Peter Linebaugh’s groundbreaking history has become an inescapable part of any understanding of the rise of capitalism. In eighteenth-century London the spectacle of a hanging was not simply a form of punishing transgressors.
Rather it evidently served the most sinister purpose—for a prvileged ruling class—of forcing the poor population of London to accept the criminalization of customary rights and the new forms of private property. Necessity drove the city’s poor into inevitable conflict with the changing property laws, such that all the working-class men and women of London had good reason to fear the example of Tyburn’s Triple Tree.
In this new edition Peter Linebaugh reinforces his original arguments with responses to his critics based on an impressive array of historical sources. As the trend of capital punishment intensifies with the spread of global capitalism, The London Hanged also gains in contemporary relevance.