The Changing Presentation of Execution in Newcastle Upon Tyne 1844-1863
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The changing presentation of punishment, in particular execution, has been at the heart of much criminal historiography. However, little work has been done to examine the transition outside of London. Newcastle offers a fascinating perspective on any national picture of capital punishment, as it adopted changes far later than most, including close neighbours like Durham. This article questions why so late a transition occurred and what the motivating factors were. Focusing on executions between 1844 and 1863 it will show that far from being led by London, the decisions were largely reactive to immediate crises, chief amongst them an unruly crowd, and not underpinned by any ideological bent. In short, it will argue for caution in speaking of a unified national change in punishment when even to speak of a regional one is problematic.
Low, P. (2018). 'The Changing Presentation of Execution in Newcastle Upon Tyne 1844-1863', SOLON Law, Crime and History, 8(1), p. 38-52.