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Aspects of female criminality in Wales, c.1730-1830: evidence from the Court of Great Session

Horler-Underwood, Catherine 2014. Aspects of female criminality in Wales, c.1730-1830: evidence from the Court of Great Session. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis draws on the extensive, underexplored records of the Court of Great Sessions for the period 1730-1830 to examine the nature and extent of Welsh women’s involvement in a range of serious crimes. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, it provides an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of women indicted for various criminal activities, including crimes against the person and against the public peace, and offers explanations for their involvement, as far as the records allow. Information regarding the age, social position, and marital status of the female defendants has been compiled and analysed, and the extent to which these factors affected judicial outcomes is demonstrated. The broad geographical and chronological scope of this study also provides an insight into links between levels and types of crime involving women and their location, as well as changes over time. It is argued that there were distinctly gendered elements in the offences committed by women, the motivations attributed to them, and their treatment by the courts. There is no comparable study of female crime in the period encompassed by this thesis. Many historians of crime have wrongly assumed that experiences in Wales and England were the same, and both countries have often been analysed interchangeably. Welsh criminals, women included, have rarely been considered in their own right. Studies of crime in ‘England and Wales’ have too often failed to fully appreciate the distinctiveness of Wales. This thesis addresses these shortcomings, demonstrating that Welsh experiences of crime were unique in many respects. In so doing, it provides an unparalleled contribution to our understanding of female crime and gender relations in Wales during the long eighteenth century.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Funders: AHRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 01:14

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