Victorians Against the Gallows

Capital Punishment and the Abolitionist Movement in Nineteenth Century Britain


Author: James Gregory

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 0857730886

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 7964

By the time that Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, the list of crimes liable to attract the death penalty had effectively been reduced to murder. Yet, despite this, the gallows remained a source of controversy in Victorian Britain and there was a growing unease in liberal quarters surrounding the question of capital punishment. In this book, James Gregory examines organised efforts to abolish capital punishment in Britain and the Empire in the Victorian era, focusing particularly on the activities of the Society for the Abolition of Capital Punishment. The amelioration of the notoriously ‘Bloody Code’ of the British state may have limited capital punishment effectively to a small number of murderers after 1840 but, despite this, capital punishment was a matter of perennial debate, from the local arena of school debating societies to the ‘imperial Parliament’, and a topic to trouble the minds of thoughtful Victorians across the British world. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from pamphlets by abolitionists or their opponents to gallows broadsides, official inquiries, provincial newspapers, novels and short stories, Gregory studies a movement acknowledged by contemporaries to be agitating one of the ‘questions of the day’ - challenging as it did contemporary theology, state infliction of violence, and prevalent ideas about punishment. He explores important aspects such as: capital punishment debates in the ‘Lex Britannica’ of British colonies and dominions, the role of women abolitionists and the class and gendered inflexions to the ‘gallows question’, the representation of the problem of capital punishment in Victorian fiction, and the relationship between abolitionists and the Home Office which exercised the royal prerogative of mercy. While the abolitionism of Nonconformist reformers such as the Quakers and Unitarians is familiar, Gregory introduces the reader to the abolitionist debates in Jewish, secularist and spiritualist circles, and explores themes such as the imagined role of the Queen as ‘fount of mercy’ and the disturbing figure of the hangman. Studying the provincial, national and international aspects to the movement, Victorians Against the Gallows offers an important contribution to our understanding of Victorian reform activities, and Victorian culture.

The Poetry and the Politics

Radical Reform in Victorian England


Author: James Gregory

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 1780767234

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 5401

The nineteenth century was a time of social, political and technological ferment; perhaps especially in the 1840s and 1850s. In this book, James Gregory studies radical reform at the margins of early Victorian Britain through the life of James Elmslie Duncan, an eccentric poet living through extraordinary times: when foreign and British promoters of extravagant technologically-assisted utopias could attract many hundreds of supporters of limited means, when pioneers of vegetarianism joined the ranks of the temperance cause, and when working-class Chartists, reviving a struggle for political reform, seemed to threaten the State for a brief moment in April 1848. Gregory brings these themes and leading characters vividly to life in a study that will be essential reading for anyone interested in radical reform or popular political movements in Victorian Britain.

Capital Punishment in Twentieth-Century Britain

Audience, Justice, Memory


Author: Lizzie Seal

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136250727

Category: Social Science

Page: 188

View: 4556

Capital punishment for murder was abolished in Britain in 1965. At this time, the way people in Britain perceived and understood the death penalty had changed – it was an issue that had become increasingly controversial, high-profile and fraught with emotion. In order to understand why this was, it is necessary to examine how ordinary people learned about and experienced capital punishment. Drawing on primary research, this book explores the cultural life of the death penalty in Britain in the twentieth century, including an exploration of the role of the popular press and a discussion of portrayals of the death penalty in plays, novels and films. Popular protest against capital punishment and public responses to and understandings of capital cases are also discussed, particularly in relation to conceptualisations of justice. Miscarriages of justice were significant to capital punishment’s increasingly fraught nature in the mid twentieth-century and the book analyses the unsettling power of two such high profile miscarriages of justice. The final chapters consider the continuing relevance of capital punishment in Britain after abolition, including its symbolism and how people negotiate memories of the death penalty. Capital Punishment in Twentieth-Century Britain is groundbreaking in its attention to the death penalty and the effect it had on everyday life and it is the only text on this era to place public and popular discourses about, and reactions to, capital punishment at the centre of the analysis. Interdisciplinary in focus and methodology, it will appeal to historians, criminologists, sociologists and socio-legal scholars.

The Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice


Author: Paul Knepper,Anja Johansen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019935233X

Category: Crime

Page: 720

View: 6365

The historical study of crime has expanded in criminology during the past few decades, forming an active niche area in social history. Indeed, the history of crime is more relevant than ever as scholars seek to address contemporary issues in criminology and criminal justice. Thus, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice provides a systematic and comprehensive examination of recent developments across both fields. Chapters examine existing research, explain on-going debates and controversies, and point to new areas of interest, covering topics such as criminal law and courts, police and policing, and the rise of criminology as a field. This Handbook also analyzes some of the most pressing criminological issues of our time, including drug trafficking, terrorism, and the intersections of gender, race, and class in the context of crime and punishment. The definitive volume on the history of crime, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice is an invaluable resource for students and scholars of criminology, criminal justice, and legal history.

In and Out

Eccentricity in Britain


Author: Sophie Aymes-Stokes,Laurent Mellet

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 1443839450

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 6499

The aim of the book is twofold: first, to provide an overview of the critical history of eccentricity; and secondly to conceptualise a notion that is often presented as a defining feature of the English “character”. It addresses the key issues raised by eccentricity and brings out interdisciplinary links between science, politics, literature and the arts: the sources and dissemination of the concept of eccentricity; its relationship with the English national character as historical and ideological constructs; the structural need for variation and divergence within accepted social norms; the paradoxical status of the eccentric as outsider – when eccentricity is transgressive and alienating – and as insider – eccentricity as socially acceptable deviation. Fundamentally eccentricity is a normative notion: being ex-centred enables eccentrics to delineate and negotiate boundaries between the margins and the centre, the canon and the norm. The contributors question the links between eccentricity, diversity and originality; the value of individual experience and character; and as a corollary, the struggle to retain individuality against increasing standardization, commoditisation and channelling within the normative discourse of normality. Eccentricity as display and performance is also tackled in several chapters, which focus on reception, image and (self)-representation, exhibition and voyeurism.

The Wicked Boy

An Infamous Murder in Victorian London


Author: Kate Summerscale

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143110462

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 6755

In East London in the summer of 1895, Robert Coombes (age thirteen) and his brother Nattie (age twelve) were arrested for matricide and sent for trial at the Old Bailey. Robert confessed to having stabbed his mother, but his lawyers argued that he was insane. The judge sentenced him to detention in Broadmoor, the most infamous criminal lunatic asylum in the land. Shockingly, Broadmoor turned out to be the beginning of a new life for Robert. At a time of great tumult and uncertainty, Robert Coombes's case crystallized contemporary anxieties about the education of the working classes, the dangers of pulp fiction, and evolving theories of criminality, childhood, and insanity. With riveting detail and rich atmosphere, Summerscale re-creates this terrible crime and its aftermath, uncovering an extraordinary story of man's capacity to overcome the past.

Mrs. Jeffries in the Nick of Time


Author: Emily Brightwell

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9780425226780

Category: Fiction

Page: 260

View: 8409

Mrs. Jeffries, Inspector Witherspoon's secret weapon, helps to solve the mystery surrounding the death of train enthusiast Francis Humphreys who was murdered while his relatives and neighbors were over for tea. Original.

A Prescription for Murder

The Victorian Serial Killings of Dr. Thomas Neill Cream


Author: Angus McLaren

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226560687

Category: History

Page: 243

View: 6724

McLaren develops a historiographical survey on Victorian attitudes toward sexuality and morality, and their relation to violence as he describes the story of Dr. Thomas Cream. Cream murdered prostitutes and women seeking abortions in England and North America between 1877 and 1892.

The Invention of Murder

How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime


Author: Judith Flanders

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250024889

Category: History

Page: 576

View: 6267

"Superb... Flanders's convincing and smart synthesis of the evolution of an official police force, fictional detectives, and real-life cause célèbres will appeal to devotees of true crime and detective fiction alike." -Publishers Weekly, starred review In this fascinating exploration of murder in nineteenth century England, Judith Flanders examines some of the most gripping cases that captivated the Victorians and gave rise to the first detective fiction Murder in the nineteenth century was rare. But murder as sensation and entertainment became ubiquitous, with cold-blooded killings transformed into novels, broadsides, ballads, opera, and melodrama-even into puppet shows and performing dog-acts. Detective fiction and the new police force developed in parallel, each imitating the other-the founders of Scotland Yard gave rise to Dickens's Inspector Bucket, the first fictional police detective, who in turn influenced Sherlock Holmes and, ultimately, even P.D. James and Patricia Cornwell. In this meticulously researched and engrossing book, Judith Flanders retells the gruesome stories of many different types of murder in Great Britain, both famous and obscure: from Greenacre, who transported his dismembered fiancée around town by omnibus, to Burke and Hare's bodysnatching business in Edinburgh; from the crimes (and myths) of Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper, to the tragedy of the murdered Marr family in London's East End. Through these stories of murder-from the brutal to the pathetic-Flanders builds a rich and multi-faceted portrait of Victorian society in Great Britain. With an irresistible cast of swindlers, forgers, and poisoners, the mad, the bad and the utterly dangerous, The Invention of Murder is both a mesmerizing tale of crime and punishment, and history at its most readable.

Empire Ways

Aspects of British Imperialism


Author: Bernard Porter

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 085773959X

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 6752

The British Empire was an astonishingly complex and varied phenomenon, which should not be reduced to any of the simple generalisations or theories that are often taken to characterise it. ‘Imperialism’ took many forms, just one of which was formally governing – ‘economic’ and ‘cultural’ domination, for example, provided a more ‘informal’ network of empire. Not all the empire was equally ‘imperialised’. Some areas were scarcely so at all: substantial areas hardly touched by British power or influence; others ruled only weakly or ‘indirectly’; and many colonies, long before the formal demise of the British Empire, were effectively ruling themselves. Those who served British imperialism, directly or indirectly, were similarly diverse. Their circumstances and motives varied widely. One way of illustrating the complexity of empire, and to convey some of the subtle ‘flavour’ of the thing itself, is to descend from over-arching ‘themes’ to the particular, and describe and discuss aspects of it in detail. This book, by the well-known imperial historian Bernard Porter, ranges among a wide range of the events and personalities that shaped – or were shaped by – British imperialism, or by its decline in the post-war years. These include chapters on science, drugs, battles, proconsuls, an odd assortment of ‘imperialists’ including Kipling, Lady Hester Stanhope, TE Lawrence and Simon Mann (the post-imperial mercenary), architecture, music ,the role of MI6 and the reputation of the Empire since its demise. Imperialism has always been contested – perhaps today more than ever. This book informs, explains and provokes but above all it demonstrates the kaleidoscopic variety and ambivalence of Britain’s imperial histor

The Mid-Victorian Generation, 1846-1886


Author: K. Theodore Hoppen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198731993

Category: History

Page: 787

View: 9757

This volume in the New Oxford History of England covers the period from the repeal of the Corn Laws to the dramatic failure of Gladstone's first Home Rule Bill. Theo Hoppen examines the influence of developments in religion, economics, science, and the arts, intermeshed with a detailed social and political analysis of the period. His magisterial study goes beyond coverage of England alone to investigate the distinct but interconnected histories of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the Empire abroad.

Black Diamond City

Nanaimo, the Victorian Era


Author: Jan Peterson

Publisher: Heritage House Publishing Co

ISBN: 9781894384513

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 7925

Jan Peterson's new book, Black Diamond City, chronicles the evolution of Nanaimo from original Native settlements to coal company town to diversified Victorian-era community. She uses original diaries, journals, letters, logs, and reports to vividly describe incidents within Native, British, and Chinese communities, including the peace-making tragedy of Chief Wun-wun-shun; the horrific migrations of coal miners and settlers; and the building of the island railway. The narrative includes chiefs, coal barons, ship captains, shopkeepers, schoolteachers, miners, mayors, missionaries, explorers, and doctors, and is accompanied by an extensive mix of maps and archival photos.

The Thames Torso Murders of Victorian London


Author: R. Michael Gordon

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 1476616655

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 257

View: 5371

The Thames Torso Murders have been overshadowed by Jack the Ripper and his crimes, but were just as brutal and gruesome. They began in 1887 in London’s East End, just north of the Thames River in Rainham, England. The killer took one victim that year, another in 1888, and two more in 1889. He resumed his crimes in 1902, taking his last victim south of the Thames and leaving her body in a pile of dismembered parts as he had done with most of his other victims. This work delves deep into the case of the Thames Torso Murders. It begins with a look at London in the late 1800s, a time of great confusion and tremendous population increase, and the killer’s path to London, which seems to include a murder in Paris in 1886. The book then examines in great detail each murder and the investigation that may have been hindered by the search for Jack the Ripper. It also raises the idea that Jack the Ripper and the Torso Murderer may have been the same man—Severin Klosowski, better known as George Chapman, the Borough Poisoner. It ends with an examination of Serial Killers; the Ripper, Torso, and Borough Poisoner murder cases; the search for clues to the serial killer responsible for the five Thames Torso murders; and Wolff Levisohn, a dark horse who seems to have known much about all three sets of murders, testified at Chapman’s murder trial, and then faded away as Chapman was sent to the gallows.

The Poisoner

The Life and Crimes of Victorian England's Most Notorious Doctor


Author: Stephen Bates

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

ISBN: 9780715647509

Category: HISTORY

Page: 342

View: 6754

In 1856, a baying crowd of over 30,000 people gathered outside Stafford prison to watch the execution of a village doctor from Staffordshire. One of the last people to be publicly hanged, the 'Rugely Poisoner', the 'Prince of Poisoners', 'The greatest villain who ever stood trial at the Old Bailey,' as Charles Dickens described him, Dr William Palmer was convicted in 1855 of murdering his best friend, but was suspected of poisoning more than a dozen other people, including his wife, children, brother and mother-in-law - cashing in on their life insurance to fund his monstrously indebted gambling habit. He was a new kind of murderer - respectable, middle class, personable, and consequently more terrifying - and he became Britain's most infamous figure until the arrival of Jack the Ripper. The first widely available account of one of the most notorious, yet lesser-known, mass-murderers in British history, The Poisoner takes a fresh look at Palmer's life and disputed crimes, ultimately asking 'just how evil was this man?' With previously undiscovered letters from Palmer and new forensic examination of his victims, Stephen Bates presents not only an astonishing and controversial revision of Palmer's entire story, but takes the reader into the very psyche of a killer.

The Character of Credit

Personal Debt in English Culture, 1740-1914


Author: Margot C. Finn

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521823425

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 362

View: 9538

An exploration of personal credit and debt in English society from 1740 to 1914.

The Agency 1: A Spy in the House


Author: Y. S. Lee

Publisher: Candlewick Press

ISBN: 0763651826

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 352

View: 2350

Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan and thief Mary Quinn is offered a place at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls where she is trained to be part of an all-female investigative unit called The Agency and, at age seventeen, she infiltrates a rich merchant's home in hopes of tracing his missing cargo ships.

The Dark Victorian



Author: Elizabeth Watasin

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781936622016


Page: 136

View: 8257

"Way will open." She is Artifice. A resurrected criminal and agent of HRH Prince Albert's Secret Commission. An artificial ghost. A Quaker. He is Jim Dastard. The oldest surviving agent of the Secret Commission. An animated skull. A mentor to newly resurrected agents. It is 1880 in a mechanical and supernatural London. Agents of Prince Albert's Secret Commission, their criminal pasts wiped from their memories, are resurrected to fight the eldritch evils that threaten England. Jim Dastard and his new partner Artifice must stop a re-animationist raising murderous dead children. But while Art and Jim pursue him, Art discovers clues about her past, and through meeting various intriguing women-a journalist, a medium, a prostitute, and a woman in black-where her heart lies. A new beginning and new dangers await Art as she fights for the Secret Commission and for her second life. F/F historical fantasy and Gothic mystery set in the steampunk world of the Dark Victorian series. "Thoroughly enjoyable...delightfully disturbing." -Trina Robbins Writer, Herstorian, author of The Chicagoland detective Agency series and Lily Renee, Escape Artist "Read if you: Delight in a heady, deeply satisfying blend of Victorian, Gothic and Romantic impulses." -Worth Reading? Experience paranormal detective mysteries with a Victorian female sleuth: A historical fantasy in a mechanical and supernatural London, follow the adventures of an uncanny female sleuth and her senior skull partner set in the same alternate world as Elizabeth Watasin's Victorian supernatural mystery series, The Elle Black Penny Dreads. Learn more about this intriguing, steampunk lesbian series: It is 1880; black arts sorcery had its time to grow in England and to battle the eldritch evils threatening, HRH Prince Albert's Secret Commission is born. Executed criminals are brought back to life without memories and to fight as agents. Among those resurrected is Artifice, a six foot two tall strongwoman, Quaker, and artificial ghost, guided by her senior partner, Jim Dastard, the animated skull. And she soon discovers-from her encounters with a madwoman journalist, a mysterious woman in black, and a French prostitute-where her heart lies . . . Dark Victorian: Risen is the debut steampunk novel from storyteller Elizabeth Watasin, who delights in bringing you shilling shockers immersed in Gothic Victorian mystery, women detectives, and the paranormal vestiges of an otherworldly London. Read more in Dark Victorian: Bones, Ice Demon: A Dark Victorian Penny Dread Vol 1, Medusa: A Dark Victorian Penny Dread Vol 2, and Sundark: An Elle Black Penny Dread. Enjoy a bonus Art Gallery: The paperback version of Dark Victorian: Risen contains a small gallery of illustrations by Elizabeth Watasin.

Chronicle of a Downfall

Germany 1929-1939


Author: Leopold Schwarzschild

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 0857730851

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 9191

‘An in valuable contribution to the enlightenment of those that care to be enlightened.’ - Winston Churchill Few figures of interwar Germany were as influential as Leopold Schwarzschild, the brilliant editor of the liberal magazine Das Tage-Buch. In the uncertain years of the Weimar Republic, Schwarzschild became famous for his perceptive political analyses and critique of the economic policies of successive governments in the twilight of Germany’s first experiment with democracy. When he was forced to emigrate in 1933, following Hitler’s rise to power, he pursued his analysis of developments in Germany from Paris, where he resumed publication of his journal under the new name Das Neue Tage-Buch, while also mounting a furious attack on the European powers taken by surprise by the Nazi ascendancy. ‘One thing is already beyond question today...’, he wrote in the spring of 1933, ‘...part of the new era is an unremitting descent into some kind of military conflagration’. Despite his outstanding reputation in the 1920s and 1930s, his campaigning journalism has never before appeared in English. In bringing his writings to an English-speaking readership, Chronicle of a Downfall will restore Leopold Schwarzschild to his rightful place as one of the most poignant chroniclers of the fall of German democracy and the descent of Europe into World War II.

The Limehouse Golem

A Novel


Author: Peter Ackroyd

Publisher: Nan A. Talese

ISBN: 0307816230

Category: Fiction

Page: 261

View: 8094

A literary star returns with an addictive tale of murder in Victorian London. Peter Ackroyd is "our most exciting and original writer... one of the few English writers of his generation who will be read in a hundred years' time." -- The Sunday Times (London) Without a doubt, Peter Ackroyd's breakout book. It has all the erudition and literary brilliance we expect of Ackroyd, yet it is as vivid, scary, and spellbinding as the best of Edgar Allan Poe. The year is 1880, the setting London's poor and dangerous Limehouse district, home to immigrants and criminals. A series of brutal murders has occurred, and, as Ackroyd leads us down London's dark streets, the sense of time and place becomes overwhelmingly immediate and real. We experience the sights and sounds of the English music halls, smell the smells of London slums, hear the hooves of horses on the cobblestone streets, and attend the trial of Elizabeth Cree, a woman accused of poisoning her husband but who may be the one person who knows the truth about the murders. The wonderfully rhythmic shifting of focus from trial to back alleys, where we come upon George Gissing, author of New Grub Street, and even Karl Marx, gives the story a tremendous depth and resonance beyond its page-turning thriller plot. Peter Ackroyd has once again confirmed his place as one of the great writers of our time. Previously published as The Trial Of Elizabeth Cree.

The Hanging Tree

Execution and the English People 1770-1868


Author: V. A. C. Gatrell

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780192853325

Category: Science

Page: 634

View: 9994

Hanging people for petty crimes as well as grave, the Bloody Penal Code was at its most active between 1770 and 1830. Some 7,000 men and women were executed on public scaffolds, watched by crowds of thousands. This acclaimed study is the first to explore what a wide range of people felt about these ceremonies. Gatrell draws on letters, diaries, ballads, broadsides, and images, as well as on poignant appeals for mercy which, until now, have been largely neglected by historians. Panoramic in range, scholarly in method, and compelling in style and in argument, this is one of those rare histories which both shift our sense of the past and speak powerfully to the present.