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Seminar 9: Sentencing

Primary Sources

  • Cases from the Old Bailey
  • Alan Cirket (ed.), Samuel Whitbread's Notebooks, 1810-11, 1813-14

Key Reading

  • Clive Emsley, Crime and Society, 1750-1900, chapter 8

Further Reading


  • Trace changes in the sentencing of crimes using the Old Bailey online.
  • Were eighteenth-century courts a form of 'participatory theatre' (Peter King)?
  • Were there class and gender differences in prosecutions and sentencing?
  • How did sentencing differ in locations such as police courts, magistrates courts, assizes and quarter sessions?
  • How do courts deal with those arguing limited responsibility for crimes (eg the insane, and crimes committed when drunk or in passion)?