The English and Scottish State Trials of the 1790s Compared

  • Emma MacleodEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Histories of Policing, Punishment and Justice book series (PHPPJ)


Historians have tended to compare the English and Scottish state trials of the 1790s only superficially, concluding that the Scottish courts treated radical reformers much more harshly than the English courts did. However, that assessment relies on virtually equating trials in Edinburgh for the lesser crime of sedition with the trials in London for the capital charge of high treason. This chapter compares various elements of both sets of trials, and suggests that examining the similarities between these trials sheds as much light on the state side of the prosecutions as does dwelling on the headline contrasts.



The author wishes to acknowledge with gratitude funding from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (ref. 70422) in support of research for this chapter.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and HumanitiesUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK

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