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Capital punishment in the north east of England 1800-1878 and post mortem punishment 1752-1878

Low, Patrick (2021) Capital punishment in the north east of England 1800-1878 and post mortem punishment 1752-1878. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)


The spectre of the scaffold has cast a long shadow over Western European history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Yet, its study in the provinces and regions of England is in its infancy, particularly in the North East of England. In addressing this gap, this thesis offers an extensive, predominantly qualitative, study of capital punishment in the North East of England between 1800-1878 and its attendant post-mortem punishments between 1752-1878. Through an investigation into the incidence, changing presentation and application of the death penalty in the region it seeks to examine some of the central themes apparent in the wider historiography. Most notably, the reasons behind the shifting nature of execution in the nineteenth century and its presentation and reception when removed behind the prison walls. In so doing, it will seek to question the idea of a singular and unified North East experience of execution, let alone an English one. The latter half of the thesis addresses the post-mortem punishments that attended executions between 1752-1878. In line with recent, pioneering national studies focused on post-mortem punishment, this study seeks to place the practice of the North East into context. A detailed analysis of both the practices of dissection and hanging in Chains are undertaken alongside the oft overlooked punishment of the denial of burial, latterly burial behind the prison wall. Through the analysis of these punishments the thesis seeks to question broader assumptions on the motivating factors behind the move to a system of private punishment.

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Depositing User: Leah Maughan


Item ID: 13373

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Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2021 13:36
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2021 13:45


Author: Patrick Low
Thesis advisor: Peter Rushton

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Collections > Theses
Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences

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