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Crime And Punishment: Industrial Britain (18th And 19th Centuries)

Crime and punishment, and how they have changed over the centuries, is one of the subjects looked at in GCSE History. One period studied is the 18th and 19th Centuries, specifically in Britain.

Crime remained a serious problem in Britain throughout the industrial age, but the forms of punishment were savage well into the nineteenth century. A rudimentary police force was, however, in being in most parts of Britain by the middle of the nineteenth century.

Test your knowledge of crime and punishment in the industrial age by playing this quiz.

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  1. Without any kind of police force, some eighteenth century magistrates set up their own teams of constables. What was John Fielding's force called?
    These were informal groups, usually employed by a particular court
  2. The Gordon Riots, of 1780, in London lasted for five days. What was the issue involved?
    Feelings could run high in London, where the authorities could do little against a determined riot
  3. A form of mutilation punishment was finally abolished in 1829. The thumb or the cheek were normally chosen to be burnt. What was this practice called?
    Most forms of torture were falling into disuse during the nineteenth century
  4. There were still areas of towns and cities where the forces of law and order were reluctant to go during this period. What were such zones called?
    Even with a proper police force of the kind that emerged later in the nineteenth century, such areas remained
  5. In the early nineteenth century there were sites in London where public executions could be observed. One was Newgate, where was the other, situated near to Marble Arch?
    Executions were public spectacles, where large crowds gathered to enjoy every aspect - including speeches by the victims
  6. In 1829 the Home Secretary, Sir Robert Peel, set up the Metropolitan Police. They were dubbed "Peelers". What other name was used?
    They were active only in London, but by 1842 each county had some sort of a police force
  7. Instead of being transported some prisoners were held in disused ships moored in the Thames Estuary. What was this accommodation called?
    This was a cheap way of holding convicts, as transportation was expensive
  8. Corporal punishment in the army was abolished in 1881. What was it called?
    This was one among a number of army reforms introduced in stages after the Crimean War
  9. Another form of punishment was abolished in 1837. This involved humiliating the victim, whose arms were stuck in a static wooden structure while the crowd hurled abuse and other things. What was this called?
    The reason for abolition was the authorities' concern that serious disorder might develop at such sites
  10. A professional detective organisation was set up within the police from 1877. What was it called?
    Henceforward police careers would proceed within the detective force or the mainstream police force

Author: Edward Towne

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