Execution, state and society in England, 1660-1900 / Simon Devereaux, University of Victoria, British Columbia.

Devereaux, Simon, 1966- [Browse]
Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2023.
1 online resource (xviii, 391 pages) : digital, PDF file(s).


Studies in legal history [More in this series]
Summary note
This book provides the first comprehensive account of execution practices in England and their extraordinary transformation from 1660 to 1900. Agonizing execution rituals were once common. Male traitors were hanged, disembowelled while still alive, then decapitated and quartered. Female traitors were burned alive. And common criminals slowly choked to death beneath wooden crossbeams erected at the margins of towns. Some of their bodies were either left to rot on roadside gibbets or dissected by anatomy instructors. Two centuries later, only murderers and traitors were executed - both by hanging - and they died alone, usually quickly, and behind prison walls. In this major contribution to the history of crime and punishment in England, Simon Devereaux reveals how urban growth, and the unique public culture it produced, challenged and largely displaced those traditional elites who valued the old 'Bloody Code' as an instrument of their rule.
Title from publisher's bibliographic system (viewed on 13 Oct 2023).
  • Executions for treason, 1660-1820
  • Changing cultures of execution : religion and feeling, 1660-1770
  • Changing cultures of execution : reason and reforms, 1770-1808
  • The Murder Act : anatomization, 1752-1832
  • The Murder Act : hanging in chains, 1660-1834
  • The "Bloody Code" debated, 1808-1821
  • The "Bloody Code" diminished, 1822-1830
  • The vicissitudes of public execution, 1830-1900.
9781009392129 (ebook)
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