Victorians Against the Gallows (Library of Victorian by James Gregory

By James Gregory

by the point that Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, the checklist of crimes susceptible to allure the loss of life penalty had successfully been decreased to homicide. but, regardless of this, the gallows remained a resource of controversy in Victorian Britain and there has been a starting to be unease in liberal quarters surrounding the query of capital punishment.In this e-book, James Gregory examines organised efforts to abolish capital punishment in Britain and the Empire within the Victorian period, focusing quite at the actions of the Society for the Abolition of Capital Punishment. The amelioration of the notoriously ‘Bloody Code’ of the British kingdom could have restricted capital punishment successfully to a small variety of murderers after 1840 yet, regardless of this, capital punishment used to be an issue of perennial debate, from the neighborhood area of faculty debating societies to the ‘imperial Parliament’, and a subject to hassle the minds of considerate Victorians around the British world.Drawing on a variety of resources, from pamphlets via abolitionists or their rivals to gallows broadsides, authentic inquiries, provincial newspapers, novels and brief tales, Gregory reports a circulation stated by way of contemporaries to be agitating one of many ‘questions of the day’ - difficult because it did modern theology, nation infliction of violence, and wide-spread principles approximately punishment. He explores very important features equivalent to: capital punishment debates within the ‘Lex Britannica’ of British colonies and dominions, the function of girls abolitionists and the category and gendered inflexions to the ‘gallows question’, the illustration of the matter of capital punishment in Victorian fiction, and the connection among abolitionists and the house workplace which exercised the royal prerogative of mercy.While the abolitionism of Nonconformist reformers reminiscent of the Quakers and Unitarians is time-honored, Gregory introduces the reader to the abolitionist debates in Jewish, secularist and spiritualist circles, and explores topics corresponding to the imagined function of the Queen as ‘fount of mercy’ and the irritating determine of the hangman. learning the provincial, nationwide and overseas facets to the move, Victorians opposed to the Gallows bargains a big contribution to our knowing of Victorian reform actions, and Victorian culture.

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