University lecturer lends his expertise to Nigel Havers

Posted by uatemp13 at Jul 19, 2013 04:05 PM |
Staff member to appear in BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ in TV star’s quest to unlock family ancestry

Professor Peter King, from our School of Historical Studies has been filmed assisting actor Nigel Havers for the popular BBC1 television programme ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’.

The episode, which will be aired on 31 July at 9pm, features Professor King because Nigel’s ancestor was the victim of various crimes, as a result of which he joined a prosecution association in the mid-19th century.

Prosecution associations grew in the eighteenth century and remained important until the mid to late nineteenth century when the coming of professional police forces meant they gradually became redundant because the police took over the process of prosecution.

In the eighteenth century the victim of a property crime had to bring the prosecution himself and had to bear the cost of it. Propertied people therefore banded together in prosecution associations and paid a subscription in exchange for which, should they be unlucky to fall victim to a crime, the prosecution would be paid for (and often organised by) the association. Some survive today as social gatherings of professional or commercial people only.

Professor King is one of the few academics who have studied the role and written of these associations. Although there were thousands of the associations, it is a subject which is rarely studied.

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