Felons of Hathersage: (A Brief History of Crime) by David Moseley

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Product Ref. (e.g. ISBN, SKU)
9781919603100
Published:
06 Aug 2021
Format:
Paperback
Dimensions:
210mm x 148mm x mm
Weight:
0.100kgs
Author:

Local prosecution associations were a method of controlling crime which was devised in the second half of the eighteenth century, fifty years before the introduction of police forces.

Local prosecution associations were a method of controlling crime which was devised in the second half of the eighteenth century, fifty years before the introduction of police forces. They were a national phenomenon, and it is estimated that by the end of the 1700s around 4000 of them existed in England, but this book tells the story of one particular society: the Hathersage Association for the Prosecution of Felons and Other Offenders. Hathersage is a Peak District village which recently came top in a Country Living poll to determine the '20 best hidden gems in the UK'. The tourists who now visit the village in their thousands each year come as walkers, climbers, and cyclists. Its grimy history of wire and needle manufacturing is almost forgotten. In addition to telling the story of its ancient prosecution organisation, this book seeks to illuminate some of the less conspicuous aspects of Hathersage's social history by shining a light from the unusual direction of minor crime and antisocial behaviour. It also describes the lives of some of the residents of the village: minor gentry; industrialists; clergy; and farmers, in addition to the mill workers and labourers. With access to hand-written records going back to 1784 which had never been studied before, the author has drawn on contemporary newspaper articles and census returns to assemble a montage which depicts the life of the village, particularly during the 19th century. Many of these original records have been reproduced in order to offer reader an opportunity to interpret the old documents themselves. While striving for historical accuracy throughout, the author has produced a book which is both entertaining and informative. Any profits from the sale of this book will go to the Hathersage Association and will, in turn, be donated to the local charities which the Association supports. Those charities include Edale Mountain Rescue, the Air Ambulance, Helen's Trust, Bakewell & Eyam Community Transport, and Cardiac Risk in the Young.

About the Author: David Moseley was born and raised in a Sheffield housing estate after the Second World War, but his love of the Peak District was generated by his parents. The family's leisure time was all spent in the Hope Valley, to where his parents moved after his father retired from his job as a bookbinder. David studied Physics at Manchester University before serving for six years in the RAF. At the age of 27 he went to study Medicine at Sheffield University and after a period as a hospital physician he became the local doctor in the Hope Valley for 23 years. After leaving the NHS he and his wife worked for a time in the Tigray region of Ethiopia before fully retiring from medical practice. Retirement has provided the time to pursue his previously neglected interests such as local history and blues guitar, and he has obtained a first-class honours degree in classical languages. Rural general practice offered a privileged position within the local community, and he was invited to become a member of the Hathersage Association for the Prosecution of Felons. The ancient Association has allowed a membership of up to 25 since its formation in 1784 and is still very active, but its members stopped prosecuting felons long ago and it is now a convivial group who enjoy each other's company and raise money for local charities. When he became the Association's secretary and treasurer, the box of papers of which he took custody contained many letters and minutes of meetings which were more than 200 years old, and which had rarely been seen since they were written. These documents offered a unique insight into the historical life of a rural community.

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