Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

Books on London

Illustration of Newgate

Crime, Court Cases & the Law



The strength of this category in the London collection is the various seventeenth-century works treating specific court cases. The political climate in London at that time was one of rapid change, with the officially sanctioned religion vacillating between Catholicism and Protestantism, depending on who was on the throne. Thus, an anti-Catholic or anti-Protestant tract, or what was viewed as such, could be grounds for imprisonment or worse. The authors of the seventeenth-century books included here were involved in the political struggles of the day, from raising awareness of social issues to being censored and tried for their beliefs, with the question of "popish plots" constantly at the fore.

From the controversial lawyer and pamphleteer, William Prynne, who was imprisoned, fined and pilloried several times, became a member of the House of Commons and later Keeper of the Records of the Tower of London, Bryn Mawr owns A New Discovery of the Prelate's Tyranny, in Their Late Title page, Tryal and Sentence of Elizabeth CellierProsecutions of Mr. William Pryn (1641), published following his release (albeit temporary) from prison. In The Picture of the Councel of State, Held Forth to the Free People of England (1649), John Lilburne, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Puritan Army, a primary spokesman for the Levellers and writer of religious-political pamphlets, gives a full description of the judicial and military proceedings against him, written during his imprisonment in the Tower. Two other accounts of cases involving religious persecution held in the collection are Edward Burrough's Memorable Works of a Son of Thunder and Consolation (1672) and Elizabeth Cellier's Tryal and Sentence of Elizabeth Cellier (1680). Both were imprisoned in London's notorious Newgate Prison, he for being a Quaker and she--a London midwife who married a Frenchman and converted to Catholicism--for being implicated in the Catholic plot of 1678 known as the "Meal-Tub Plot." Burroughs died in prison, while Celliers won her trial and was released, only to be imprisoned and tried again after publishing an account of her ordeal, titled Malice Defeated, in which she detailed the deplorable conditions in Newgate. Also related to the Popish plot of 1678 is George Treby's Truth Vindicated (1681), which addresses the aspersions and scandals cast upon him, as well as a fellow justice and the sheriffs of the city of London, with regard to the confession of Edward Fitzharris, an Irish Catholic held prisoner in the Tower.

 Bow Street Police-OfficeTwo seventeenth-century works in the collection dealing with social issues are Sir Henry Calthrop's Reports of Speciall Cases Touching Severall Customs and Liberties of the City of London (1655) and The Proceedings upon the Bill of Divorce between His Grace the Duke of Norfolke and the Lady Mary Mordant (1700).

Beginning in the eighteenth century and well established in the nineteenth, a shift can be detected away from predominantly religion-based crimes and trials to those of a more secular nature, as well as noticeable changes in law enforcement at the street level, with old parish constables, beadles, and 'charlies' being replaced by a uniformed professional police force in 1829. These changes are reflected in several of the collection's late eighteenth and nineteenth-century works, including Patrick Colquhoun's Treatise on the Police of the Metropolis (1797), John Wight's Mornings at Bow Street (1824) and Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald's Chronicles of Bow Street Police-Office (1888).


Barrington, George, 1755-1804
Harrington's New London spy for 1807 ; or, The frauds of London detected : ...
London : Thomas Tegg, n.d.

Bellot, Hugh H. L. (Hugh Hale Leigh), 1861-1928
The Inner and Middle Temple; legal, literary, and historic associations, by Hugh H. L. Bellot ... with ninety illustrations
London, Methuen & co.; New York, J. Pott & co., 1902
DA687.I5 B4 1902

Burrough, Edward, 1634-1662
The memorable works of a son of thunder and consolation : namely, that true prophet, and faithful servant of God, and sufferer for the testimony of Jesus, Edward Burroughs, who dyed a prisoner for the word of God, in the city of London, the fourteenth of the twelfth moneth, 1662 ..
[London] : Printed and published [by E. Hookes] for the good and benefit of generations to come, in the year, 1672
q289.6 B94

Calthrop, Henry, Sir, 1586-1637
Reports of speciall cases touching severall customs and liberties of the city of London. [1609-1618] Collected by Sir H. Calthrope knight. Whereunto is annexed divers ancient customes and usages of the said city of London. Never before in print
London, Printed for Abel Roper, 1655
I37201888 (d?)

Cellier, Elizabeth, fl. 1680, defendant
The tryal and sentence of Elizabeth Cellier, for writing, printing, and publishing, a scandalous libel, called Malice defeated, &c. at the sessions in the Old-Bailey, held Saturday the 11th. and Monday the 13. of Sept. 1680, whereunto is added several depositions, made before the Right Honorable, the Lord Mayor
London, Printed for Thomas Collins, 1680

Colquhoun, Patrick, 1745-1820
A treatise on the police of the metropolis : containing a detail of the various crimes and misdemeanors by which public and private property and security are, at present, injured and endangered: and suggesting remedies for their prevention
London : J. Mawman, 1800
352.2 C71

Colquhoun, Patrick, 1745-1820
A treatise on the police of the metropolis; containing a detail of the various crimes and misdemeanors by which public and private property and security are, at present, injured and endangered: and suggesting remedies for their prevention
London, Printed by H. Fry, for C. Dilly, 1797

Fitzgerald, Percy Hetherington, 1834-1925
Chronicles of Bow Street police-office : with an account of the magistrates, runners, and police; and a selection of the most interesting cases / by Percy Fitzgerald
London : Chapman and Hall, 1888
HV8198.L7 F6 1888

Hone, William, 1780-1842
The three trials of William Hone, for publishing three parodies: viz., The late John Wilkes's catechism, The political litany, and The sinecurists' creed... With introduction and notes by William Tegg
London, William Tegg, 1876
KD372.H6 T4 1876

Leaming, Thomas, 1858-1911
A Philadelphia lawyer in the London courts : an address delivered before the Pennsylvania State Bar Association / by Thomas Leaming
[Philadelphia : George H. Buchanan, 1906]

Lilburne, John, 1614?-1657
The picture of the councel of state, held forth to the free people of England, by Lievt. Col. John Lilburn, Mr. Thomas Prince, and Mr. Richard Overton, now prisoners in the tower of London : or, A full narrative of the late extrajudicial and military proceedings against them. Together with the substance of their several examintions, answers and deportments before them at Darbyhouse, upon the 28. of March last
[London], 1649
942.06 P191 no.5

Norfolk, Henry Howard, Duke of, 1655-1701, petitioner
The proceedings upon the bill of divorce between His Grace the Duke of Norfolke and the Lady Mary Mordant ..
London : Printed by Matthew Gillyflower ... and John Barnes ..., 1700
fKD371.A4 G34 1700

Prynne, William, 1600-1669
A new discovery of the prelates tyranny, in their late prosecutions of Mr. William Pryn, an eminent lawyer : Dr. Iohn 'Bastwick, a learned physitian; and Mr. Henry Burton, a reverent divine. Wherein the separate, and joynt proceedings against them in High-commission, and Star-chamber ... their removes to, and close imprisonments in the castles of Lanceston, Lancaster, Carnarvan, and isles of Sylly, Garnsey and Jersy; the proceedings against the Chestermen, and others before the lords, and high commissioners at York', for visiting Mr. Prynne; the Bishop of Chesters order, for the ministers to preach against M. Prynne, and the Yorke commissioners decree to deface, and burne his pictures at Chester High-Crosse. The House of commons order for, and manner of their returnes from exile ... with M. Prynnes argument, proving all the parts of his censures, with the proceedings against him, and his Chester friends at York, to be against law; are truly related ..
London : Printed for M. S., 1641
942.062 P95

Prynne, William, 1600-1669
An hvmble remonstrance against the tax of ship-money lately imposed : laying open the illegality, injustice, abuses, and inconveniences thereof / Written by William Prynne, esqu. an. 1636. during his imprisonment in the Tower of London, to free his countrey from that heavy tax; and then communicated to some speciall friends in writing. Since that printed without hid privity, by an imperfect copy, an. 1641. so full of non-sence errors, and mistakes almost in every line, as makes it altogether uselesse, yea ridiculous: but now set out by a true copy, agreeing with the originall; to right the author, and promote the publique good. Together with some briefe observations touching the great seale of England ..
London : Printed for Michael Sparke senior, 1643
336.2 P95

Treby, George, Sir, 1644?-1700
Truth vindicated : or, A detection of the aspersions and scandals cast upon Sir Robert Clayton and Sir George Treby, justices, and Slingsby Bethell and Henry Cornish, esquires, sheriffs of the city of London, in a paper published in the name of Dr. Francis Hawkins, Minister of the Tower, intituled the Confession of Edward Fitz-Harris, esq., &c., the copy of which paper is herewith printed for the readers clearer judgment in the case
London : Printed for R. Baldwin, 1681
DA430 .T7 1681

Wight, J. (John)
Mornings at Bow Street : a selection of the most humourous and entertaining reports which have appeared in the London Morning herald / by J. Wight ; with illustrations by George Cruikshank
New York : For sale by the principal booksellers, 1826
HV6944 .W8 1826

Wight, J. (John)
Mornings at Bow Street : a selection of the most humourous and entertaining reports which have appeared in the Morning Herald ..
London : printed for Charles Baldwyn, 1824
Uncat 8960

A Letter to a Member of Parliament in the country, from his friend in London, relative to the case of Admiral Byng : with some original papers and letters which passed during the expedition
London : Printed for J. Cooke ..., 1756

Facts, or, A plain and explicit narrative of the case of Mrs. Rudd : published from her own manuscript and by her authority ..
London : Printed and sold by T. Bell ..., [1775]
KD372 .P47 R8 1775

Humours & oddities of the London police courts : from the opening of this century to the present time / illustrated and edited by Dogberry.
London : Leadenhall Press [and] Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent ; New York : C. Scribner, 1894
HV6941.L6 H8 1894

Les Avantures trop amoureuses, ou, Elisabeth Chudleigh, ex-duchesse douairiere de Kingston, aujourd'hui comtesse de Bristol et la marquise de la Touche sur la scene du monde : avec d'autres anecdotes pour servir d'instructions a ceux qui en ont besoin & d'amusemens aux autres
A Londres : Aux depens des interessez, 1776
DA483 .C6 A9 1776

The City of London's plea to the Quo Warranto ..
London :Published by Randal Taylor, printed in the Year 1682
Uncat f924

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