16 February 2017

Justice, Community and the Courts: Law and Order in the South West

The local and regional courts were the seats of administrative and judicial authority at the turn of the eighteenth-century.

They provided a forum in which all sectors of society met, argued, and in which social relationships were tested and redefined.

While petty and quarter sessions, and courts of Assize, were convened in every county, the precise arrangement of county government was regionally contingent.

The structuring of the courts and the administration of the law were shaped by historical precedents, and by the local magistracy, who organised judicial meetings according to their different regional contexts.

This in turn framed the ways in which communities interacted with authority.

Rose’s paper considers the different arrangement of the courts in three south-western counties in the tumultuous last decades of the eighteenth century and first decades of the nineteenth century.

Exploring how the local and regional authorities responded to the challenges posed by economic depression, political upheaval, war and demographic growth, via the operation and reformation of judicial structures.

Speaker: Rose Wallis is Senior Lecturer in social history at UWE, Bristol.

This is a UWE Regional History Centre talk.