The Habitual Eccentricities of the Solons of Staffordshire: An Investigation of the Circumstances Surrounding the Parliamentary Enquiry into the Ill-treatment of Mrs Eliza Price of Brierley Hill, 1845
MetadataShow full item record
This article investigates the circumstances surrounding a dramatic petition read out in the House of Commons in the late spring of 1845 which detailed the alleged ill-treatment of a heavily pregnant young married woman from Brierley Hill, Staffordshire by two parish constables acting upon the instructions of a county magistrate. What began as a minor squabble in two competing provincial magistrates' courts in the rapidly urbanizing Black Country resulted in a Parliamentary Enquiry and quickly escalated into a nationally aired debate on the capability and legality of the methods used by both the provincial magistracy and police to arrest, detain and physically constrain crime suspects. This discussion aims to show how various mechanisms of power and politics at local and national levels were utilized both explicitly and implicitly in attempts to apportion responsibility and militate culpability following the publication of the findings of the Parliamentary Enquiry. It also examines the extent to which the local magistracy attempted to control the discretion and activities of an untrained and unprofessional local police force at a time when the future of the lay magistracy and the parish constabulary system was being questioned.
Cox, D. (2010) 'The Habitual Eccentricities of the Solons of Staffordshire: An Investigation of the Circumstances Surrounding the Parliamentary Enquiry into the Ill-treatment of Mrs Eliza Price of Brierley Hill, 1845', Plymouth Law and Criminal Justice Review, 3, pp. 109-127. Available at: https://pearl.plymouth.ac.uk/handle/10026.1/8963
The following license files are associated with this item: