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'Intimate crime' in Early Modern England and Wales, c.1660-1760

Field, Anna Louise ORCID: 2018. 'Intimate crime' in Early Modern England and Wales, c.1660-1760. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Intimacy was essential to criminal activity in the early modern period. The uses and abuses of intimacy – in physical, local, and emotional terms – are located firmly within the criminal record. Historians of crime, gender, social relations, emotion, sexuality, and the body have illustrated the wider social and cultural contexts in which intimacy would have been understood and transacted, yet their questions have not explicitly addressed intimacy as a practice. The present thesis brings intimacy to the fore and develops a suitable analytical framework for discussing its contemporary significance. I consider the textual content of both original and familiar source material, namely depositional evidence from the Welsh Great Sessions, informations sworn before the warden of the London Mint, along with printed trial summaries, crime pamphlets, and broadside ballads. Such a diverse source base stands the thesis in stark contrast to other histories of emotion that have considered ‘emotional communities’. Instead, I explore the vibrant ‘social worlds’ of contemporaries who desired to seek the truth, gain closure, or even distance themselves from the shocking and tragic events that often accompanied serious criminal offences. The ambitious geographical and chronological breadth of the present study expands on recent historiography of crime in early modern Wales. Not only do I herein provide cultural analyses of male-male homicide and coinage offences – topics not before considered in a similar depth by scholars of early modern and eighteenth-century Wales – I have also consulted cases from all three Welsh circuits over the period of an entire century. Throughout, I re-imagine the boundaries of family, friendship, and community in the light of their flexibility as contemporary categories, from metropolitan London to rural Merionethshire.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council, South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 April 2018
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 11:12

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