Crime, Courts and Community in Mid-Victorian Wales

Montgomeryshire, People and Places

Author(s) Rachael Jones

Language: English

Genre(s): Welsh and Celtic Studies, Welsh Interest, History

  • May 2018 · 304 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786832597
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786832603
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786832610

About The Book

This book explores the relationship between the justice system and local society at a time when the Industrial Revolution was changing the characteristics of mid Wales. Crime, Courts and Community in Mid-Victorian Wales investigates the Welsh nineteenth-century experiences of both the high-born and the low within the context of law enforcement, and considers major issues affecting Welsh and wider criminal historiography: the nature of class in the Welsh countryside and small towns, the role of women, the ways in which the justice system functioned for communities at that time, the questions of how people related to the criminal courts system, and how integrated and accepting of it they were. We read the accounts of defendants, witnesses and law- enforcers through transcription of courtroom testimonies and other records, and the experiences of all sections of the public are studied. Life stories – of both offenders and prosecutors of crime – are followed, providing a unique picture of this Welsh county community, its offences and legal practices.


‘The economic, social, religious and linguistic tensions of nineteenth- century Montgomeryshire provide the fascinating context for this investigation of how justice was administered at local level when the legal system itself was being reformed. This book admirably complements existing studies of crime and criminality in Wales, contributing significantly to our knowledge of the kinds of people involved.’
-Professor Thomas Glyn Watkin, Wales Legislative Counsel 2007–10

‘Welsh criminal history is under-researched, and Crime, Courts and Community in Mid-Victorian Wales opens a new window onto the experiences of the people of Montgomeryshire. In doing so, it uncovers the complex relationship between authority and the powerless in the mid-nineteenth-century.’
-Professor Barry Godfrey, Liverpool University

‘This book is original in its attention to landscape – the role of rural and urban terrain in crime and justice – in its discussion of women and crime, in its knowledge of all layers of the criminal justice system, and in its highlighting of the personalities involved in the criminal justice system. Victorian Montgomeryshire in these pages comes to life as lived experience.’
-Professor K. D. M. Snell, University of Leicester


List of figures
List of tables
1 Montgomeryshire
2 The legal system
3 Montgomeryshire Constabulary
4 Petty sessions
5 Quarter sessions
6 Assizes
7 Theft offences
8 Vice

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Rachael Jones

Rachael Jones is Honorary Research Fellow at Leicester University, resident of Montgomeryshire for over twenty years, teacher and local historian specialising in genealogy, gender and crime.

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