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Crime, Violence and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century$
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Kyle Hughes and Donald MacRaild

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940650

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940650.001.0001

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The Law of Captain Rock

The Law of Captain Rock

Chapter:
(p.38) 2 The Law of Captain Rock
Source:
Crime, Violence and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century
Author(s):

Terence M. Dunne

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781786940650.003.0003

This chapter examines the threatening letter as a form of potential brutal social control and a manifestation of alternative law, or ‘legal parallelism', during the Rockite disturbances of the 1820s. The author focuses on 135 instances of these threatening letters and notices gathered in Dublin Castle during investigations to paint a picture of charivari Irelandaise, rough music, or community justice of sorts. The chapter reads these protest and threats through the prisms of Mikhail Bakhtin and Antoni Gramsci, with authority challenged, but not threatened; with the dissolving of legal protection of customary rights being questioned, but not the law itself.

Keywords:   Captain Rock, Threatening letters, Agrarianism, Intimidation, Social Control

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