History events at the IHR

Crime in 18th-century Bristol: situating theft within the urban milieu

08 January 2013, 17:15 - 19:15

Event Type: Seminar


Matthew Neale (University of Leicester, Junior IHR Fellow)


This paper argues that there were significant variations in the nature and experience of crime within the pre-modern city. It seeks to examine the causes of these variations, and proposes some ways that we may examine the agency which urban space had over acts of theft. It does this by examining crime as reported in the depositions (crime reports) produced before Bristol's magistrates in the late 18th century, sources complemented by the study of the civic response to crime, which is documented in a rich collection of administrative records. While historians have long recognised the differences between urban and rural criminality, this paper argues that the study of the spatial and temporal variations in crime which occurred within the city is an important task if we are to understand the dynamics of theft in the pre-modern town.

Venue: The Court Room (Senate House, first floor)

Senate House
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU 

Download a map of the central precinct with directions for getting to the University of London Senate House.

Related Events: Locality & Region History