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Geography and environment

Key Reading

  • Clive Emsley, Crime and Society in England, chapter 5

Seminar Reading

  • John E Archer, 'Poaching gangs and violence: the urban-rural divide in nineteenth-century Lancashire', British Journal of Criminology, 39 (1999)
  • John E. Archer, By a Flash and a Scare: Arson, Animal-Maiming and Poaching in East Anglia
  • J P Dunbabin, Rural Discontent in Nineteenth Century Britain
  • B J Davey, Lawless and Immoral: Policing a County Town
  • Drew Gray, Londons Shadows: The Dark Side of the Victorian City
  • Carl Griffin, 'The mystery of the fires: Captain Swing as Incendiarist', Southern History, 32 (2010)
  • Carl Griffin, 'The violent Captain Swing', Past and Present, 209 (2010)
  • Eric Hobsbawm, 'The Machine breakers', Past and Present, 1 (1952)
  • Eric Hobsbawm and George Rude, Captain Swing
  • David Jones, Crime, Protest, Community and Police
  • Peter King, 'The impact of urbanisation on murder rates and the geography of homicide', Historical Journal, 53 (2010)
  • Peter King, 'Urbanisation, rising homicide rates and the geography of lethal violence in Scotland', History, 96 (2011)
  • Katrina Navickas, 'Luddism, Incendiarism and the defence of rural "task-scapes" in 1812', Northern History, 48 (2011)
  • Harvey Osborne and Michael WInstanley, 'Rural and urban poaching in Victorian England', Rural History, 17 (2006)
  • David Philips, Crime and Authority in Victorian England
  • Steve Poole, 'A lasting and saluatory warning: incendiarism, rural order and England last scene of crime execution', Rural History, 19 (2008)
  • John Rule, 'The manifold causes of rural crime', in John Rule (ed.), Outside the Law
  • J J Tobias, Crime and Industrial Society
  • R A E Wells, 'Sheep-rustling in Yorkshire in the age of the industrial and agricultural revolutions', Northern History, 20 (1984)


  • Why did contemporaries consider crime was mainly a problem for industrial cities in the Victorian period?
  • Were rural crimes different? And did they require an alternative model of policing?
  • Was criminal acitivty (such as arson) a symptom of class warfare in the countryside?
  • Is it possible to map a 'geography' of crime?
  • What is the relationship between crime and environment?