Crime in England, 1550-1800, is the second collection of essays on the social history of crime and the criminal law in early modern England to appear in recent years. Together with the essays in Albion's Fatal Tree (1975),' these offerings advance our knowledge of the subject considerably. To be sure, as G. R. Elton cautions, there are methodological problems in a field so new, and Elton's "Introduction" will serve as an excellent starting point for readers concerned with such matters. We must nevertheless recognize the accomplishments of the new school of socio-legal historians. The essays in this volume deal with several related problems: procedure (and its social setting) before the royal courts; the local sources of crime and accusations of criminal behavior; minor offenses, locally tried or otherwise settled; and social views toward the system of criminal law and the criminal. I shall follow this rough order in commenting upon these fine essays and their subject matter.
Green, Thomas A. Review of Crime in England, 1550-1800, by J. S. Cockburn, editor. Am. J. Legal Hist. 23 (1979): 357-62.