The Regulation of Violence in the Metropolis; the Prosecution of Assault in the Summary Courts, c.1780-1820

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    Abstract

    This article explores the nature of interpersonal violence in eighteenth-century London through the records of the summary courts. Since almost all previous work on the treatment of violence by the courts has been confined to the records of the higher courts, this article provides a new insight into attitudes towards assault in the period. It explores the nature of assault and how disputes were resolved as well as considering the implications of gender to this process. This article demonstrates that the summary courts of the City of London played an important role in the regulation of violence and community relations which is evidenced by the large numbers of cases that they dealt with. Historians of crime have, to a large extent, seriously ignored the summary courts. This article suggests that these courts have much to tell us about attitudes towards violence and access to the criminal law.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)75-87
    Number of pages13
    JournalThe London Journal
    Volume32
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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