Crime and Mentalities in Early Modern England by Malcolm Gaskill

By Malcolm Gaskill

Crime and the legislations have now been studied by means of historians of early smooth England for greater than a iteration. This publication makes an attempt to arrive additional than most traditional remedies of the topic, to discover the cultural contexts of law-breaking and legal prosecution, and to get well their hidden social meanings. It additionally examines intimately the crimes of witchcraft, coining--counterfeiting and coin-clipping--and homicide, to be able to show new and demanding insights into how the contemplating traditional humans was once reworked among 1550 and 1750.

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14. Cf. Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckman, The social construction of reality (London, 1967), chs. 1, 3. ), Culture in history: production, consumption and values in historical perspective (Exeter, 1992), pp. ), The new cultural history (Berkeley, 1989), pp. 72±96; Marshall Sahlins, Islands of history (London, 1987); Hilary Putnam, Reason, truth and history (Cambridge, 1981), p. xi. Lloyd, Demystifying mentalities, p. , 1992), pp. 212±35. Cf. Jack Goody, The domestication of the savage mind (Cambridge, 1977), esp.

Cockburn, `Trial by the book? Fact and theory in the criminal process 1558±1625', in J. H. ), Legal records and the historian (London, 1978), p. 60; J. M. Beattie, Crime and the courts in England 1660±1800 (Oxford, 1986), ch. 8. Douglas Hay, `Property, authority and the criminal law', in Douglas Hay et al. ), Albion's fatal tree: crime and society in eighteenth-century England (London, 1975), pp. 17±63; E. P. Thompson, Whigs and hunters: the origin of the Black Act (London, 1975); John H. Langbein, `Albion's fatal ¯aws', P&P, 98 (1983), pp.

20 contemporary perceptions Thomas and Macfarlane's generalizations were derived not only from modern social anthropology, but from contemporary perceptions. Many educated writers thought in terms of a physical stereotype, not least sceptics who observed those whom others took to be witches. 21 Such men aimed to expose error, but ironically may have helped to ®x the popular image in the minds of the credulous, thus ensuring its endurance. To an observer at the Chelmsford trials of 1645, the women arraigned there simply suffered from `poore, mellenchollie, envious, mischevous, ill-disposed, ill-dieted, atrabilious constitutions'; and the following year John Gaule, Huntingdonshire vicar and critic of the witch®nder Matthew Hopkins, scorned those 19 20 21 tion', p.

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