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Crime and criminality in County Durham 1840 - 1855

Burke, James Christopher (1980) Crime and criminality in County Durham 1840 - 1855. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Between 1840 and 1855 the population of County Durham rose markedly in response to the needs of industry, especially the coal mines. Throughout this period there was a widely held assumption that an increase in industrial population would automatically result in a startling increase in crime. It is argued that despite the growing number of workers (especially colliers) this assumption cannot be sustained for County Durham. To substantiate this contention, several factors affecting criminality are reviewed: the introduction and development of the Durham County Constabulary; the awkward criminal litigation procedure; and the regimen of the Durham Gaol. These are examined in light of their functions as institutional restraints on the working class. In addition, the colliers are examined with a view to establishing the reasons for their surprisingly low rate of crime. Further, the quarterly returns of the Chief Constable, the County Treasurer’s Annual Report and the Quarter Sessions Indictment Rolls are analysed by a computer to establish certain patterns such as the increasing efficiency of the police and the growing number of cases payed for by the county. Finally, each bill of indictment from 1840 to 1855 was reduced to a 'computer readable’ form and then analysed to supply information on issues such as the number of criminals and types of crime; the resident parish of the offender; the plea, verdict, particulars; and (where applicable) the sentence incurred in each case.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1980
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 17:06

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