j u s t i c e s gives a fairly realistic p i c t u r e of c r i m i n a l i t y in early m o d e r n E n g l a n d . 9

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T h a t it is possible at all for h i s t o r i a n s to analyse law e n f o r c e m e n t on t h i s local level is d u e to t h e n o t e b o o k s w h i c h w e r e kept privately by s o m e j u s t i c e s . A l t h o u g h t h e k e e p i n g o f n o t e b o o k s w a s strongly r e c o m m e n d e d , only few did k e e p one, a n d only very few of t h e m h a v e survived. Five of t h e s e s u r v i v i n g n o t e b o o k s c o n t a i n i n g a b o u t o n e t h o u s a n d cases h a v e b e e n a n a l y s e d for this study (42). T h e d e g r e e of i n f o r m a t i o n given in t h e s e n o t e b o o k s is differing: at best, all cases b r o u g h t before t h e j u s t i c e s t o g e t h e r with i n f o r m a t i o n about t h e p e o p l e i n v o l v e d a n d t h e o u t c o m e a r e r e c o r d e d ; u n f o r t u n a t e l y , not all of t h e m c o m e close to t h i s high d e g r e e of c o m p l e t e n e s s . A p a r t from these n o t e b o o k s , also h o u s e of correction c a l e n d a r s h a v e been used which c o n t a i n i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t t h o s e cases w h i c h resulted in a c o m m i t t a l to t h i s type of p r i s o n (43). E n f o r c i n g t h e c r i m i n a l law w a s only o n e p a r t of t h e d u t i e s of j u s t i c e s of t h e peace w h o w e r e at t h e s a m e t i m e in c h a r g e of t h e c o u n t y a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . D u e t o t h e nearly c o m p l e t e a b s e n c e o f a n y state-controlled b u r e a u cracy in E n g l a n d , virtually all m a t t e r s of i n t e r n a l policy, r a n g i n g f r o m t h e m a i n t e n a n c e of streets a n d bridges as well as of law a n d o r d e r to t h e s u p e r v i s i o n of t r a d e a n d i n d u s t r y , w e r e e n t r u s t e d to t h e w o r k of t h e s e u n p a i d m e n w h o acted v o l u n t a r i l y a n d w h o c a m e m a i n l y from t h e l a n d e d g e n t r y . A s aristocratic » r u l e r s o f t h e n a t i o n « , t h e y w e r e rarely s u b m i t t e d t o c o n t r o l , a n d t h e i r discretion w a s c o n s i d e r a b l e in a d m i n i s t r a t i v e as well as 10

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in c r i m i n a l m a t t e r s . A s t u d y of t h e j u s t i c e s ' n o t e b o o k s can t h e r e f o r e shed light on t h e actual e n f o r c e m e n t of t h e c r i m i n a l law on t h e local level. Offenses against t h e p e a c e W h a t k i n d of offenses w e r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h e local level of law enforcem e n t , a n d i n w h a t way did t h e j u s t i c e s deal w i t h t h e s e offenses? As figure 1 shows, by far t h e largest g r o u p w e r e t h e offenses a g a i n s t t h e peace. T h e s e offenses i n c l u d e d a w i d e r a n g e of i n c i d e n t s such as assaults, batteries a n d insults w h i c h t o o k place m a i n l y a m o n g n e i g h b o u r s , colleagues or w i t h i n t h e families; a t h i r d of t h e s e cases r e p o r t e d to t h e j u s t i c e s w e r e c o m m i t t e d b y m e n a g a i n s t w o m e n . I n t e r p e r s o n a l v i o l e n c e seem t o h a v e been very w i d e s p r e a d i n early m o d e r n E n g l a n d , a n d i t w a s m u c h m o r e tolerated by society as an i n e v i t a b l e c o n c o m i t a n t of e v e r y d a y life, t h a n it is today. It is fair to a s s u m e t h a t o n l y a fraction of cases w e r e actually p r o s e c u t e d . As t h e title of t h e office indicates, k e e p i n g t h e peace w a s t h e o n e of t h e principal t a s k s of t h e j u s t i c e s ; b u t in cases of p r i v a t e d i s p u t e s , j u s t i c e s sought t h e s e t t l e m e n t of t h e s e conflicts, not t h e p u n i s h m e n t of t h e offend e r s , as t h e c h a i r m a n of t h e M i d d l e s e x j u s t i c e s e x p l a i n e d : »In C o m p l a i n t s of t h i s Sort, w h e r e t h e I n j u r y is b u t s m a l l , t h e Magistrate ... c a n n o t better exercise his H u m a n i t y , a n d I m a y a d d , h i s Wisdom, than by persuading the Parties to Peace and Reconciliation; an E x p e d i e n t w h i c h I h a v e s e l d o m k n o w n to fail.« (44) In t h e great m a j o r i t y of b r e a c h e s of t h e peace w h i c h w e r e r e p o r t e d to t h e justices, n o formal action w a s t a k e n ; William H u n t r e c o r d e d a n agreem e n t b e t w e e n t h e parties in 75 p.c. of t h e s e cases such as in t h e following case in w h i c h he g r a n t e d a w a r r a n t against several p e r s o n s for »...their violently a s s a u l t i n g a n d b e a t i n g t h e c o m p l a i n a n t in a b a r b a r o u s m a n n e r a n d t h r e a t e n i n g t o shoot h e r with a pistol. T h e p a r t i e s agreed w i t h o u t a h e a r i n g . « (45) E v e n a fighting with t h e s u b s e q u e n t d e a t h of a p a r t i c i p a n t w a s n o t r e g a r d e d as a m a t t e r of c r i m i n a l p r o s e c u t i o n (46). T h e E n g l i s h law offered an a l t e r n a t i v e i n s t r u m e n t for t h e t r e a t m e n t of offenses a g a i n s t t h e peace: t h e so-called surety of t h e peace (47). A j u s t i c e could o r d e r a p e r s o n to e n t e r i n t o a r e c o g n i z a n c e , a legal d o c u m e n t in w h i c h t h e d e l i n q u e n t p r o m i s e d n o t t o offend i n t h e s a m e m a n n e r a g a i n . I f t h i s p r o m i s e w a s c o n t r a v e n e d , a s u m of m o n e y w h i c h w a s fixed on t h e r e c o g n i z a n c e w a s forfeited t o t h e c r o w n . T h i s process, also called b i n d i n g over, w a s d e s i g n e d to p r e v e n t f u r t h e r conflicts a n d to coerce a p e r s o n to lawful b e h a v i o u r . P e r s o n s w h o w e r e d e e m e d t o o p o o r t o pay t h e s u m i f forfeited o r w h o could n o t p r o d u c e respectable p e r s o n s s p e a k i n g o n t h e i r b e h a l f c o u l d instead be sent to t h e h o u s e of c o r r e c t i o n , »for w a n t of s u r e t i e s « . In t h i s case, 11

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Table 1: Decisions of Justices in Cases of Breaches of the Peace (in %} Justice W.Brockman R-Brockman H.Norris RAVyatt W.Hunt no result recorded 85,7* 20,0 62,6* 66.1 13,7
1

informal settlement 4.8 733 24,1 6,8* 74,8
1

binding over 4,8

summary conviction 4,8 6,7 0,9 8,5 u

for trial

total 100,1 100,0 100,0 100,1 100,1

(n) 21 15 219 59 95

1,4 10,2 2,1

11,0 8,5 8,4

Source: Sample Notebooks Of the cases in the column "no result recorded", a large percentage is likely to have been settled informally without or upon hearing before the justices.

b i n d i n g o v e r could w o r k as a q u a s i - p u n i s h m e n t directed p r i m a r i l y against p e o p l e from low social strata or w i t h o u t social ties in t h e c o m m u n i t y . O n l y in a m i n o r i t y of cases, h o w e v e r , t h e j u s t i c e s felt it necessary to d e m a n d sureties of t h e peace (see t a b l e 1).

P o o r Law a n d L a b o u r O f f e n s e s A n o t h e r g r o u p o f offenders violated t h e laws w h i c h regulated t h e c o n d u c t of the l a b o u r i n g poor«, as the unpropertied and wage-dependent part of t h e p o p u l a t i o n w a s usually called. It is o n e of t h e characteristics of t h e c r i m i n a l law until well in t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y t h a t s o m e p a r t s of it served explicitly as a tool of social c o n t r o l over t h e lower classes. T h e acts r e g u l a t i n g t h e relations b e t w e e n e m p l o y e r s a n d w o r k e r s ( m a s t e r a n d serv a n t law) a n d t h e acts c o n n e c t e d with t h e p o o r law w e r e closely related, b e c a u s e t h e y w e r e part of o n e social policy, w e r e directed against t h e s a m e p a r t o f t h e p o p u l a t i o n a n d s t e m m e d from c o m m o n ideological roots. P o v e r t y w a s r e g a r d e d by c o n t e m p o r a r i e s as a m a i n cause of c r i m i n a l i t y (48). T h e a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s poverty, h o w e v e r , w a s d e t e r m i n e d b y t h e belief i n i n d i v i d u a l responsibility. Idleness a n d m o r a l w e a k n e s s w e r e t h o u g h t t o be t h e roots of poverty, u n l e s s o b v i o u s r e a s o n s such as illness or age w e r e f o u n d , a n d h e n c e all m e a s u r e s against p o v e r t y h a d t o c o m b a t t h e s e evils. » l d l e n e s s is t h e root of all evil, a n d p r o p e r l y p u n i s h a b l e by c o r p o r a l c o r r e c t i o n a n d c o n s t r a i n e d l a b o u r . « (49)

12

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T h i s rigid ideology h a d b e e n c e n t r a l for t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of h o u s e s of c o r r e c t i o n in t h e late s i x t e e n t h a n d early s e v e n t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s (50). Tog e t h e r w i t h t h e p o o r relief system w h i c h obliged t h e p a r i s h e s t o care for t h e i r » d i s a b l e d « p o o r , t h e h o u s e s of c o r r e c t i o n ( t o g e t h e r w i t h o t h e r coercive i n s t r u m e n t s as t h e w o r k h o u s e ) c o n s t i t u t e d a social policy w h i c h w a s d e s i g n e d to c o m b i n e aspects of relief a n d p u n i s h m e n t . It is w o r t h n o t i c i n g t h a t t h e basic idea o f c o r r e c t i o n t h r o u g h i m p r i s o n m e n t w h i c h i n s p i r e d t h e prison r e f o r m e r s i n t h e late e i g h t e e n t h a n d early n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s can a l r e a d y be f o u n d in t h e ideology of t h i s early p r i s o n system. A c c o r d i n g to t h i s ideology, an act of 1610 d i r e c t e d t h e j u s t i c e s of t h e peace t h a t »idle a n d d i s o r d e r l y p e r s o n s shall b e sent t o t h e h o u s e o f c o r r e c t i o n s (51) D u e t o t h e v a g u e definition o f t h i s act, t h e j u s t i c e s held s t r o n g d i s c r e t i o n a r y p o w e r s i n t h e t r e a t m e n t o f v a r i o u s k i n d s o f d e l i n q u e n t s f r o m t h e lower classes. A w o m a n w a s c o m m i t t e d to t h e C l e r k e n w e l l h o u s e of c o r r e c t i o n in 1752 »...for b e i n g an idle a n d d i s o r d e r l y p e r s o n l a y i n g o u t of N i g h t s pilfering a n d not b e i n g a b l e t o give a n a c c o u n t o f g e t t i n g a n h o n e s t l i v e l i h o o d . « (52) W h a t seems obvious from this description is that she was a vagrant w i t h o u t e m p l o y m e n t ; also, s h e w a s suspected to be a casual thief. It m a y as well be t h a t s h e w a s i m p r i s o n e d b e c a u s e s h e w a s d e e m e d a p r o s t i t u t e , an offence w h i c h w a s not o u t l a w e d explicitly. F o r a lawful i m p r i s o n m e n t , it w a s sufficient t o c o m m i t h e r a s a n »idle a n d d i s o r d e r l y p e r s o n « . H o w e v e r , over t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y t h e r e w a s a t e n d e n c y t o w a r d s a m o r e precise definition of t h e offenses w h i c h c o u l d be p u n i s h e d by i m p r i s o n m e n t in a h o u s e of c o r r e c t i o n (53). In t h e Essex h o u s e s of c o r r e c t i o n , l e a v i n g t h e family c h a r g e a b l e t o t h e p a r i s h , h a v i n g b a s t a r d c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e chargeable t o t h e p a r i s h , b e g g i n g a n d b e i n g a v a g r a n t w e r e t h e m o s t f r e q u e n t c h a r g e s (54). A total p e r c e n t a g e of 40 p.c. of t h e p r i s o n e r s w e r e c o m m i t t e d for o f f e n d i n g a g a i n s t t h e v a g r a n t act in s o m e w a y (see figure 2). M a s t e r a n d s e r v a n t law also i n c l u d e d p r o v i s i o n s for p u n i s h i n g l a b o u r e r s for c e r t a i n offenses. T h e j u s t i c e s of t h e p e a c e h a d b e e n r e s p o n s i b l e for t h e s u p e r v i s i o n o f l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s since t h e late m i d d l e ages; a n E l i z a b e t h a n act of 1563 w a s still t h e basis for t h e j u s t i c e s ' a c t i n g in t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y (55). A l t h o u g h t h i s w a s not a typical case in t h e e i g h t e e n t h century, a m a n w a s c o m m i t t e d to t h e h o u s e of c o r r e c t i o n for a s h o r t p e r i o d on c h a r g e o f » l i v i n g w i t h o u t e m p l o y m e n t s (56).Usually, m a s t e r s a n d employers c a m e t o j u s t i c e s i n o r d e r t o c o m p l a i n a b o u t t h e i r w o r k e r s w h o w e r e d e e m e d » i d l e « o r h a d left t h e i r j o b , t h u s b r e a c h i n g t h e i r c o n t r a c t . I n such cases, j u s t i c e s w e r e a l l o w e d t o s e n d t h e o f f e n d e r s t o t h e h o u s e o f correct i o n . 13 p.c. of t h e p r i s o n e r s in t w o h o u s e s of c o r r e c t i o n in Essex w e r e c o m m i t t e d for t h e s e offenses. E m b e z z l e m e n t a t t h e w o r k p l a c e w h i c h w a s f r e q u e n t especially i n t h e textile i n d u s t r y w a s p u n i s h a b l e b y t h e j u s t i c e s 13

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w i t h i m p r i s o n m e n t in t h e h o u s e of c o r r e c t i o n or a fine. In t w o Essex h o u s e s of c o r r e c t i o n s , only 3 p.c. of t h e p r i s o n e r s , p r e d o m i n a n t l y w o m e n , h a d been c h a r g e d with e m b e z z l e m e n t ; i n G l o u c e s t e r , w h e r e t h e textile i n d u s t r y w a s m o r e i m p o r t a n t , m o r e t h a n 1 0 p.c. h a d been c o m m i t t e d for t h i s offence (57). A larger p r o p o r t i o n of cases w e r e p r o b a b l y p u n i s h e d with fines. O n l y in a m i n o r i t y of cases, i m p r i s o n m e n t in t h e h o u s e of c o r r e c t i o n w a s a c t u a l l y a p p l i e d . A s t h e G e n t l e m a n ' s M a g a z i n e observed i n 1769, »...magistrates a n d p a r i s h officers a r e c a u t i o u s of inflicting t h i s punishm e n t , b u t r a t h e r c h u s e to let it h a n g in t e r r o r e m over t h e h e a d s of t h e offenders...« (58) A c t i n g as an e x e m p l a r y p u n i s h m e n t , it a c h i e v e d its p u r p o s e : t h e disciplin i n g of t h e l a b o u r i n g poor. O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e j u s t i c e s w e r e also available for c o m p l a i n t s b r o u g h t by l a b o u r e r s a g a i n s t t h e i r m a s t e r s ; in fact, t h i s k i n d of c o m p l a i n t s out n u m b e r e d in t h e j u s t i c e s ' n o t e b o o k s t h o s e b r o u g h t by e m p l o y e r s . William H u n t decided mostly in f a v o u r of l a b o u r e r s w h o h a d been dismissed c o n t r a r y t o t h e c o n t r a c t , o r w h o s e m a s t e r s refused t o pay t h e i r wages. 14

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P r o p e r t y Offenses T h e t h i r d m a i n g r o u p o f offenses w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e d a b o u t 3 0 p . c . o f t h e cases b r o u g h t before t h e j u s t i c e s w e r e p r o p e r t y c r i m e s . Offenses o f t h i s b r a n c h of d e l i n q u e n c y c o n s t i t u t e d t h e great m a j o r i t y of cases tried in t h e c r i m i n a l c o u r t s . But t h e r e w a s an i m p o r t a n t distinction b e t w e e n t w o different k i n d s of p r o p e r t y c r i m e s : theft (larceny), b u r g l a r y , r o b b e r y a n d fraud w e r e r e g a r d e d as felonies a n d h a d to be tried on i n d i c t m e n t in crim i n a l c o u r t s ; t h i s category of p r o p e r t y c r i m e s will be called » f e l o n i o u s p r o p e r t y c r i m e s « in t h i s a r t i c l e . T h e theft of wild a n i m a l s ( p o a c h i n g ) , w o o d theft a n d theft of v e g e t a b l e p r o d u c t s n o t yet h a r v e s t e d , on t h e o t h e r h a n d , w e r e not r e g a r d e d a s felonies b u t a s m i s d e m e a n o r s , s u b j e c t t o t h e s u m m a r y j u r i s d i c t i o n of t h e j u s t i c e s of t h e peace acting a l o n e or in petty sessions. T h i s c a t e g o r y of p r o p e r t y c r i m e s will be called » s u m m a r y property c r i m e s « in t h i s article. T h e r e is a n o t h e r p o i n t of d i s t i n c t i o n h e r e : n o t m a n y p e o p l e , m a y b e not even t h o s e w h o c o m m i t t e d t h e s e c r i m e s , w o u l d h a v e d i s p u t e d t h a t larceny o r b u r g l a r y w a s illegal, w h e r e a s t h e theft o f wild a n i m a l s o r vegetable i t e m s w a s not r e g a r d e d c r i m i n a l b y c o n s i d e r a b l e p a r t s of t h e p o p u l a t i o n . In fact, t h e definition a n d p r o s e c u t i o n of t h e s e offenses w a s a field of conflict in r u r a l society. But t h e lines of conflict r a n differently d e p e n d i n g o n w h o s e p r o p e r t y interest w a s a t s t a k e . T h e g a m e laws h a v e l o n g been d e n o t e d a s t h e p r i n c i p a l e x a m p l e o f class legislation a n d class j u s t i c e p r o t e c t i n g t h e privileges of a selfish r u l i n g class (59). T h e cliché of j u s t i c e s of t h e peace as partial a n d r u t h l e s s exec u t o r s of t h e a r b i t r a r y g a m e laws was w i d e s p r e a d a l r e a d y in t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y (60). I t w a s t h e m i d d l i n g sort ( f a r m e r s a n d y e o m e n ) , w h o lead t h i s p r o t e s t (61). A l t h o u g h t h e g a m e laws w e r e clearly u n j u s t , t h e i m p o r t a n c e of t h e s e laws a n d t h e role of t h e j u s t i c e s in rigorously e x e c u t i n g t h e m h a v e b e e n e x a g g e r a t e d , a s M u n s c h e (1981) h a s s h o w n . O f c o u r s e , t h e r e w e r e e x a m p l e s of a r b i t r a r y j u r i s d i c t i o n by j u s t i c e s ; t h e e v i d e n c e f r o m t h e not e b o o k s , h o w e v e r , i m p l i e s t h a t j u s t i c e s treated cases of p o a c h i n g in t h e s a m e r a t h e r l e n i e n t w a y as t h e y did in o t h e r cases. A b o v e all, offenses a g a i n s t t h e g a m e laws w e r e not f r e q u e n t in t h e everyday w o r k of t h e j u stices: o n l y 2 p.c. of all cases in t h e n o t e b o o k s a n d only 0.9 p.c. in t h e h o u s e s of c o r r e c t i o n w e r e related to t h e g a m e laws. Of t h e s e cases, s o m e e n d e d w i t h an acquittal, s o m e resulted in fines, or if t h e o f f e n d e r could n o t pay, w i t h a c o m m i t t a l to t h e h o u s e of c o r r e c t i o n . T h e i n f a m o u s »Black A c t « d e c l a r i n g certain f o r m s of p o a c h i n g a capital offense w a s v e r y s e l d o m used. M u c h m o r e f r e q u e n t w a s w o o d a n d vegetable theft. Wood theft w a s t h e p r i n c i p a l m a s s delict in t r a d i t i o n a l society, c o m m i t t e d by p e o p l e f r o m t h e l a b o u r i n g p o o r for o b v i o u s reasons: e c o n o m i c w a n t . T o g e t h e r w i t h o t h e r c u s t o m s s u c h a s g l e a n i n g , w o o d g a t h e r i n g w a s i n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l r u r a l society a c u s t o m a r y right o f t h e p o o r w h i c h b e c a m e m o r e a n d m o r e r e s t r i c 15

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ted a n d m a d e c r i m i n a l d u r i n g t h e early m o d e r n period w h e n t h e » m o r a l e c o n o m y « w a s a t t a c k e d (62). C o n t r a r y t o t h e g a m e laws, t h e r e w a s n o p u b l i c protest against this c r i m i n a l i z a t i o n , since t h i s t i m e , b o t h g e n t r y a n d f a r m e r stood t o g e t h e r in d e f e n d i n g their p r o p e r t y interests against t h e unp r o p e r t i e d classes. If t h e r e w a s protest by t h e p o o r , it t o o k t h e f o r m of collective a n d riotous a c t i o n s w h i c h w e r e d e s i g n e d t o p r e s e r v e t r a d i t i o n a l c u s t o m a r y r i g h t s (63). Wood theft a n d theft of vegetable i t e m s w a s subject to a fine of 5 shilling or, in default, of a s h o r t i m p r i s o n m e n t in t h e h o u s e of c o r r e c t i o n . In t h e s a m p l e from Essex h o u s e s of c o r r e c t i o n , 12 p.c. of t h e d e l i n q u e n t s w e r e c o m m i t t e d for this offence (see figure 2); 20 p.c. of t h e cases b r o u g h t before William H u n t , w h o w a s a c t i n g in a r u r a l area, belonged to t h i s category of p r o p e r t y d e l i n q u e n c y . Finally, a b o u t a fifth of all cases dealt w i t h by t h e fives j u s t i c e s w e r e f e l o n i o u s p r o p e r t y c r i m e s . Most of t h e s e cases w e r e thefts of items of v e r y s m a l l v a l u e as food, textiles a n d h o u s e h o l d i t e m s v a l u e d u n d e r 12 p e n c e . T h e f t s of v a l u a b l e s , robberies, b u r g l a r i e s a n d special types of theft such as h o r s e theft w e r e less f r e q u e n t . A s m e n t i o n e d a b o v e , i n t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y t h e r e w e r e n o police t o carry out i n v e s t i g a t i o n s a n d no p u b l i c p r o s e c u t o r to b r i n g a suspected crim i n a l to trial; instead, t h e b u r d e n of c r i m i n a l p r o s e c u t i o n was entirely left to t h e v i c t i m . It is fair to a s s u m e t h a t u n d e r t h e s e c i r c u m s t a n c e s t h e prop o r t i o n of u n s o l v e d a n d un prosecuted cases w a s c o n s i d e r a b l y h i g h e r t h a n it is today. If t h e victim expressed a suspicion, it w a s t h e j u s t i c e s ' responsibility to o r d e r t h e a p p r e h e n s i o n of t h e suspected felon, to h e a r t h e victim, witnesses a n d accused a n d t o c o m m i t o r bail h i m o r h e r for trial. U n d e r n o c i r c u m stances w a s it allowed for t h e j u s t i c e s to acquit a suspected felon, b e c a u s e all cases of felony had to be d e t e r m i n e d in c o u r t . N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e p r e t r i a l process w a s of great i m p o r t a n c e for t h e w o r k i n g of t h e w h o l e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system. T h e a b s e n c e of an efficient system of c r i m i n a l p r o s e c u t i o n m e a n t t h a t t h e reality of e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y law e n f o r c e m e n t differed considerably f r o m its design. E v e n if t h e d e l i n q u e n t was k n o w n , a large prop o r t i o n of cases n e v e r r e a c h e d t h e final step of p r o s e c u t i o n , t h e trial, for a n u m b e r of r e a s o n s w h i c h will be discussed in t h e following part. T h e Informal Treatment of Delinquency At all t i m e s , it is basically t h e v i c t i m ' s decision to p r o s e c u t e or not to prosecute a property crime; but this discretionary power was considerably g r e a t e r in t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y . Very often, t h e victim c h o s e n o t to prosecute t h e offence even if t h e offender w a s k n o w n . A t t e n d i n g a trial in o r d e r t o give e v i d e n c e a g a i n s t t h e accused w a s a n e x p e n s i v e a n d timec o n s u m i n g affair w h i c h d e t e r r e d m a n y p e o p l e , especially f r o m t h e lower classes. H e n r y Fielding, a j u s t i c e of t h e peace a n d early police r e f o r m e r , c o m p l a i n e d t h a t d u e to t h e costs of p r o s e c u t i o n a p o o r victim 16

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»... m u s t be a M i r a c l e of p u b l i c Spirit if he d o t h not r a t h e r c h o o s e to c o n c e a l t h e Felony, a n d sit d o w n satisfied w i t h his p r e s e n t loss...« (64) M a n y v i c t i m s preferred t h e c o m p o u n d i n g of a p r o p e r t y c r i m e to. a crim i n a l p r o s e c u t i o n , if t h e stolen g o o d s c o u l d be r e c o v e r e d in t h i s way. In t h e capital, advertisements in t h e n e w s p a p e r s w e r e a f r e q u e n t l y used med i u m for c o m m u n i c a t i o n b e t w e e n t h e v i c t i m a n d t h e thief. A n o t h e r reason n o t to deliver t h e c r i m i n a l to t h e c o u r t s w a s p u b l i c d i s a p p r o v a l of a crim i n a l law w h i c h inflicted capital p u n i s h m e n t o r t r a n s p o r t a t i o n for t h e m e r e theft of t h e p r o v e r b i a l silk h a n d k e r c h i e f . In m a n y cases, s y m p a t h y w i t h t h e c u l p r i t ' s fate or t h e fear of hostile r e a c t i o n s from t h e n e i g h b o u r h o o d p r e v a i l e d over t h e wish for p u n i s h m e n t . T h i s a t t i t u d e w h i c h contrav e n e d t h e concept o f e x e m p l a r y p u n i s h m e n t s w a s w i d e s p r e a d i n t h e eight e e n t h c e n t u r y a n d p r o m p t e d t h e c r i m i n a l r e f o r m e r s t o call for p r o p o r t i o nal p u n i s h m e n t s (65). In s o m e e x t r e m e cases, v i c t i m s w h o s e i n i t i a t i v e resulted in a c r i m i n a l ' s e x e c u t i o n b e c a m e t h e target of r i o t o u s a c t i o n s or w e r e even lynched b y t h e m o b (66). W h a t h a p p e n e d o n c e t h e victim c h o s e to r e p o r t a felony to a j u s t i c e of t h e peace? A s stated a b o v e , t h e law d i r e c t e d t h e j u s t i c e s t o c o m m i t o r bail suspected felons for trial; also, it w a s h i s task to b i n d t h e v i c t i m a n d t h e w i t n e s s e s o v e r in o r d e r to m a k e s u r e t h a t t h e y a p p e a r e d in c o u r t to give e v i d e n c e . In reality, only in a b o u t a q u a r t e r of all cases of f e l o n i o u s property c r i m e s i t was decided t o p u t t h e s u s p e c t e d d e l i n q u e n t o n trial. T h e i n f r e q u e n c y of t h e s e cases leads to t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t a z e a l o u s e x e c u t i o n of t h e c r i m i n a l law w a s not t h e j u s t i c e s ' m a i n c o n c e r n ; t h e practise of law e n f o r c e m e n t w a s instead c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a v e r y different p a t t e r n in w h i c h i n f o r m a l ways o f d e a l i n g with d e l i n q u e n c y w e r e d o m i n a n t . T h e j u s t i c e s used t h e i r discretion to deal w i t h cases of f e l o n i o u s offenses in v a r i o u s ways. If they r e g a r d e d t h e s u s p e c t e d c r i m i n a l as i n n o c e n t , they s o m e t i m e s acquitted h i m or s h e c o n t r a r y to t h e law. In 1771, a c h i m n e y s w e e p e r a n d his s e r v a n t w e r e accused of a b u r g l a r y by a y e o m a n . After s o m e e x a m i n a t i o n s R i c h a r d Wyatt d i s c h a r g e d t h e t w o m e n , i n s u f f i c i e n t e v i d e n c e a p p e a r i n g against ( t h e m ) . « (67) I n t h e s a m e way, H e n r y Morris d i s c h a r g e d a m a n accused of h a v i n g stolen t w o p o t s of t h e v a l u e of 2-3 p e n c e b e c a u s e t h e case s e e m e d t o o t r i f l i n g to h i m to justify a c r i m i n a l p r o s e c u t i o n (68). E v e n in a case of suspected infanticide, R.Wyatt discharged t h e w o m a n (69). A b o u t every sixth case of f e l o n i o u s p r o p e r t y c r i m e s in t h e s a m p l e w a s dismissed b y t h e j u s t i c e s . In t h e d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s w h i c h t o o k place w h e n a case w a s b r o u g h t before a j u s t i c e of t h e peace, t h e c o m p l a i n a n t c o n t i n u e d to play a decisive role. T h e n o t e b o o k s s h o w t h a t t h e j u s t i c e s suffered a n d e v e n enc o u r a g e d t h e o p p o n e n t s t o c o m e t o i n f o r m a l s e t t l e m e n t s , a s t h e y w e r e used a n d expected to do in cases of b r e a c h e s of t h e p e a c e . Such i n f o r m a l settl e m e n t s could b e f o u n d a t several steps o f t h e p r o s e c u t i o n p r o c e s s . T h e y 17

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could be r e a c h e d after t h e j u s t i c e h a d g r a n t e d a w a r r a n t at t h e c o m p l a i n t of t h e victim, b u t b e f o r e t h e e x a m i n a t i o n actually took place. In t h e not e b o o k o f H e n r y N o r r i s for e x a m p l e , n o h e a r i n g a n d n o o u t c o m e w a s r e c o r d e d in 46 p.c. of t h e cases of f e l o n i o u s p r o p e r t y c r i m e s . We can ass u m e t h a t a c o n s i d e r a b l e p r o p o r t i o n of t h e s e cases w e r e settled by direct n e g o t i a t i o n b e t w e e n c o m p l a i n a n t a n d a c c u s e d . I n t h e s e cases, t h e w a r r a n t issued by t h e j u s t i c e s could serve as a m e a n s to t h r e a t e n t h e d e l i n q u e n t with a formal criminal prosecution. I n f o r m a l s e t t l e m e n t s d u r i n g t h e h e a r i n g o f t h e parties before t h e justices w e r e also c o m m o n . I n t h e w o r k o f William H u n t , they m a d e u p half o f t h e cases. E v e n if t h e j u s t i c e s h a d a l r e a d y send t h e parties to trial, opp o r t u n i t i e s for a s e t t l e m e n t r e m a i n e d . If t h e c o m p l a i n a n t decided to settle t h e case o u t s i d e c o u r t , j u s t i c e s did usually n o t insist on t h e forfeiture of t h e r e c o g n i z a n c e w h i c h t h e c o m p l a i n a n t h a d e n t e r e d i n t o (70). W h i c h factors w e r e i m p o r t a n t for t h e decision w h e t h e r a case w a s to be settled i n f o r m a l l y or be p r o s e c u t e d a c c o r d i n g to t h e law? An analysis of t h e n o t e b o o k s m a y h e l p to a n s w e r t h i s q u e s t i o n . A typical case of a prop e r t y c r i m e w h i c h e n d e d with a n i n f o r m a l a g r e e m e n t can b e f o u n d i n Hunt's notebook: » G r a n t e d a w a r r a n t on t h e c o m p l a i n t of M a r y A m o r of M a r k e t L a v i n g ton against T h o m a s H u n t a n d E l i z a b e t h C o l e m a n o f s a m e for t a k i n g a n d c a r r y i n g away certain goods, t h e p r o p e r t y o f t h e c o m p l a i n a n t . U p o n t h e i r a p p e a r a n c e , t h e y p r o m i s e d t o r e s t o r e t h e goods. U p o n w h i c h t h e y agreed it.« (71) T h a t t h e o p p o n e n t s w e r e living i n t h e s a m e p a r i s h a n d k n e w each o t h e r had without any doubt an important impact on the outcome. The propensity to b r i n g a p e r s o n to trial w h o lived in t h e n e i g h b o u r h o o d w a s of c o u r s e v e r y low; a t t h e s a m e t i m e , i n f o r m a l s e t t l e m e n t s w o r k e d b e t t e r i n t h o s e t r a d i t i o n a l c o m m u n i t i e s w h e r e t h e social c o n t r o l t h e d e l i n q u e n t could b e submitted to was tough. If t h e social status of t h e c o m p l a i n a n t w a s c o n s i d e r a b l y h i g h e r t h a n t h a t of t h e d e f e n d a n t , i n f o r m a l s e t t l e m e n t s t o o k r a t h e r t h e c h a r a c t e r of a pard o n t h a n of an a g r e e m e n t , as in t h e following e x a m p l e of a w o o d theft w h i c h t h r e e boys h a d c o m m i t t e d in t h e forest of a g e n t r y l a n d o w n e r : »... u p o n t h e i r h u m b l i n g t h e m s e l v e s t o M r W a d m a n , a n d t h e i r p r o m i sing not t o offend i n like n a t u r e a n y m o r e , t h e y w e r e forgiven b y t h e c o m p l a i n a n t s (72) The defendant's submission to the authority of the complainant and the c o m p l a i n a n t ' s use o f m e r c y a n d b e n e v o l e n c e r e i n f o r c e d t h e u n e q u a l nat u r e of social r e l a t i o n s b e t w e e n p e r s o n s f r o m different social classes. T h e s a m e is t r u e for t h e m a n n e r in w h i c h j u s t i c e s of t h e peace a d m i n i s t e r e d t h e s u m m a r y j u r i s d i c t i o n . A s m e n t i o n e d a b o v e , w h e n they d e a l t w i t h offenses against t h e p o o r law, t h e l a b o u r laws a n d o t h e r offenses w h i c h w e r e 18

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c o m m i t t e d m a i n l y by t h e l a b o u r i n g p o o r , t h e y inflicted p e n a l t i e s o n l y in a p a r t of all cases, t h e r e b y g i v i n g an e x a m p l e of t h e i r b e n e v o l e n c e a n d at t h e same time enhancing their authority.

I t i s risky t o d r a w c o n c l u s i o n s f r o m t h e s k e t c h y e v i d e n c e w h i c h t h e n o t e b o o k s offer; h o w e v e r , if o n e c o m p a r e s t h e p r o p e n s i t y of t h e j u s t i c e s to inflict f o r m a l s a n c t i o n s in cases of f e l o n i o u s p r o p e r t y c r i m e , an i n t e r e s t i n g p a t t e r n e m e r g e s w h i c h u n d e r l i n e s t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f c o m m u n i t y . T h e lowest p r o p o r t i o n of cases in w h i c h f o r m a l s a n c t i o n s w e r e t a k e n can be f o u n d in William H u n t ' s N o t e b o o k (see figure 3) (73). T h e a r e a in Wiltsh i r e i n w h i c h h e w a s living w a s p u r e l y a g r a r i a n a n d h a d k e p t its t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i o - e c o n o m i c s t r u c t u r e until m i d - e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y ; t h e s a m e i s t r u e for t h e p a r t o f K e n t w h e r e William B r o c k m a n w a s j u s t i c e o f t h e p e a c e a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y . R i c h a r d Wyatt, w h o inflicted f o r m a l s a n c t i o n s in a b o u t 40 p.c. of t h e cases of f e l o n i o u s p r o p e r t y c r i m e s , lived in an a r e a of S u r r e y w h i c h w a s situated n e a r L o n d o n a n d saw lively traffic on t u r n p i k e s a n d o n t h e T h a m e s . A l t h o u g h m o s t o f t h e p e r s o n s h e h a d t o deal w i t h c a m e from t w o a d j a c e n t p a r i s h e s , a m o n g t h o s e h e s e n d t o trial w e r e p r e d o m i n a n t l y n o n - r e s i d e n t s . Finally, H e n r y N o r r i s , w h o lived o n l y few k i l o m e t e r s off t h e b o u n d a r i e s o f t h e m e t r o p o l i s , h e s h o w e d t h e h i g h e s t p r o p e n s i t y to apply f o r m a l s a n c t i o n s in cases of f e l o n i o u s p r o p e r t y c r i m e s . 19

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T h e s e f i n d i n g s s u p p o r t t h e h y p o t h e s i s t h a t t r a d i t i o n a l c o m m u n i t i e s with tight social r e l a t i o n s w e r e fitted best for an i n f o r m a l m o d e of law enforcem e n t . S o m e h i s t o r i a n s d i s t i n g u i s h t w o different concepts of law enforcem e n t e x i s t i n g side by side (74): t h a t of t h e c o m m u n i t y on t h e o n e side w h i c h tried t o settle d i s p u t e s a n d conflicts w i t h i n t h e c o m m u n i t y ; a n d that of t h e state on t h e o t h e r side w h i c h dealt only with those cases w h i c h could not be settled successfully by t h e c o m m u n i t y because the limits of acceptable b e h a v i o u r h a d b e e n exceeded or b e c a u s e t h e d e l i n q u e n t stood already o u t s i d e t h e c o m m u n i t y . As far as j u s t i c e s of t h e peace are c o n c e r n e d , it is possible to say t h a t t h e i r m o d e of law e n f o r c e m e n t represented an comb i n a t i o n of t h e s e t w o c o n c e p t s . It is an i m p o r t a n t result of t h e analysis of t h e i r w o r k t h a t they suffered t h e c o n f l i c t i n g p a r t i e s to utilize e l e m e n t s of t h e f o r m a l c r i m i n a l law (such as w a r r a n t s a n d recognizances) for a strategy of i n f o r m a l s e t t l e m e n t s . A c t i n g in t h i s flexible way, they m a d e t h e m s e l v e s a v a i l a b l e as a p l a t f o r m for s e t t l i n g conflicts (75). N o t in every case w a s t h e i n f o r m a l use of t h e c r i m i n a l law was designed as an act of reconciliation b e t w e e n t h e c o m p l a i n a n t a n d the d e f e n d a n t . O f t e n , t h e c o m p l a i n a n t o r t h e j u s t i c e i n t e n d e d t o p u n i s h the d e l i n q u e n t w i t h o u t inflicting t h e w h o l e scale of f o r m a l c r i m i n a l sanctions. T h i s was p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e case w i t h f e l o n i o u s p r o p e r t y offenses. We h a v e a l r e a d y seen t h a t t h e cruelty of t h e d e a t h p e n a l t y d e t e r r e d s o m e v i c t i m s from r a i s i n g a f o r m a l a c c u s a t i o n a g a i n s t a d e l i n q u e n t w h o had c o m m i t t e d a capital c r i m e . O n e possibility t o avoid t h i s p r o b l e m was t o reduce t h e v a l u e of t h e stolen goods u n d e r t h e a m o u n t of 1 shilling, t h e r e b y altering a g r a n d l a r c e n y w h i c h w a s a capital c r i m e i n t o a petty larceny which w a s not a capital c r i m e . T h i s b e h a v i o u r w a s c o m m o n i n t h e eighteenth c e n t u r y . I n fact, o n e of t h e p r i n c i p a l a r g u m e n t s of t h e r e f o r m e r s of t h e c r i m i n a l law w a s t h a t »capital p u n i s h m e n t in t h e m i n o r offences operate powerfully in p r e v e n t i n g conviction.« (76) T h e r e f o r m e r s criticized t h e t r a d i t i o n a l crim i n a l trial at c o m m o n law in g e n e r a l as i n a p p r o p r i a t e , inefficient a n d too u n c e r t a i n : only half of t h e accused w e r e f o u n d guilty (77). In cases of small theft, a s u m m a r y c o n v i c t i o n w i t h a s h o r t period of i m p r i s o n m e n t as it was u s u a l in cases of s u m m a r y p r o p e r t y offenses seemed to be m o r e a p p r o p r i a t e . A l t h o u g h t h e s u m m a r y j u r i s d i c t i o n for petty theft was i n t r o d u c e d o n l y in 1850, j u s t i c e s of t h e peace did c o m m i t d e l i n q u e n t s to t h e h o u s e of c o r r e c t i o n w i t h o u t p r o p e r trial t h r o u g h o u t t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y . T h e e x t e n t of t h i s i n f o r m a l p u n i s h m e n t is difficult to assess. Beattie h a s m a i n t a i n e d that t h i s practise fell off s h a r p l y in t h e second q u a r t e r of t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y a n d did n o t play a n i m p o r t a n t role a f t e r w a r d s (78); h o w e v e r , t h e e v i d e n c e f r o m t h e h o u s e s of correction c a l e n d a r s gives anot h e r i m p r e s s i o n . O f 3 4 d e l i n q u e n t s w h o w e r e c o m m i t t e d for felonious prop e r t y c r i m e s to t w o h o u s e s of c o r r e c t i o n in Essex between 1771 a n d 1775, only 17 w e r e put on t r i a l . T h e s e f i n d i n g s c o r r e s p o n d with those of P . K i n g 20

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w h o a n a l y s e d t h e Essex h o u s e s of c o r r e c t i o n c a l e n d a r s of t h e years 1753-1759 (79). T h e reason for such i m p r i s o n m e n t w i t h o u t trial w a s o p e n l y stated in t h e prison c a l e n d a r s as in t h e case of J a n e Sutton w h o w a s committed »... to be corrected a n d held to h a r d l a b o u r for t h e space of o n e C a l e n d a r M o n t h b e i n g d u l y convicted of b e i n g guilty of Stealing of t w o S h i r t s of small Value.« (80) T h e j u s t i c e s also c o m m i t t e d casual t h i e v e s a n d pilferers to t h e h o u s e of c o r r e c t i o n as »idle a n d d i s o r d e r l y p e r s o n s « . 17 p.c. of t h e p r i s o n e r s in t h e M i d d l e s e x h o u s e of correction in C l e r k e n w e l l b e t w e e n 1750 a n d 1752 w e r e c o m m i t t e d u n d e r this c h a r g e . S o m e o f t h e m w e r e surely c o m m i t t e d for theft, as o n e e x a m p l e reveals: A m a n called R o b e r t Nest w a s accused of h a v i n g stolen s o m e clothes. T h e j u s t i c e c o m m i t t e d t h e suspected thief t o t h e h o u s e o f correction b u t a c q u i t t e d h i m o n t h e s a m e day, a p p a r e n t l y b e c a u s e t h e e v i d e n c e did not w a r r a n t a f o r m a l a c c u s a t i o n . On t h e next day, h o w e v e r , R o b e r t Nest w a s convicted to h a r d l a b o u r in t h e h o u s e of correction b e c a u s e h e w a s a n »idle a n d d i s o r d e r l y p e r s o n « . (81) T h i s w a s t h e o t h e r face of t h e i n f o r m a l t r e a t m e n t of d e l i n q u e n c y : w h e r e a s o f f e n d e r s w h o w e r e r e s i d e n t a n d h a d social ties w i t h i n t h e c o m m u n i t y c o u l d h o p e to be dealt with in a r a t h e r l e n i e n t way, social outsiders, strangers a n d v a g r a n t s w e r e likely t o b e s u b j e c t e d t o a r b i t r a r y p u n i s h m e n t s . T h e I m p l i c a t i o n s of I n f o r m a l S e t t l e m e n t s T h e s e f i n d i n g s a b o u t t h e w o r k i n g of t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y law enforcem e n t o n t h e local level c a n n o t b e w i t h o u t c o n s e q u e n c e s for o u r unders t a n d i n g o f t h e w h o l e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system. Firstly, t h e d a n g e r s of q u a n t i t a t i v e analysis based on the records of t h e c o u r t s a r e stressed. It is not possible to q u a n t i f y t h e p e r c e n t a g e of cases w h i c h w e r e dealt with i n f o r m a l l y ; h o w e v e r , it is necessary to use d a t a from t h i s high level very cautiously. T h i s is not o n l y a p r o b l e m of n u m b e r s ; also t h e c h a r a c t e r of t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system n e e d s to be c o n s i d e r e d . If a c o n s i d e r a b l e p r o p o r t i o n of p r o p e r t y o f f e n d e r s w e r e not put on trial b u t t r e a t e d i n f o r m a l l y d u r i n g t h e pretrial process, t h e h i s t o r i a n ' s focus o n t h e w o r k of t h e c o u r t s distorts t h e real c h a r a c t e r of a c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system in w h i c h flexible f o r m s o f d e a l i n g with o f f e n d e r s w e r e m u c h m o r e f r e q u e n t t h a n c o m m o n l y a s s u m e d . Selectivity w a s n o t only crucial at t h e level of t h e c r i m i n a l c o u r t s b u t also d u r i n g t h e p r e t r i a l p r o c e s s w h e r e t h e j u s t i c e s tog e t h e r w i t h t h e v i c t i m s decided w h e t h e r a d e l i n q u e n t s h o u l d b e p u t o n trial o r n o t . T h e e x p e r i e n c e s p e o p l e h a d w i t h t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system w e r e a b o v e all d e t e r m i n e d by t h e w o r k of j u s t i c e s of t h e peace. T h i s is t r u e all t h e m o r e as only a m i n o r i t y of offenses in t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y w e r e felonies. T h e typical e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y d e l i n q u e n t did not c o m m i t a ca21

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pital c r i m e b u t a m i s d e m e a n o u r as a wood theft or an assault, a n d he did n o t e n c o u n t e r t h e c r i m i n a l justice system i n t h e c o u r t - r o o m b u t i n t h e h o u s e of t h e j u s t i c e of t h e peace.

III. The Paternalist Concept of Authority
T h e results u n d e r l i n e t h e role of t h e j u s t i c e s of t h e peace in e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y law e n f o r c e m e n t . T h e way they exercised t h e i r j u d i c i a l p o w e r s is n o t o n l y telling for t h e c h a r a c t e r of law e n f o r c e m e n t b u t also for t h e i r c o n c e p t of social r e l a t i o n s a n d a u t h o r i t y in g e n e r a l . T h e label w h i c h desc r i b e s t h i s c o n c e p t best is p a t e r n a l i s m (82). P a t e r n a l i s m m e a n s an inegal i t a r i a n , h i e r a r c h i a l social o r d e r in w h i c h t h e lesser r a n k s a r e s u p p o s e d to be dependent on the guidance of their superiors w h o are the »natural r u l e r s « . At least in theory, paternalist a u t h o r i t y was not based on force a n d r e p r e s s i o n b u t o n h a r m o n y a n d c o n s e n s u s . C o n f r o n t a t i o n a n d Conflict b e t w e e n t h e r u l e r s a n d t h e ruled had t o b e avoided: »...it is t h e D u t y as well as t h e Interest of every Civil M a g i s t r a t e , to e n d e a v o u r to r e n d e r himself beloved a n d popular...; a n d if t h e r e a r e m a n y w h o a r e m o r e hated, a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y less obeyed b y t h e people, it m u s t be o w i n g to t h e i r own ill C o n d u c t . « (83) In w h a t respect did this paternalist concept i n f l u e n c e t h e j u s t i c e s ' role in e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y law e n f o r c e m e n t ? Basically, leniency r a t h e r t h a n rigor o u s e n f o r c e m e n t of t h e c r i m i n a l law w a s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h e i r j u d i c i a l w o r k . As we h a v e seen, a c o n s i d e r a b l e p e r c e n t a g e of all offenses w e n t u n p u n i s h e d . W h e t h e r a d e l i n q u e n t w a s to be treated leniently or w h e t h e r he w a s p r o s e c u t e d a c c o r d i n g to the law d e p e n d e d largely on t h e j u s t i c e s ' m e r c y . T h e i m p o r t a n c e of b e n e v o l e n c e a n d m e r c y in d i s p e n s i n g j u s t i c e u n d e r l i n e d t h e e n o r m o u s discretionary p o w e r held by j u s t i c e s of t h e p e a c e . A s D . H a y h a s p o i n t e d out, people m a y even accept despotic p o w e r » w h e n it c o m e s f r o m t h e 'good king'« (84). T h e lenient way t h e j u s t i c e s of t h e p e a c e exercised t h e i r j u d i c i a l w o r k reinforced a n d e n h a n c e d t h e i r a u t h o rity o v e r t h e people. T h i s w o u l d h e l p to explain t h e relative stability of English Society in t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y . But t h e r e is a n o t h e r aspect of t h e j u s t i c e s ' m o d e of law e n f o r c e m e n t w h i c h is crucial in this c o n t e x t . By d i s p e n s i n g w i t h official r u l e s a n d a p p l y i n g t h e law in a flexible way t h e y m a d e t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system a v a i l a b l e for t h e interests a n d i n t e n t i o n s of t h e people. As we h a v e seen, t h e v i c t i m s of p r o p e r t y c r i m e s w e r e given an i m p o r t a n t role in t h e d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g process w h i c h was not i n t e n d e d by t h e official c r i m i n a l law. In cases of b r e a c h e s of t h e peace, t h e j u s t i c e s sacrificed t h e i r t i m e to m e d i a t e t h e p r i v a t e d i s p u t e s of t h e i r i n f e r i o r s . By d o i n g t h i s t h e y u n d e r lined t h e i m a g e o f t h e p a t e r n a l r u l e r w h o cares for t h e peace a n d con22

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s e n s u s of t h e c o m m u n i t y . A b o u t t w o - t h i r d s of all cases H e n r y N o r r i s h a d t o deal w i t h w e r e such q u a r r e l s m a n y o f w h i c h t o o k place a m o n g t h e l a b o u r i n g poor. T o w h a t extent w a s t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system a s r e p r e s e n t e d b y t h e j u s t i c e s of t h e peace available for t h e lower r a n k s of society? First of all, b e c a u s e t h e i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t t h e social status given in t h e n o t e b o o k s is s o m e w h a t f r a g m e n t a r y a n d v a g u e , t h e statistical f i n d i n g s can o n l y give a v e r y r o u g h i m p r e s s i o n . H o w e v e r , t h e statistical m a p s h o w s t h a t w h e r e a s t h e l a b o u r i n g p o o r m a d e u p t h e m a j o r i t y o f t h e accused, they f o r m e d o n l y a b o u t a t h i r d of t h e c o m p l a i n a n t s . F a r m e r s , t r a d e s m e n a n d g e n t l e m e n , on t h e o t h e r h a n d , a p p e a r m o r e frequently i n t h e n o t e b o o k s a s c o m p l a i n a n t s t h a n as d e f e n d a n t s . In m o s t cases of p r o p e r t y offenses, t h e c o m p l a i n a n t was of a h i g h e r status t h a n t h e accused, as c a n be seen in figure 4. O n l y in a small m i n o r i t y of t h e cases in H u n t ' s as well as in Wyatt's n o t e b o o k s , t h e v i c t i m s of p r o p e r t y c r i m e s c a m e from t h e l a b o u r i n g p o o r . T h i s is h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g , since t h e p o o r t e n d e d t o steal f r o m t h e better-offs. O n e s h o u l d b e a r in m i n d , h o w e v e r , t h a t a m o n g t h e s e p r o p e r t y offenses t h e r e w a s a c o n s i d e r a b l e p r o p o r t i o n of offenses such as w o o d theft w h i c h w e r e a m a t ter of conflict w i t h i n t h e r u r a l society. H e r e , as w i t h t h e p o o r law a n d t h e acts r e g u l a t i n g t h e l a b o u r relations, t h e j u s t i c e s enforced a c r i m i n a l law w h i c h w a s designed to protect t h e interests of t h e u p p e r classes. But t h e l a b o u r i n g p o o r did not m e e t t h e law solely a s d e f e n d a n t s . P e o p l e from t h e lower classes w e n t t o t h e j u s t i c e s t o p u r s u e t h e i r interests against o p p o n e n t s from t h e s a m e a n d from h i g h e r r a n k s . I n m o s t cases o f p r i v a t e d i s p u t e s , assaults a n d insults, t h e social status of t h e o p p o n e n t s w a s roughly equal (see figure 4). M o s t of t h e m c a m e f r o m t h e l a b o u r i n g p o o r . T h e j u s t i c e s ' availability for t h e m e d i a t i n g of conflicts a m o n g t h e l o w e r classes d e t e r m i n e d t h e i r p u b l i c i m a g e to a large e x t e n t (85). Very often, p e o p l e from t h e l a b o u r i n g p o o r c o m p l a i n e d a b o u t u n j u s t o r u n l a w f u l t r e a t m e n t b y t h e i r e m p l o y e r s o r b y t h e p a r i s h officers w h o r a n t h e p o o r relief system. A s m e n t i o n e d a b o v e , c o m p l a i n t s b r o u g h t b y labour e r s against t h e i r e m p l o y e r s w e r e m o r e f r e q u e n t t h a n vice versa. I n t h i s regard t h e j u s t i c e s actually p r o v i d e d »a p o o r m a n ' s system of j u s t i c e « (86). T h e j u s t i c e s w e r e influenced in their j u d i c i a l b e h a v i o u r by a p o p u l a r ideal w h i c h stressed t h e i r role as fatherly p r o t e c t o r s of t h e poor. In e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y w r i t i n g s , j u s t i c e s w e r e described a s » t h e p o o r M a n ' s h o p e , t h e p o o r M a n ' s F r i e n d « (87), a n d they w e r e a d m o n i s h e d t o » a d m i n i s t e r i m p a r t i a l j u s t i c e « (88) w h e n e m p l o y e r s c o m p l a i n e d a b o u t t h e i r l a b o u r e r s a n d vice versa. In fact, it w a s a p a r t of t h e j u s t i c e s ' task to c o n t r o l t h e w o r k i n g of t h e p o o r law system a n d t o supervise l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s ; yet, since t h e law itself w a s heavily biased against t h e l a b o u r i n g p o o r , actual j u s t i c e a n d equality before t h e law w a s a m e r e ideology. Finally, an analysis of t h e j u s t i c e s ' w o r k e x e m p l i f i e s t h e i m p o r t a n c e of t h e m i d d l i n g sort as a g r o u p of society w h i c h t o o k a d v a n t a g e of t h e cri23

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m i n a l j u s t i c e system, especially in t h e p r o s e c u t i o n of p r o p e r t y offenses. D u e to t h e focus of t h e history f r o m below a p p r o a c h on t h e l a b o u r i n g p o o r , t h e m i d d l i n g sort a l t h o u g h particularly s t r o n g in English society h a s not received d u e a t t e n t i o n by h i s t o r i a n s of c r i m e for m a n y years (89). T a k i n g all findings t o g e t h e r , it is possible to c o m e to a b a l a n c e d b u t s o m e w h a t c o n t r a d i c t o r y conclusion a b o u t t h e c h a r a c t e r of t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system on t h e crucial local level. T h e c r i m i n a l law w a s n o t j u s t a n i n s t r u m e n t t o p u n i s h offenders a n d t o protect people's safety; it w a s also a p l a t f o r m for conflict a n d c o m p r o m i s e b e t w e e n individ u a l s a n d g r o u p s in society. A l t h o u g h t h e c r i m i n a l law w a s c o n t r o l l e d by a small r u l i n g class, it did not serve t h e i r interests exclusively; it was available t o p e o p l e from t h e m i d d l i n g sort a n d , t o limited b u t n e v e r t h e l e s s r e m a r k a b l e extent, from t h e l a b o u r i n g p o o r . T h e j u s t i c e s ' practice of law e n f o r c e m e n t reflected t h e i r paternalist concept of a u t h o r i t y a n d a c c o u n t s for t h e relative a c c e p t a n c e of t h e i r role by t h e public. If o n e looks to t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l c h a n g e s of t h e late e i g h t e e n t h a n d early n i n e t e e n t h century, t h e p e r s i s t e n c e of this t r a d i t i o n a l concept of law e n f o r c e m e n t a n d t h e alm o s t u n e q u i v o c a l rejection of paid s t i p e n d i a r y m a g i s t r a t e s a n d a professional police force by t h e English p u b l i c is s t r i k i n g . P u b l i c criticism of t h e a r i s t o c r a t i c r u l e by j u s t i c e s of t h e peace r e m a i n e d r a r e t h r o u g h o u t t h e 24

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e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y w h e n o t h e r aspects o f t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system w e r e heavely criticized. A l t h o u g h m a n y factors, m o s t i m p o r t a n t l y t h e fear of a F r e n c h - s t y l e police, c o n t r i b u t e d to t h i s a t t i t u d e , o n e is t e m p t e d to r e g a r d t h e role of t h e j u s t i c e s of t h e p e a c e in t h e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system as a story of success r a t h e r t h a n failure.

Notes
I w o u l d like to t h a n k B o b S h o e m a k e r for h i s c o m m e n t s on an early draft o f t h i s article a n d h i m a n d J o h n Styles for t h e i r r e a d i n e s s t o discuss t h e subject o f t h i s article a n d t o give m e crucial s u p p o r t . (1) (2) L.Radzinowicz (1948, v o l . 1 , p.ix). T h e m o s t c o m p r e h e n s i v e review a r t i c l e is J.Innes and J.Styles (1986). Cf. D.Blasius (1988), J . L . McMuIlan (1987) a n d J.A.S/wrpe (1983b). D.Hay. P.Linebaugh e.a. (ed.) (1975), I n t r o d u c t i o n , p. 13. F o r a s h o r t critical a s s e s s m e n t see J.Styles (1988). See e.g. l.R.Chrisiie (1984). See J.A.Sharpe (1985); J.Brewer and J.Styles (ed.) (1980), I n t r o d u c tion. P a r t s of t h i s a r t i c l e h a v e also b e e n p u b l i s h e d as: P o p u l a r Attit u d e s T o w a r d s t h e L a w i n t h e E i g h t e e n t h C e n t u r y , in: M . F i t z g e r a l d (ed.), C r i m e a n d Society: R e a d i n g s i n H i s t o r y a n d T h e o r y , L o n d o n 1981, pp.29-36. D.Hay (1975b, p.35). E.P.Thompson (1963, p.59, p.64). Cf. about E.P.Thompson: T.L.Chapman (1980); E.K.Trimberger (1984). It h a s to be stressed t h a t h e w a s a b l e t o b u i l d o n w o r k d o n e m u c h earlier b y o t h e r historians. See J.L.Hammond and B.Hammond (1911); K.Marx himself dealt with c r i m e a n d v a g r a n c y i n pre- a n d e a r l y - i n d u s t r i a l E n g l a n d as a result of e c o n o m i c g r i e v a n c e s . D.Hay, P.Linebaugh e.a. (1975). Hay (1975b). E.P.Thompson (1975, p.240ff). S e m i n a l for t h e c o n c e p t of social c r i m i n a l i t y : E.J.Hobsbawm (1972); cf. J. Rule (1979). See e.g.: E.Billinge (1985); R.Williams (1985); B.Bushaway (1983); J.Carter (1980); R.A.E.Wells (1984). See especially: F.Snyder and D.Hay (ed.) (1987). O t h e r m a j o r n e w w o r k s on t h i s field: K.D.M.Snell (1985); for t h e 16th a n d 17th centuries, see: A.L.Beier (1985); P.Slack (1988). 25

(3) (4) (5)

(6) (7)

(8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13)

Historical Social Research, Vol. 15 — 1990 — No. 2, 3-34

(14) (15) (16) (17)

Thompson (1975). Cf. t h e Hill (1985); J.Broad (1988).

criticism

in:

E.Cruickshanks/H.Erskine-

(18) (19) (20)

(21) (22) (23) (24) (25) (26) (27) (28) (29) (30) (31)

Cf. C.Emsley (1987), p . 3 . T h e best w o r k on p o a c h i n g a n d t h e g a m e laws h a s been d o n e by P.B.Munsche (1981). J.Styles (1983a, p p . 173-210). It m u s t be stressed t h a t Thompson h a s c o m e to a revision of his once clear-cut p i c t u r e of t h e e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y legal system. A l r e a d y in 1975, he d r e w a m o r e »complex a n d c o n t r a d i c t o r y « conclusion in w h i c h he r e g a r d e d t h e r u l e of law as »a c u l t u r a l a c h i e v e m e n t of u n i v e r s a l significance,... an unqualified h u m a n good.« (1975, p.265f.). J.H.Langbein (1983, p.97, pp.114f). P.King (1984b, p.33). T h i s m a y originally stem from E . P . T h o m p s o n ' s dislike for a n y k i n d of c o u n t i n g w h i c h he h a s s h o w n e.g. in t h e standard-of-living d e b a t e . See Thompson (1963, c h p t . 1 0 ) . SeeEmsley (1987), c h p t . 2 ) ; lnnes/Styles (1986, p p . 388-395); E.Monkkonnen (1985). J.M.Beattie (1986, p.199). D.Hay (1982). Cf. t h e critical c o m m e n t s by Jnnes/Styles (1986, pp.391-394). An e x a m p l e can be f o u n d in the Essex h o u s e s of correction c a l e n d a r s (Essex R e c o r d Office Q / S B b / 2 2 3 , 11th N o v e m b e r 1760). Jnnes/Styles (1986, pp.401 f). Beanie (1986). T h e r e is a lengthy review of t h i s b o o k in Innes/Styles (1986, pp.413-418). Beanie (1986, p.620); for t h e history of t r a n s p o r t a t i o n see: R.Ekirch (1988). Beanie (1986, p.619). See P.King, R e v i e w of N . L a n d a u , T h e Justices of t h e Peace, in: Crim i n a l Justice H i s t o r y 7/1986, pp.184-187. Beanie (1986, p . 6 / 7 ) . Take, for e x a m p l e , t h e following s e n t e n c e by Sir George Onesipherus Paul ( C o n s i d e r a t i o n s on t h e Defects of P r i s o n s a n d T h e i r P r e s e n t S y s t e m of R e g u l a t i o n , L o n d o n 1784, p . 5 0 ) , p r i s o n r e f o r m e r in G l o u c e s t e r s h i r e : » F e w m a n h a v e been h a n g e d for a felony, t h a t m i g h t not h a v e been saved to t h e c o m m u n i t y by c o r r e c t i o n of a f o r m e r misdemeanours I m p o r t a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n s a r e : J.Sharpe (1980); K.Wrightson (1980); A.Macfarlane (1981); R.B.Shoemaker (1985). J.R.Kent (1986). Still f u n d a m e n t a l is B.Webb a n d S.Webb (1906). Cf. E.Moir (1969). P.Wettmann (1987) h a s dealt with t h e w o r k of t h e j u s t i c e s of t h e

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peace o n t h e bases o f R.Wyatt's a n d W . H u n t ' s n o t e b o o k s w h i c h a r e t w o of t h e m a i n s o u r c e s of this article, too. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , his statistical analysis is r a t h e r f r a g m e n t a r y . (35) (36) (37) T.A.Green (1985); J.S.Cockbum a n d T.A.Green (ed.) (1988). See also M.DeLacy (1986). F o r t h e t r a d i t i o n a l v i e w see Radizinowicz (1948-1986); o n e of t h e studies p u t t i n g f o r w a r d t h e m a r x i s t a r g u m e n t m o s t powerfully i s M.Ignaiieff (1979); a p p r o a c h i n g t h e r e f o r m e r s from t h e intellectual a n g l e : R.McGowen (1986); for a recent case-study see M J.D.Roberts (1988). D.Hay a n d F.Snyder (ed.) (1989). F o r a h i s t o r i a n w h o t e n d s to stress t h e c h a n g i n g c h a r a c t e r , see: D.Philips (1980); t a k i n g revisionist positions are: C.Emsley (1986) (this article is identical w i t h c h a p t e r 4 of Emsley (1987)) a n d J.Styles (1987). F o r e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y a t t e m p t s of p o l i c e - r e f o r m s see J.Styles (1983b).

(38) (39)

S.H.Palmer (1988, pp.8-9). A l s o stressing t h e role of d i s o r d e r : R.K.Vogler (1987); D.S.Eastwood (1985). (41) A l t h o u g h P a l m e r m a k e s it clear in t h e preface (pp.8-9) t h a t c r i m e is n o t h i n g a historian of t h e police h a s to deal with seriously a n d disp e n s e s with c o n s u l t i n g recent studies o n c r i m e a n d c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e t h o r o u g h l y , h e c a n n o t b u t e m p l o y t h e findings a n d a r g u m e n t s o f t h e h i s t o r y of c r i m e himself. T h e Ratcliffe H i g h w a y M u r d e r s of 1811, for e x a m p l e , a r e p r e s e n t e d as a trigger of police r e f o r m s in L o n d o n (p. 164). (42) Two of t h e m h a v e b e e n p u b l i s h e d : E.Crittal (ed.), T h e J u s t i c i n g Not e b o o k of William Hunt, 1744-1749 (Wiltshire R e c o r d Society 37), D e v i z e s 1982; E . S i l v e r t h o n e (ed.), T h e D e p o s i t i o n Book of Richard Wyatt J P , 1161-1116 ( S u r r e y R e c o r d Society 30), G u i l d f o r d 1978; u n p u b l i s h e d : N o t e b o o k of Henry Norris, 1730-1741 ( G r e a t e r L o n d o n R e c o r d Office, L o n d o n , G . L . R . O . M 7 9 / x / l ) ; N o t e b o o k of William Brockman, 1689-1721 (British L i b r a r y , A d d . M S S 42598) a n d Noteb o o k of Ralph Brockman, 1770-1781 (British L i b r a r y , A d d . M S S 42599). (43) C a l e n d a r of Clerkenwell H o u s e of C o r r e c t i o n , M i d d l e s e x , 1750-1752 ( G . L . R . O . M J / C C / R / 2 3 - 3 9 ) ; C a l e n d a r s of Halstead a n d Newport H o u s e s of C o r r e c t i o n , Essex, 1761-65 & 1771-1775 (Essex R e c o r d Office, C h e l m s f o r d , E . R . O . Q / S B b / 2 1 8 - 2 8 2 ) . T h e s a m p l e c o n t a i n s a total of a b o u t 900 cases. (44) J.Hawkins, A C h a r g e of t h e J u r y of M i d d l e s e x , L o n d o n 1780, p.27. (45) W.Hunt, C a s e N o . 1 0 3 . (46) R.Wyatt, C a s e N o . 6 0 . (47) R.Burn, T h e Justice of t h e P e a c e a n d P a r i s h Officer, 18th ed. L o n d o n 1797, vol.IV p.l00 ff. 27

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M o s t w r i t e r s w h o c o n t e m p l a t e d a b o u t c r i m i n a l i t y began t h e i r p a m p h l e t s with t h e p r o b l e m o f p o v e r t y . See m o s t p r o m i n e n t l y H.Fielding, An E n q u i r y i n t o t h e C a u s e s of t h e Late I n c r e a s e of R o b b e r s w i t h s o m e P r o p o s a l s for R e m e d y i n g t h i s G r o w i n g Evil, L o n d o n 2 n d ed. 1751; P.Colquhoun, Treatise. M.Dawes, An Essay on C r i m e s a n d P u n i s h m e n t s , w i t h View of, a n d C o m m e n t a r y o n Beccaria, R o u s s e a u , Voltaire, M o n t e s q u i e u , F i e l d i n g a n d B l a c k s t o n e , L o n d o n 1782, p . 8 1 . SeeJ.Innes (1987); P.Spierenburg (1984). 7Jac.l.c.4. G.L.R.O M J / C C / R / 3 9 , Clerkenwell House of Correction Calendar, O c t o b e r 1752. T h e s e d e f i n i t i o n s w e r e laid d o w n in t h e v a g r a n t act of 1744, 17.G.11.C.5. C o n t r a r y t o t h e o t h e r offenses, h a v i n g b a s t a r d c h i l d r e n w a s n o t pun i s h a b l e in m o s t cases; m a n y f a t h e r s of bastard c h i l d r e n w e r e o n l y c o m m i t t e d to h o u s e s of c o r r e c t i o n b e c a u s e they w e r e u n a b l e or unw i l l i n g t o pay for t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s m a i n t e n a n c e . 5 El.I.c.4; cf. J.Rule (1981); R.Malcolmson (1981). E . R . O . Q / S B b / 2 8 0 , Newport House of Correction Calendar, A p r i l 1775. J.R.S.Whiting (1976, pp.228f). Gentleman's Magazine 39(1769), p.372. See e.g. Hammond/Hammond (1911, p.!86f.); Hay (1975a). See e.g.Gentlemaivs Magazine 21(1751), p.l 12, 40(1770), p.222.; Daily Universal Register, 17 N o v 1785, p.2; W.Taplin, O b s e r v a t i o n s on t h e P r e s e n t State of t h e G a m e in E n g l a n d , L o n d o n 1772; S.Purlevent, A Dialogue between a Lawyer and a C o u n t r y G e n t l e m a n upon the S u b j e c t of t h e G a m e Laws, L o n d o n 4th ed. 1775; cf. Munsche (1981). E v e n t h e l e a d i n g l a w y e r of t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y , William Blacks t o n e , o p p o s e d t h e g a m e laws. W.Blackstone, C o m m e n t a r i e s o n t h e L a w s of E n g l a n d , 1765, vol.1 V, p.415f. E.P.Thompson (1971). See a c o n t e m p o r a r y ' s a c c o u n t of t h i s p r o c e s s in anonym, O b s e r v a t i o n s on a L a t e P u b l i c a t i o n intituled Treatise on t h e Police of t h e M e t r o p o l i s , L o n d o n 1800, p.29f. See for an e x a m p l e : R.Bushaway (1981). Fielding, E n q u i r y , p. 110. See t h e R e p o r t f r o m t h e Select C o m m i t t e e o n C r i m i n a l L a w s 1819 (British Parliamentary Papers, C r i m i n a l Law, D u b l i n 1971, vol.1, p.9f.); Colquhoun, Treatise, p.l4f. R.Paley (1983, p.77f). Wyatt, C a s e N o . 122-125. Norris, 15 S e p t e m b e r 1732. 28

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(74) (15) (76) (77) (78) (79) (80) (81) (82) (83) (84) (85)

(86) (87) (88) (89)

RWyatt, C a s e No.262-264. See for t h e i n f o r m a l use of r e c o g n i z a n c e s Shoemaker (1985), p.128. Hunt, C a s e N o . 2 8 3 . Hunt, C a s e No.299. In cases of s u m m a r y c r i m e s , on t h e o t h e r h a n d , he applied formal s a n c t i o n s m u c h m o r e often. T h i s could b e e x p l a i n e d b y t h e fact that t h e s e s a n c t i o n s - m a i n l y a fine of 2-5 s h i l l i n g - w e r e relatively h a r m less a n d he himself c o u l d c o n t r o l t h e o u t c o m e of t h e cases. See B.Lenman a n d G.Parker (1980); Wrightson (1980); cf. for t h e U S A : L.Rosen (1987). See J.A.Sharpe (1983a). R e p o r t from t h e Select C o m m i t t e e on C r i m i n a l Laws, p. 10 (P.Colquhoun). Beanie (1986, p.428). Beanie (1986, p. 18). P.King (1984a, pp.261 ff). E . R . O . Q / S B b / 2 7 0 , house of correction calendar. G.R.L.O. M J / C C / R / 3 9 , Clerkenwell house of correction calendar, O c t o b e r 1752. See N.Landau (1984, p.2f.); L.Stone a n d J.C.F.Stone (1984, p.412f.); E.P.Thompson (1976, p p . l 3 7 f f ) . Gentleman's Magazine 8(1737), p . 5 1 3 . D.Hay (1975b, p.39). See e.g. Gentleman's Magazine, 2(1732), p.910. T h i s w a s a l r e a d y t r u e in t h e sixteenth c e n t u r y . See W.Lombard, E i r e n a r c h a or t h e Office of t h e Justice of t h e P e a c e , L o n d o n (4th ed.) 1599, p. 10. J.Davis (1984, pp.309-335). J.Langhorne, T h e C o u n t r y J u s t i c e . A P o e m , L o n d o n 1774, P a r t 2, p.ll. T.Gisborne, A n E n q u i r y i n t o t h e D u t i e s o f t h e M e n i n t h e H i g h e r a n d M i d d l e Classes of Society, L o n d o n 1795, p.418. T h i s h a s been c h a n g e d i n r e c e n t y e a r s t h a n k s t o t h e w o r k d o n e b y Peter King a n d o t h e r s . Cf. also C.B.Herrup (1987).

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