Chapter

Crime, Policing, and the Law, 1600–1900

Neal Garnham

in Ulster Since 1600

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199583119
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744822 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583119.003.0007
Crime, Policing, and the Law, 1600–1900

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The political revolutions of the seventeenth century ushered in legal changes, in particular the spread of Common Law across Ireland. The extent to which the legitimacy of the new court system was generally accepted is hard to determine. Dublin got its first modern police force in 1786, and a centralised national police force was created half a century later. Eighteenth-century Ulster was not especially violent and it was the least densely policed province in the 1840s. Sectarian conflict absorbed a considerable amount of police resources, not only in Belfast but in rural areas as well. Overall, people in Ulster seem not to have been much more respectful of the law than elsewhere in Ireland, with alleged criminals frequently protected by a conspiracy of silence.

Keywords: policing; common law; courts; criminals; Dublin; sectarianism; violence; Orange Order; patronage

Chapter.  8334 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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