Mayhem: Post-War Crime and Violence in Britain, 1748-53 by Nicholas Rogers

By Nicholas Rogers

After the top of the warfare of Austrian Succession in 1748, millions of unemployed and occasionally unemployable squaddies and seamen came upon themselves at the streets of London able to roister the city and thieve whilst worthy. during this attention-grabbing e-book Nicholas Rogers explores the ethical panic linked to this fast demobilization.

Through interlocking tales of duels, road robberies, smuggling, riots, binge consuming, or even earthquakes, Rogers captures the anxieties of a half-decade and assesses the social reforms contemporaries framed and speculated to take care of the difficulty. He argues that during addressing those occasions, contemporaries not just recommended the normal sanction of public executions, yet wrestled with the matter of increasing the parameters of presidency to incorporate practices and associations we now regard as normal: censuses, the regularization of marriage via uniform equipment of registration, penitentiaries and police forces.

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Additional info for Mayhem: Post-War Crime and Violence in Britain, 1748-53

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He did well,’’ noted Captain Polycarpus Taylor, which presumably meant he survived the shock and sepsis of an on-the-spot amputation. ∞ Disabled men stood little chance of making ends meet at home. The best they could hope for was a meager pension from the Chatham chest, less than 35 36 The Sailors’ Return £7 per annum for the loss of a limb, £4 for an eye, and for the really sick, a bed at Haslar Hospital, which was founded in 1745. The prospects for fitter seamen were not that good either. Within a year of the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, signed in October 1748, roughly 40,000 seamen and marines were demobilized.

Whatever the reason, four years later he was desperately seeking the Spanish treasure fleet out of Vera Cruz, to the point of putting his crews on short allowance while they scanned the horizon. That flota, whose worth was estimated at 9 million Spanish dollars,Ω∂ would have made him a Midas. Ω∑ These frustrations and his declining naval fortunes reverberated across London in 1749–50 as officer after officer responded to his allegations of incompetence and cowardice with courts-martial and duels. Knowles was a man who made as many enemies as friends.

Although prize money could be paid at foreign ports and vice admiralty courts, delays in getting prize money were legion, principally because of the contested claims it might incur. To seamen anxious to get their hands on some extra cash, this could be a frustrating experience. ’’∞∏ Impatient with the delays, companies of seamen took their concerns elsewhere. ∞π Later that year, some 1,400 sailors attended the king on his way to the Lords to solicit their return from prizes captured in the Mediterranean.

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