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Key Texts

  • Heather Shore, 'Crime, Policing and Punishment' in Chris Williams (ed.), A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Britain
  • Clive Emsley, Crime and Society in England, 1750-1900
  • Howard Taylor, 'Rationing crime: the political economy of police statistics since the 1850s', Economic History Review, 1998
  • See the National Archives website for primary sources on crime.

Seminar Questions

  • Do perceptions of crime match crime rates in Victorian England? [Do crime rates go up or down?]
  • How effective were the police in preventing and detecting crime in the nineteenth century?
  • How were different types of crime and criminals (white collar fraud, murder, juvenile crime, prostitution etc) treated?
  • Was there a crime wave in late Victorian Britain?

Further Reading

K Chesney, The Victorian Underworld

J Davis, 'A poor man's system of justice: the London police courts', Historical Journal, 1984

J Davis, ‘The London Garrotting Panic of 1862’, in VAC Gatrell, B. Lenman, G. Parker, Crime and Law

J Davis, ‘From Rookeries to Communities: Race, Poverty and Policing in London, 1850-1985’, History Workshop, 27 (1989)

C Emsley, Policing and its context, 1750-1870

V Gatrell (ed.), Crime and Law

V.A.C. Gatrell and T.N. Hadden, ‘Criminal Statistics and their Interpretation’, in E.A. Wrigley (ed.), Nineteenth-century Society: Essays in the Use of Quantitative Methods for the Study of Social Data

J Gillis, 'The evolution of juvenile delinquency', Past and Present, 1975

D. J. V. Jones, ‘The Poacher: A Study in Victorian Crime and Protest’, Historical Journal, 22 (1979)

D Philips, Crime and authority in Victorian England

David Philips and Robert Storch, Policing provincial England, 1829-56

G Rudé, Crime and victim: crime and society in early 19th century England

R Sindall, Street violence in the 19th century

Philip Thurmond Smith, Policing Victorian London

R Storch, 'A plague of blue locusts: police reform and popular resistance', International Review of Social History, 1975

R Swift, 'Urban policing and social control', History, 1988

David Taylor, Crime, Policing and Punishment in England, 1750-1914

J J Tobias, Crime and police in England, 1700-1900

Martin Wiener, Deconstructing the criminal

Martin J. Weiner, ‘The March of Penal Progress?’, Journal of British Studies, 1987, 83-95

Lucia Zedner, Women, Crime and Custody