Catalogue

UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Violence in Early Modern England: a Regional Survey: Cheshire, 1600-1800

Title details

SN: 4429
Title: Violence in Early Modern England: a Regional Survey: Cheshire, 1600-1800
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-4429-1
Depositor: Sharpe, J., University of York. Department of History
Principal investigator(s): Sharpe, J., University of York. Department of History
Dickinson, R., University of York. Department of History
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Grant number: L133251012

Citation

The citation for this study is:

Sharpe, J., Dickinson, R. (2002). Violence in Early Modern England: a Regional Survey: Cheshire, 1600-1800. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 4429, http://doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-4429-1

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Subject Categories

Crime and law enforcement - Law, crime and legal systems
Legal history - History
Local history - History
Political history - History
Social history - History

Abstract

Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The aim of this project was to carry out a systematic investigation and analysis of crimes of violence tried in the courts of the county of Cheshire, in the period 1601-1800. The core of the study is formed by details of homicides prosecuted at the Court of Great Sessions at Chester over this period, with supplementary data dealing with non-homicidal violence, notably from the County Quarter Sessions of Cheshire and the Chester City Sessions. As well as the quantitative results drawn from these samples, analysis of depositions and an account of a murder case in Saighton in 1648, published in the Cheshire Sheaf in 1937, allows the reconstruction of insights into the qualitative and attitudinal aspects of the history of violence.

The objectives of the study were: firstly, to add new dimensions to the ongoing debate on the history of violence in England; secondly, to gain insights through the history of violence into the changing social psychology of the early modern English; and, thirdly, to provide a body of material on violence from a past culture which will provide useful points of comparison for studies of violence in modern Britain, as well as providing a body of findings against which current theoretical assumptions about violence might be tested.
Main Topics:
The dataset comprises details of coroners' inquests, where possible accompanied by details of connected criminal indictments, abstracted from the Crown Books and Court Rolls of the Court of Great Sessions of Chester. In addition, details of materials relating to violence have been abstracted from the Cheshire County Quarter Sessions, and from the City of Chester Sessions.

Session table contains details of the date and location of each session of the Cheshire Court of Great Sessions, the equivalent of the assizes in other counties, between 1601 and 1800 at which coroners returned inquests. Each session is identified by a unique ID number which provides the link to all the associated records in the database.

Justices table contains the names of the justices (assize judges), normally two in number, who presided at each session.

Coroner table contains the names of the coroners who returned inquests and their jurisdiction. Note that it was not common for the names of the coroners to be recorded in the Crown Books, the principal source used in the construction of the database.

Inquest table contains details of the coroner's inquests, including the location at which the inquest was taken, the verdict and outcome, doumentary references, alphanumeric codes to identify case characteristics, the number of decedents and any accused, and indications of the type of penalty imposed where applicable. The location of the inquest has been grid-referenced wherever possible.

Decedent table contains details of the decedent(s) upon whom the inquests were taken.

Accused table contains details of any persons charged as a result of a coroner's inquest.

Full transcripts of depositions an account of a murder case in Saighton in 1648, published in the Cheshire Sheaf in 1937 are also provided.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 1601 - 1800
Dates of fieldwork: January 1998 - July 1999
Country: England
Geography: Cheshire
Spatial units: No spatial unit
Observation units: Court sessions
Kind of data: Textual data
Numeric data
Alpha/numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: Subnational
Crime victims
Criminal offences
Offenders
Sessions of the Cheshire Court of Great Sessions at which coroners returned inquests, 1601-1800
Time dimensions: Time Series
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
Number of units: (A) 377 (obtained) Court sessions
Method of data collection: Transcription of existing materials; Compilation or synthesis of existing material
Weighting: No information recorded
Data sources: Crown Books of the Court of Great Sessions of Chester, Public Record Office, CHES21 and Cheshire Record Office, ZCR580.
Court Rolls of the Court of Great Sessions of Chester, Public Record Office, CHES24.
Cheshire County Quarter Sessions, Cheshire Record Office, QJF.
City of Chester Sessions, City of Chester Record Office, ZQSE.
Cheshire Sheaf, 3rd series, vol. xxxii, 1937.

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 22 July 2002
Copyright: Copyright J. Sharpe and R. Dickinson
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch

Documentation

Title File Name Size (KB)
Database structure database.pdf 20
Introduction intro.pdf 8
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_4429_Information.htm 6
READ File read4429.txt 2

Publications

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By principal investigator(s):
Sharpe, J. (2002) 'Infanticide in early modern England: the Court of Great Sessions at Chester, 1650-1800' IN M. Jackson (ed.) Infanticide: historical perspectives on child murder and its concealment, London: Ashgate

Resulting from secondary analysis:

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Violence in Early Modern England: a Regional Survey: Cheshire, 1600-1800

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