February 28, 2024

Though once in a while the Bow Avenue Runners, the then legislation enforcers of London, traveled into the nation the place considered one of their legal instances would possibly lead them, the nation areas have been policed by magistrates. These in flip appointed constables, who jailed and certain criminals over to stated magistrates. Justices of the Peace handled minor offences on the Petty Periods. Extra extreme instances have been held 4 occasions a 12 months on the Quarter Periods. Probably the most extreme instances have been referred by the Quarter Periods to the sitting judges to listen to on the Assizes.

The Magistrates have been appointed by the Crown and drawn from the landowning aristocracy, the nation gentry, and the Anglican clergy, who have been typically associated to noble homes.

In keeping with Roger Swift, who wrote in regards to the Magistracy in Nineteenth century England, (see beneath for full title of Summary), the nation magistrates wielded appreciable energy. Many cities have been as but integrated, so these and the nation have been the province of the Justice of the Peace. “The magistracy exercised a variety of administrative tasks which included the licensing of alehouses, the inspection of prisons and lunatic asylums, the superintendence of roads, public buildings and charitable establishments, and the appliance of legal guidelines in opposition to vagrancy…(and so they) adjudicated within the settlement of disputes….” (p.75)

These males presumably noticed to justice, however the poor suffered significantly and biased magistrates had youngsters transported to Australia for stealing bread for his or her sick moms. Poaching, carried on to feed ravenous households whose land had been enclosed by their rich neighbors, was severely punished. Transportation and hanging have been widespread. Though many landowners of the the Aristocracy employed the poor on their estates, a lot of the injustices continued till reforms got here in through the Victorian interval. 

Returning troopers from the Peninsular wars, who lacked household, and will afford fares to the nation, unable to search out employment, have been caught up in poaching. Sabbath breaking was frowned upon, in order that drinkers and gamblers caught thus have been positioned in shares on the general public ‘inexperienced’ for every body to see. Abuses occurred within the northern areas of England, for instance mining, the place employees have been paid by meals or items quite than cash properly into the Victorian interval.

In comparison with London, the risks within the nation have been much less. Regardless of this, some biased magistrates nonetheless handled vagrancy with transportation. Normally this punishment was for seven years, however within the case of youngsters, moms’ hearts have been torn apart–for if their youngsters survived the journey by ship, they have been by no means seen once more. It was stated that the work amongst the gangs of Botany Bay was arduous. Solely the sturdy survived, and few made it again to England.

The Regency world of England for the poor, deprived, and trespassers, was really a harmful place. My heros and heroines had a lot to take care of of their battle in opposition to oppression.

Summary: The English City Magistracy and the Administration of Justice Throughout the Early Nineteenth Century: Wolverhampton 1815-1860. By Roger Swift, Chester Faculty of Larger Training

From: R. E. Swift. ‘Crime, Legislation and Order in Two English Cities through the Early Nineteenth Century: the expertise of Exeter and Wolverhampton, 1815-56’ (College of Birmingham Ph.D. Thesis. 1981), 322-51.

Revealed in: Midland Historical past, the principal Journal overlaying the Historical past of the English Midlands.