The Justices of the Peace 1679 - 1760 (Paperback)

The Justices of the Peace 1679 - 1760 By Norma Landau Cover Image
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In the eighteenth century the justices of the peace governed England. While Parliament debated questions of trade, taxation, and foreign policy, the justices administered England's internal affairs. So powerful were the later Stuart and early Hanoverian justices that they were virtually independent, and it is their independence which makes them fascinating. Neither the central government nor Parliament told them what to do, closely supervised their activity, or even insured that they at at all. What tid the justices choose to do? In what manner did they do it? why, indeed, did they assume the burdens of local government? Norma Landau examines the office of justice of the peace from the viewpoint of the justices themselves, delineating those ideals and inducements inherent in local government which prompted the English elite to assume their distinctive role as paternal rulers. Through analysis of the appointment of justices, the political and social composition of the bench, the institutions of local government, the justices' administrative and judicial activities, and manuals written for justices, this study traces the evolution of the elite's conduct of government an dof their concept of their relation to those they governed. Through analysis of the appointment of justices, the political and social composition of the bench, the institutions of local government, the justices' administrative and judicial activities, and manuals written for justices, this study traces the evolution of the elite's conduct of government and of their concept of their relation to those they governed. Because the justices were so important, discussion of their role touches upon some of the major debates in current historiography: the debate on the nature of politics; on the relation of rulers to the governed in a "deferential society"; on the definition of the elite in early modern society; on the course of of administrative development; and on the relation of law to images of authority. This portrait of the justices illuminates a crucial stage in the tranformation of England's rulers from local patriarchs to administrators for the nation. This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press's mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1984.

About the Author


Norma Landau is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780520307636
ISBN-10: 0520307631
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: April 29th, 2022
Pages: 438
Language: English