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"Some examples should be made": Prosecuting reform bill rioters in 1831-32

Poole, Steve

Authors



Contributors

Michael T. Davis
Editor

Emma Macleod
Editor

Gordon Pentland
Editor

Abstract

Following the House of Lords’ rejection of the parliamentary Reform Bill in the autumn of 1831, severe rioting broke out in a number of English towns. In the judicial retribution that followed, some 259 people were prosecuted, seven of them hanged and 43 transported. This essay takes a detailed look at the local circumstances and the choice of courts in which suspected rioters were brought to trial and the variable outcomes achieved as a consequence. Reform was a divisive and regionally nuanced issue and shaping a measured response was neither straightforward nor uniform. While prisoners at Nottingham and Bristol were tried with rigour by Special Commission, magistrates at Loughborough, Mansfield and Worcester were keen to confine cases to local courts, eschewing judicial terror in the interests of healing social wounds.

Citation

Poole, S. (2018). "Some examples should be made": Prosecuting reform bill rioters in 1831-32. In M. T. Davis, E. Macleod, & G. Pentland (Eds.), Political Trials in an Age of Revolutions: Britain and the North Atlantic, 1793—1848 (237-263). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-98959-4_10

Online Publication Date Dec 31, 2018
Publication Date Dec 31, 2018
Deposit Date Sep 24, 2019
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Pages 237-263
Series Title Palgrave Histories of Policing, Punishment and Justice
Book Title Political Trials in an Age of Revolutions: Britain and the North Atlantic, 1793—1848
Chapter Number 10
ISBN 9783319989587
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-98959-4_10
Keywords House of Lords, Reform Bill 1831, riot, court, trial, Nottingham, Bristol, Loughborough, Mansfield, Worcester
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/3241120
Publisher URL https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319989587