Public Men

Charles Upchurch

in Before Wilde

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258532
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943582 | DOI:
Public Men

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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The hostility directed at policemen by the community was often mirrored by the intense skepticism directed at them by officials. The gulf of class and education between the police and the London magistrates was a constant source of tension in the 1830s and later. Before the coming of the Metropolitan Police, magistrates trained and supervised their own handful of constables; after 1829, however, they could be disinclined to trust the sometimes unknown men who brought a steadily increasing number of cases before them. It is not surprising, then, that the increased application of the laws against sex between men created significant problems for the police. Before the Metropolitan Police, law enforcement throughout England and Wales was controlled at the parish level, under the direction of the local magistrates.

Keywords: class; education; police; London; magistrates; Metropolitan Police; sex; men; law enforcement

Chapter.  10766 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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