“Subverting the Settled Order of Things”: The Crime of Sedition in Scotland, 1793–1849

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


In this paper I examine the history of the crime of sedition and its use in Scotland between the 1790s and 1840s. The history of the law of sedition in Scotland in this period is significant because the crime was in practical terms created in the trials of the 1790s. These high profile cases meant that there was more overt discussion of the definition and function of the crime than in many other jurisdictions. I relate this development to a broader set of questions about how the scope and nature of class of crimes against the state or political crimes changed over this period, and how this is itself related to the emergence of new spaces and forms of politics, and also a pulling apart of word and deed in the conception of crime. The questions I address concern the changing conceptions of the relationship between thought, conduct and responsibility, and second how the idea of the state or the political was conceptualised in the criminal law as the object of this type of crime.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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