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The Murder of Mr. GrebellMadness and Civility in an English Town$
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Paul Kleber Monod

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300099850

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300099850.001.0001

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Politeness and Police

Politeness and Police

(p.184) 5 Politeness and Police
The Murder of Mr. Grebell

Paul Kleber Monod

Yale University Press

This chapter reveals that eighteenth-century notions of police concentrated on the preservation of existing social and institutional structures. The wealthy and polite, who dominated those structures, did not have to worry much about falling afoul of police. Moreover, when social institutions came under strain, as they did during the years of war and deprivation from the mid-1740s to the early 1760s, police could become especially severe. The chapter discusses how the sessions court, revived during the Breads trial and sitting after 1744 in the new court hall, was the chief instrument of police in Rye during the war years. The crime that it chiefly sought to control was theft. The chapter also reveals that of the twenty-two people who were reported to the magistrates for felonies between 1746 and 1760, thirteen were accused of theft.

Keywords:   police, institutional structures, social institutions, sessions court, trial

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