The Noise and Emotions of Political Trials in Britain During the 1790s

  • Michael T. DavisEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Histories of Policing, Punishment and Justice book series (PHPPJ)


Noise and the expression of emotions were a frequent and acceptable part of criminal trial proceedings during the eighteenth century. In this way, political trials were normalised and were qualitatively indistinguishable from other types of criminal proceedings. However, this essay argues that the acoustic and emotional disruptions of political trials during the 1790s were viewed by some contemporaries very differently to the same disruptions of ‘ordinary’ criminal trials. The noise and emotions of political trials during the 1790s reinforced conservative perceptions of reformers as vulgar, unruly and unworthy members of society.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities, Languages and Social ScienceGriffith UniversitySouthportAustralia

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