Social & Industrial History
Tyranny and The Lash
Prisoners and Punishment in British History
Medieval people gave little thought to prisoners or to the conditions in which they were kept, but by Victorian times troubling questions were being asked about the purpose and effectiveness of incarceration. Wade traces the evolving nature, use and management of British prisons over the centuries, asks whether changes in practices such as hard labour and solitary confinement have made the prison system more humane and investigates how social changes led to new definitions of criminality.
At the end of the 18th century, Cheshire, like other counties of England, boasted a wealthy and elegant elite whose lifestyle stood in stark contrast to estate and factory workers living in increasingly poor conditions. This history reviews the changing times in Cheshire for all strata of society as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace and rioters and reformers threatened the social order, canal and railway builders transformed the landscape and the Napoleonic wars threatened Britain's place in the world.