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Changing of the guard: governance, policing, masculinity, and class in the Porteous affair and Walter Scott's heart of Midlothian.

I. Introduction

Thus ended the life of Captain John Porteous, a man possessed of such great qualifications that, had they been properly applied, would have rendered him an ornament to his country, and made him exceedingly useful in a military capacity. To his uncommon spirit and invincible courage, was added a nobleness of soul, that would have done honour to the greatest hero of antiquity. But when advanced to power, he became intoxicated with pride, and instead of being the admiration of, he became despised and hated by, his fellow-citizens. The fate of this unhappy man, it is hoped, will be a caution to those in power not to abuse it; but, by an impartial distribution of justice, render themselves worthy members of society. (1)

Thus concluded William Jackson in his 1794 New and Complete Newgate Calendar, in which John Porteous (c. 1695-1736), the Captain of the Edinburgh City Guards responsible for watching the city, was listed alongside other criminals of the early modern British Isles. The name of the man who earned the hatred of the Edinburgh mob was recorded for posterity in the Porteous Riots of September 1736. Despite being found guilty of firing on the crowd attending the execution of Andrew Wilson, Porteous was nonetheless seized from the city Tolbooth and hanged in the streets by a crowd who believed, as the public instrument of the city's governing men, Porteous might yet escape punishment. To readers of the Newgate Calendar, the story was one of male governance gone wrong, a failure to exercise appropriately the power entrusted to an individual who was expected to be able to control his passions and to better himself in society through honourable action. In 1818, Walter Scott reprised the story as a key narrative in his novel, The Heart of Midlothian, offering a new interpretation of the relationship between masculine conduct, governance, and class. In this essay, we explore why interpretation of the Porteous affair was important to Scott's vision of Edinburgh's past and what significance it held in the early nineteenth-century city.

Increasingly, historians have paid attention to distinctions in early modern and nineteenth-century notions of masculinity, particularly as they were experienced and demonstrated in different spheres. Much early research has focused on the domestic sphere and men's roles as fathers, husbands, and as patriarchs. (2) More recently, scholars have examined how ideas of fatherhood translated into civic paternalism through governance of poor relief boards or other activities in a broader community domain. (3) At this period, men of the middling classes increasingly exercised political power through displays of manly virtues including sobriety, in deliberate distinction from the perceived luxury, ostentation, and effeminacy of contemporary courtly culture. (4) Robert B. Shoemaker has observed that over the long eighteenth century there was growing criticism in literary texts and conduct manuals of masculine insolence, pride, and violence, and an emerging masculine ideal that involved greater sensitivity and consideration for others'. (5) For Scotland, it has been argued that Enlightenment intellectuals rejected aristocratic models of manhood that were seen as effeminate, in favour of men's improvement through polite society, including interactions through commerce and in civic administration. (6) For the self-made men of the burgeoning cities of Lowland Scotland, civic participation was an attractive expression of masculine political power. (7)

Policing the urban environment was one dimension of such civic activities. Although urban elites and the upper middle ranks retained a firm grip on civic administration in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, policing represented one of the emerging forms of civic governance in which men from the middle and working classes could (in different ways) participate. This included voting in police elections, serving on local police boards, keeping a close superintendence of wards, and day-to-day patrolling. Yet the ways in which policing reflected, sustained, embodied, and indeed enforced ideas of masculinities are only now beginning to be explored in an historical context. (8) For example, Francis Dodsworth's analysis of English policing has argued that by the late Georgian period elite men were no longer attracted to personal policing. Instead they found ways to reinterpret their right and duties of governance as participation on policing boards and other administrative bodies while the physical patrol of the street was conducted by men of a lower class. (9)

Scott's novel offers an opportunity to explore nineteenth-century ideals of policing masculinities in a literary context. The Heart of Midlothian was an ironic nickname for the Edinburgh Tolbooth, a building that was demolished in 1817, and the four volumes of Scott's novel of the same name explore various forms of justice. The Porteous affair is one of the first narratives developed in the novel, one that has led scholars to speculate about its relationship to the later and dominant narrative that emerges around protagonist Jeanie Deans. (10) Frequently, literary attention has passed over the Porteous introduction to the novel and focused instead on the character of Deans in this work, which is the first of Scott's novels where the central character is a woman. (11) To date, Scott's interpretation of the events has not been situated within the wider discussions of the time regarding policing endeavours, nor within the burgeoning scholarly literature on nineteenth-century masculinities. Margaret Movshin Criscuola has argued that Scott used the Porteous story as a context to explore Scottish national character 'as it binds together a group and shapes public events', noting how he manipulated historic events for literary purpose. (12) Our focus here is not to analyse the accuracy of Scott's depiction of the Porteous affair but to discuss how Scott conceptualizes the relationship between masculinity, governance, and class through his exploration of this historic event. (13)

Scholarly interest in the gender aspects of Scott's novel has predominantly analysed the novel's explorations of female power and resistance. (14) Indeed, Beth Newman has argued that Scott's anxieties about centring his novel around a heroine led him to attempt to masculinize other aspects of the work, in particular its narrative strategies, although she does not examine the Porteous storyline. (15) One of our interests is to explore shifting class relationships to forms of masculinities, as these are presented by Scott. As Ying S. Lee has recently suggested, later Victorian novelists would begin to distinguish between working-class characters, developing for them rich, distinct, and individual identities. (16) Scott's treatment of the Porteous affair in The Heart of Midlothian, we argue, allows for further analysis of continuities and changes in the relationships between masculinity, governance, and class across the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In this essay, we are principally exploring elite ideas about respectable and working-class masculinities, as opposed to realities. Masculinity was a pervasive theme across Scott's novels, which were frequently concerned with exploration of the characteristics of 'gentlemanly' and 'chivalric' conduct. (17)

Likewise, judicial and civic developments offer insights into contemporary ideas about governance and its relationship to class and masculinity. Scottish towns were among the first in Britain to implement new policing structures at the turn of the nineteenth century. (18) Scott's articulation of the same ideas in literary form, as a trained legal practitioner who was also Sheriff-Depute of Selkirkshire from 1799, and as a member of Edinburgh's civic elite, should not be overlooked. (19) Leland Monk has explored concrete correlations between the prisons of Scott's novel with those built in contemporary Scotland, as well as the way the novel itself reflects Enlightenment ideas of penal design. (20) Scott's personal interest in historic crime and justice was such that when the Tolbooth was demolished in 1817, he had parts of the gateway stones transferred to his house. (21) We argue that, in the light of these new policing initiatives that were introduced in his native Edinburgh in the early nineteenth century, Scott's work highlights both changes and continuities between eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century notions of masculinity and governance.

II. Representing Porteous and the Mob in the Eighteenth Century

John Porteous appears in a range of contemporary texts, including newspaper reports, city archival records, memoirs and private letters, and contemporary pamphlets as well as a significant series of trial records. (22) Together, these provide wide-ranging views about Porteous, produced both before and after the fateful events that led to his demise, and which enable us to trace varied perceptions of his role as a man and as a policing authority in the city.

Porteous was a former journeyman who rose in society through his role as Captain of the Edinburgh City Guard. Formed in 1682, the Guard consisted of three companies, each of 25 men, who were employed to keep order on the streets and to hold offenders until they could be brought before a magistrate. Porteous had previously trained as a tailor, served in the army in Flanders, was appointed an ensign in the City Guards in 1718, and became Captain in 1726. (23) Reputed among the elite for his abilities to quell crowd violence successfully, he was soon widely relied upon for control of tumultuous situations in the city. Porteous's masculine assets represented a rougher masculinity, more in keeping with the lower orders, but were features which made him attractive to those who had to enforce the law. (24) At the same time however, Porteous had earned a reputation for his sporting prowess as an excellent golfer, enabling him to mix with the elite of Edinburgh society. Indeed, he was reported in the Caledonian Mercury in April 1724 for playing a match (which he lost) with Alexander Elphinston, son of Lord Balmerinoch. (25) The Reverend Dr Alexander Carlyle, an eyewitness to most of the events surrounding Porteous, remembered him as a man who
   by his skill in manly exercises, particularly the golf, and by
   gentlemanly behaviour, was admitted into the company of his
   superiors, which elated his mind and added insolence to his native
   roughness, so that he was much hated and feared by the mob of
   Edinburgh. (26)


Prior to 1736, however, the public written record regarding Porteous generally noted his courage, control, and physical abilities, through which he had been able to rise high above the status of his birth. (27)

One of the functions of the City Guards was to keep the peace at public executions. However, at the execution of convicted smuggler Andrew Wilson in April 14 1736, supporters of Wilson tried to cut him down precipitously from the gibbet with hopes of resuscitation. It was unusual for smugglers to be executed except during periods of escalating tension, (28) and disturbances directed against the actions of customs and excise officers were not uncommon; smuggling often had the support of large sections of the community. (29) Thus a large part of the crowd likely perceived the punishment to be unjust, fuelling emotions on the day. Stones were thrown at the guards and one responded by shooting into the crowd. Pandemonium broke out, resulting in the death of at least six spectators. Porteous insisted that he had tried to prevent the guards from firing, but more than one witness from the gathered crowd testified that he lost his temper and shot indiscriminately into the mob in anger, saying to the guards, 'Fire and be damned.' (30) As the Caledonian Mercury reported in inflammatory tones, a number of witnesses claimed that Porteous had acted 'in an unwarrantable and barbarous manner'. (31)

Porteous was arrested the same day and charged with murder. His trial was held before the Lord Justice Clerk, Andrew Fletcher. The case revolved around the key issues of whether it was Porteous who had fired, and if so, for what reasons. To the first, a series of statements was produced. These provided varied evidence of seeing a shot fired, smoke from Porteous's gun, or hearing him order the Guards to fire. Witnesses were found to swear both that Porteous had and had not personally fired upon the crowd. Since these statements were not in themselves consistent and definitive, the prosecution shifted focus to issues of Porteous's abilities as a governing man. They critiqued the defendant's claim that the crowd provoked the troops by throwing stones as 'trifling', and certainly 'no danger ... fit to deforce or destroy a detachment of seventy disciplined men with loaded pieces and screwed bayonets'. (32) Porteous's courage as a man was held up for examination. '[I]mpertinence in a few boys, or other idle people' was no claim for acting in self-defence. Further, they argued,
   when the captain of a city guard, who has an armed force committed
   to his care for the good and safety of the community, thinks fit,
   upon any slight offence or provocation, to turn those arms and that
   force upon a crowd of citizens lawfully as well as innocently
   assembled, he is, in addition to the slaughter and destruction that
   ensues, guilty of the most notorious breach of trust. (33)


This spoke to broader questions about how a City Guard was expected to operate in relation to the weapons to which he had access. (34) As the prosecution argued: 'Men so trusted are under double ties, for, besides the general obligations of duty and humanity, a particular confidence is reposed in them, which, at the peril of their lives, they ought to answer.' (35) These views were reflective of growing elite opposition to violence over the eighteenth century. (36) The prosecution focused on the act of violence and its meaning as a breach of masculine courage, authority, and governance.

In Porteous's defence, his lawyers argued that he was often called upon to quell mobs and tumults and had not been known for personal violence on these occasions. (37) Porteous claimed that the first shot had come from others among his guard whom he could not be certain to control: it was 'no new thing for the private men in the City Guard, who, though they are tolerably acquainted with discipline, yet are not subject to the military law, to take upon them to fire upon the multitude, without any order from their commander'. (38) This was an admission of the practical limitations of men in leadership positions but one which could also be interpreted as a loss of his personal authority. Significantly, the arguments of both prosecution and defence represented a disastrous loss of status for Porteous as a governing man. Both ways he was rendered incapable of appropriate masculine governance, either because he could not control himself, or because he was unable to control others.

Porteous was found guilty on 20 July 1736 and sentenced to death. However an appeal was lodged in his name, supported by a petition of reprieve from more than seventy of Scotland's elite men. His execution was deferred, suggesting that he still retained support among the upper ranks. (39) When the Lord Justice Clerk wrote to the Duke of Newcastle about the reprieve on 4 September, he stated that the Queen's mercy had met 'with almost a general approbation, especially among those of the higher rank and greatest distinction' and noted that 'the few who grumble are only of the meaner sort'. (40) But tensions were building. The Tolbooth was stormed in what seemed a carefully planned and orchestrated action on 7 September 1736. (41) Porteous was broken out of his cell and violently manhandled by the crowd before finally being hanged on a makeshift gallows in the Grassmarket. In this case, violence, the conspirators' most important instrument of power, had usurped the rule of law.

That the mob had been well organized was not in doubt, but as no one was ever successfully prosecuted for Porteous's murder, the social and political motivations of the conspirators were a source of considerable contemporary speculation. Some suggested that Jacobites had orchestrated the affair, others the Covenanters. (42) Contemporary newspapers reflected publicly what elite men were recording in letters and witness statements at the period. (43) They were convinced that a plan so well executed could not be the work of the lower orders. As the Edinburgh Evening Courant of September 14 declared:
   Nothing of this kind, perhaps, was ever so boldly attempted, so
   secretly kept, nor so successfully executed, which makes people apt
   to believe that persons above the vulgar rank had a hand in it; ...
   the keeper of the prison declares that they were persons in good
   dress who took out the prisoners, though disguised with leather
   aprons, etc. (44)


Although some seventy journeymen and apprentices fled the city in the days following the riot, and the few against whom some information could be found were all in the trades, elite public discourse accredited this controlled, collective display of violent interlocution in the city's policing to those of a higher class. (45)

In the year following his death, the Porteous affair remained in the public eye. Indeed, it was a matter which had far-reaching implications for Scottish law and order as the crown ordered tightened control by the civic authorities and successfully sought restitution for Porteous's widow. (46) At the same time, a 1737 pamphlet The Life and Death of Captain John Porteous characterized Porteous as an inhuman monster. Much of his malignant character could be blamed on the poor discipline of his youth, spoilt by a mother who overruled an even weaker husband. Thus, this anonymous production concluded that his father's lack of household authority had bred an unruly son.
   From this thwarting in their measures about the son, the father
   lost his authority, and, for the peace of his family, winked at
   faults which the good man saw his duty to correct. The loss of
   paternal authority begot want of filial regard to the father, and
   this at last produced contempt ... (47)


The monster Porteous was governed by his emotions, of which '[p]ride, the passion of anger, cruelty, and revenge, seemed to have the ascendant over the other vices of his mind'. (48) Yet this portrait of evil required some nuances to explain how Porteous had so successfully fulfilled his duties over some twenty years. Thus the author explained Porteous's capacity for dissimulation of his 'true' sentiments in order to fool the civic governors whose support he gained. He was 'insolent to his inferiors, easy and agreeable with his equals, humble and submissive to his superiors; he was cunning, and a great master of the arts of insinuation'. (49) Porteous, raised by an inadequate patriarch, similarly lacked admirable manly virtues of the upstanding citizen: self-control, modesty, and forthright honesty.

Significantly, contemporary literature argued that, for both the elite and the mob, one of Porteous's 'crimes' was to forget his place. Porteous was evidently well known as the favoured instrument of the city's governing men in times of riot. Betraying his origins, he worked for the establishment, earning the hatred of the people. As his defence noted at his trial, he was employed by the city 'as the scourge of the mob, though never once known to proceed to extremities, yet such station of his may be the cause of drawing resentment from the lower sort of the people against him'. (50) Certainly Porteous was criticized for doing the bidding of the city governors under the cloak of their authority. As the 1795 Newgate Calendar made clear, once appointed, Porteous, 'being now advanced to honour, forgot all his former politeness, for which he was so much esteemed when a tradesman; and assumed all the consequence of a man in authority'. (51)

Porteous, the pamphlets insisted, also displayed a lack of control over his manners and body. In cases of riot,
   being a man of resolute spirit and unacquainted with fear ... he
   would generally exceed the bounds of his commission, and would
   treat the delinquents with the utmost cruelty, by knocking them
   down with his musket, and frequently breaking legs and arms. (52)


His unmanly conduct towards women, and his own lack of sexual propriety were emphasized:
   If sent to quell a disturbance in a house of ill fame,
   notwithstanding he was a most abandoned debauchee himself, he would
   take pleasure in exposing the characters of all those he found
   there, thereby destroying the peace of many families: he would
   treat the unhappy prostitutes with the greatest inhumanity, and
   even drag them to a prison, though many of them had been reduced by
   himself. (53)


Porteous, 'this inhuman monster', it was claimed, was morally bankrupt, and as such unfit to hold the high office bestowed upon him by the city's elite, or to supervise the morals of others. (54)

After Porteous's demise, his weak father, his own lack of physical, emotional, and sexual control and his treatment of women were important facets of his character in the eighteenth-century popular texts that discussed his fate. Significantly, these discussions conveyed contemporary understandings of the masculinity of governance and its relationship to class. After the riot, elite men, the Edinburgh mob, and commentators alike were all represented as uneasy about a man from a humble background holding authority in the city. In reality, this did not seem to be a concern during Porteous's twenty or so years in office, and many of his predecessors and successors came from similar backgrounds. Moreover, the public outcry against the City Guards after the events in which Porteous had been involved suggests that their actions on that day were atypical rather than the norm. But when it was transferred and represented in public discourse at least, pamphlets insisted that Porteous's behaviour had borne out his inability to maintain governing status successfully, and newspapers attributed the successful actions of the riot which followed to orchestration by elite men masquerading as the lower orders. Whether by character or class, what constituted 'a governing man' were facets that, according to contemporary media, neither Porteous nor the mob could possess. Porteous might wear the clothing of the elite authorities, but his actions betrayed deep failings in the masculine self-control that was required for governance of others. Equally, the conspirators might wear the clothing of tradesmen, but their well-executed actions were indicative of a masculine control that only came with higher breeding.

III. Interpreting Porteous and the Mob in Scott's The Heart of Midlothian

The unfolding of the Porteous riot is one of the first plots developed in Scott's seventh novel. It was a story which appeared to convey significant aspects of Scottish character to Scott and one to which he would return in later works. Some twelve years after the novel's publication, Scott reprised the incident in his history of Scotland, where he introduced the mob's murder of Porteous 'as a strong and powerful display of the cool, stern, and resolved manner in which the Scottish, even of the lower classes, can concert and execute a vindictive purpose'. (55) It was from such displays of masculine vices and virtues that Scott believed Scotland's distinctive national character emerged. Further, Scott added new notes about Porteous's murder and its unidentified ringleaders to the 1830 revised edition of his novel, observing that 'it has always been quoted as a close, daring, and calculated act of violence, of a nature peculiarly characteristic of the Scottish people'. (56) Significantly, in Scott's interpretation, the mob was strongly gendered male, although scholarship indicates that this was not actually so either in the eighteenth-century riots of Porteous's time or the nineteenth-century crowd violence that Scott himself might have witnessed. (57) Casting the mob as a male collective, however, enabled Scott to articulate ideas about the relationship between governance and masculinity. In particular, it contrasted a new model of working-class masculine conduct capable of civic governance against Porteous's failings as an individual man and thus as a civic official.

Scott's interpretation of the Porteous affair is important because his presentation of the events highlighted how the masculinity of governance could be understood in the early nineteenth century. Of particular note is the emphasis Scott gave to codes of masculine honour and self-control in understanding the actions of both Porteous and the male mob. Scott found some aspects of Porteous's character praiseworthy for the tasks he was expected to perform as a City Guard, and indeed it 'was only by his military skill, and an alert and resolute character as an officer of police, that he merited this promotion' to Captain. (58) Yet Scott, echoing the 1737 pamphlet, clearly signalled that Porteous was not a respectable man in terms of middleclass expectations of behaviour towards others. This was especially so within the household, in terms of his filial duty, familial responsibilities, and his behaviour towards his wife: 'for he is said to have been a man of profligate habits, an unnatural son, and a brutal husband.' (59) Scott juggled the positive and negative of Porteous's strengths and weaknesses of character, much as the Newgate Calendar had done before him:
   ... if a good deal of determination and promptitude rendered
   Porteous, in one respect, fit to command guards designed to
   suppress popular commotion, he seems, on the other, to have been
   disqualified for a charge so delicate, by a hot and surly temper,
   always too ready to come to blows and violence; a character void
   of principle. (60)


Scott's criticisms of Porteous's character reflected elite men's growing opposition to violence which was to make self-discipline a more salient defining characteristic of masculinity in nineteenth-century polite society.

Masculine codes of honour were crucial to Scott's interpretation of Porteous's actions. Scott explained Porteous's response at the execution by suggesting that 'the honour of his command and of his corps seems to have been a matter of high interest and importance'. (61) Porteous's ire was raised by the civic authorities' decision to call upon Welsh Fusiliers to support the City Guards at Wilson's execution: 'the magistrates took further precautions, which affected Porteous's pride very deeply'. (62) Moreover, Scott was attentive to differing opportunities to exert masculine control, opportunities which were governed by class: 'As he could not show his ill-humour to his patrons the magistrates, it increased his indignation and his desire to be revenged on the unfortunate criminal Wilson, and all who favoured him.' (63) This, Scott suggested, was achieved by Porteous's order that Wilson be manacled as an extra precaution against escape, and as a painful reminder of his subservience to Porteous's authority. Wilson's complaint that the handcuffs were too small was cruelly ignored. This unnecessary act of brutal manhandling, recounted by Scott in some detail, enhanced his depiction of Porteous as a character of violent emotional and physical force. (64)

Scott perceived Porteous's lack of control of his emotions as his downfall: 'These internal emotions of jealousy and rage wrought a change on the man's mien and bearing.' (65) After the execution, when the mob surged forward, and stones and insults were hurled at Porteous and his guards:
   Captain Porteous was wrought, by this appearance of insurrection
   against his authority, into a rage so headlong as made him forget,
   that, the sentence having been fully executed, it was his duty not
   to engage in hostilities with the misguided multitude, but to draw
   off his men as fast as possible. (66)


Scott accepted the contemporary verdict that Porteous acted in an irrational, as well as unlawful, way. Thus, in most respects, Scott's rendition of Porteous's actions reflected eighteenth-century accounts about his inability to act in a manly fashion. Scott's Porteous was blind to reason, governed by emotions of pride and anger, and his expressions of self, power, and authority frustrated by his class status.

If Porteous's unmanly actions rendered him unworthy of full civic authority and governance, Scott did, however, allow the possibility for another kind of masculine conduct of which working-class men were capable. Here, significantly, Scott departed from the eighteenth-century representations of forms of civic governance. Scott as many before him was fascinated by the riddle of the Porteous mob, a subject on which he elaborated at some length in the notes on his text. (67) He observed how contemporaries had perceived the status of the conspirators as incongruent with their dress. (68) But by contrast to the eighteenth-century views of the rioters as elite interlopers among the lower orders, Scott's mob represented a far wider swathe of the population. Scott, who had sought out extant records of the case and possessed manuscript original sources, was not, however, reflecting more accurately the composition of the mob. He rendered them far less violent in their handling of Porteous than contemporary accounts suggested was the case. Indeed, literary scholars David Hewitt and Andrew Lincoln have both recently argued that the Porteous mob is sanitized and dignified in The Heart of Midlothian to suit Scott's narrative purpose of the event as an act of political defiance. (69) At the very least, the ambiguity with which Scott presents the justice rendered by the mob has been widely noted among scholars, even if the reasons for it remain the subject of debate. (70)

Indeed, Scott's description of the behaviour of some members of the mob rendered them more suitable bearers of civic duty than Porteous's ill-disciplined guards. Scott recounted how ladies out on the street were escorted home by members of the crowd to keep them safe:
   uniformly done with a deference and attention to the feelings of
   the terrified females, which could hardly have been expected from
   the videttes of a mob so desperate.... They offered themselves to
   escort the vehicles which they had thus interrupted in their
   progress, from the apprehension, probably, that some of those who
   had casually united themselves to the riot might disgrace their
   systematic and determined plans of vengeance, by acts of general
   insult and license which are common on such occasions. (71)


Scott thus distinguished between individual working-class men who could control their emotions and actions, and others who could not. In a reverse of the status quo, Scott's conspirators acted much like the City Guards, offering protection and showing how peacekeeping might be conducted civilly:
   So strict and watchful were the various patrols whom the rioters
   had established in different parts of the street, that none of the
   emissaries of the magistrates could reach the gate of the Castle.
   They were, however, turned back without either injury or insult,
   and with nothing more of menace than was necessary to deter them.
   (72)


Ladies 'were escorted to their lodgings by the young men who stopped them, and even handed out of their chairs, with a polite attention far beyond what was consistent with their dress, which was apparently that of journeymen mechanics'. (73) Members of Scott's mob were able to demonstrate their ability to act within the rules of polite society, and their rage was not indiscriminate. For they, Scott argued, acted with a purpose that they felt, 'though unsanctioned by the usual authorities, ought to be proceeded in with order and gravity'. (74) It is noteworthy that Scott seemingly had difficulty finding a vocabulary that sufficiently described such a collective lower-class action of singular purpose or that could discern between a mass action and that of a more focused group within, shifting in the course of one sentence between 'rioters', 'the populace', 'the mob, or rather, we should say, the conspirators'. (75)

Key elements of Scott's interpretation of the Porteous affair therefore echoed eighteenth-century perceptions of the masculinity required for civic governance. For example, Scott's Porteous was unable to remain controlled --emotionally as well as physically. He was angry, wilful, and proud as well as violent and vengeful. Scott thus reinforced earlier precepts that mastery of self was a pre-requisite to mastery of others in governing men. However, in distinction to these earlier accounts, Scott made clear that the true authoritative gentleman was not bred but could be made through action. For if Porteous was a demonstration of failed masculine authority, other men of his class were shown to be capable of displaying the particular qualities that Scott considered socially appropriate forms of male superiority over weaker members of the community.

IV. Civic Policing at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century

For Scott, the Porteous episode encapsulated two key themes present across his writing: understanding of gentlemanly behaviour and unique elements of Scottish character, a national portrait which Scott appeared to define largely through male action and behaviour. But beyond these themes expressed across his oeuvre, there were important civic debates occurring which may also have shaped Scott's analysis of Porteous and his actions as a member of the City Guard. Scott's discussion of the case occurred at a pivotal period in the history of Edinburgh policing. The demise of the Tolbooth, in which the City Guards were based, was just one part of a suite of changes to the city's policing arrangements that was underway in the early nineteenth century. It was a period in which the notion of masculine behaviour that underpinned the activities of the Edinburgh City Guards was changing. Their authority was challenged by new paid officers who were part of what was praised by contemporaries as an innovative regime of policing measures. How Scott chose to portray the eighteenth-century Edinburgh City Guards of Porteous's day reveals much in common with their description by other nineteenth-century commentators who supported reform in policing structures, powers, and personnel.

Policing in the late eighteenth century took a variety of forms. Some voluntary watching undertaken by local burgesses and property holders was underpinned by the notion that the duty to watch and ward was part of a man's honour. In many burghs, male householders of property of sufficient value were required to watch and ward as an unpaid service for the common good. Some of these elite masculine values were embodied by Edinburgh's City (later High) Constables. This was a voluntary organization of burgesses working under the Lord Provost, who carried out daytime law enforcement duties and ceremonial guarding roles. Towards the end of the eighteenth century paid watchmen, distinct from the City Guard, were also introduced under the control of a new body of commissioners, some elected, others appointed, separate from the Town Council. By virtue of the Act 11 George III c36, 1771, Edinburgh Town Council divided the southern side of the city into eight districts, the commissioners of which were to 'annually appoint whatever number of able-bodied Watchmen they judged proper'. (76) In addition to both these, Edinburgh continued to employ the City Guard of which Porteous was Captain, under the control of magistrates and councillors.

By the turn of the nineteenth century, however, models of policing were changing. A more highly developed police institution, under the control of a Police Commission independent from the Town Council, was created in 1805 (Edinburgh Police Act 45, George III c21) and refined in 1812 (Act 52 George III, c172). The Commission's composition was made up of prominent political, legal, academic, and commercial elites as well as elected representatives. New statutory powers were acquired for employing paid police officers to patrol the streets, overseen by a Superintendent, and for the creation of a Police Court which could deal with minor offences and refer more grievous crimes to higher courts. (77) However, the transmission of governing authority of the streets to new officers did not occur without challenge from other groups of men. (78) The introduction of these new officers transformed the perception of Edinburgh's other policing groups--both the elite High Constables and the working-class City Guards--as civic men whose actions gave them credibility as governing authorities in the city. When Scott wrote of Porteous's anger at having to work with the Welsh Fusiliers at Wilson's execution, such tensions echoed those between competing sources of civic policing authority in his own time: 'It may sound ridiculous in our ears, considering the fallen state of this ancient civic corps, that its officer should have felt punctiliously jealous of its honour. Yet so it was.' (79) In a petition to the Town Council in 1805, the High Constables went as far as to claim that the new officers represented an affront to their dignity. (80) The city's magistrates attempted to appease tensions and clarify the hierarchy of city governance in their response, noting that they were 'impressed with the strongest sense of the obligations which the community owe to the society for their public-spirited, important, and gratuitous services on every occasion'. (81) They assured the Constables that they
   did not apprehend that any interference could take place between
   the highly respectable Society and the common police officers ...
   and never proposed to degrade the society by associating any of
   their members in the same duties with the hired Watchmen. (82)


Indeed, the magistrates added,
   It shall be the study of the magistrates to prevent any occurrence
   which might seem to tend to put the society in any respect upon a
   level with ordinary constables or police officers, or which might
   bring their members into collision with those hired servants of the
   public, who are in every respect so much their inferiors. (83)


Class mattered to the identity of those who could govern the city and also determined the capacity in which they could do so. Magistrates experienced their own insecurities over their status as Edinburgh's governing men as much as constables. Although magistrates were responsible for employing constables, they had no say in the recruitment of officers appointed under the new model (over and above the minority ex officio representation on the Commission that magistrates enjoyed). The establishment of the Edinburgh Police Commission was a considerable threat to magistrates' power base, status, and position as guardians of law and order. (84) Such rivalries in the governing hierarchy of the city would colour police affairs thereafter, as magistrates and commissioners vied for control of an important branch of the local control.

The perception of City Guards suffered grievously in comparison to the newly installed paid police officers. While there was also criticism of policing arrangements under the new system, this tended to centre on police management, structure, and powers whereas criticism of the guard was more about capacity to maintain urban order and the quality and behaviour of its personnel. (85) The 1812 Tron Riot, in which a police watchman was murdered by a gang of youths carrying out violent street robberies, was significant in undermining the role of the City Guard as it strengthened the resolve of the civic elite to put policing arrangements on a more professional footing (brought into force by the 1812 Police Act). (86) Although the changes that were introduced under the new act were as much about rectifying the original act's weaknesses as responding to the riot, the latter was still significant in convincing the civic elite that a different approach to policing was needed. It coincided with growing opposition in the burgh to funding two forms of watching services, especially the one under the control of the deeply unpopular, self-selecting Town Council. (87) As an 1812 report to improve policing efficiency noted, the expense in running the Guard had 'hitherto been considerable', costing over 900 [pounds sterling] a year from public funds, and there were many who were 'inclined to see this ancient establishment altogether abolished'. (88) This was finally achieved in November 1817.

Also significant in undermining the reputation of the City Guard was the fact that it was increasingly compared to the new model that was established in 1805. Criticism of the Guard's performance--much of which was unjustified and exploited for political gain by those who sought to undermine magistrates' management of this branch of civic administration--was the product of raised expectations of comfort and safety. It reflected demand for a level of protection for private property which the City Guard was not designed to provide. A number of generally negative recollections of the City Guard sharply contrasted their personnel and activities in ways that reflected the influence of the new model of street governance. The tasks of the City Guards were presented as street patrol, the management and guard of prisoners, and the performance of important ceremonial roles in the life of the city. They watched the streets in a passive, reactive capacity, not in the pro-active, preventative way demanded under the new system. Lord Henry Cockburn, former Edinburgh Police Commissioner, described in his Memorials of his Time, written between 1821 and 1830, how they guarded prisoners:
   One of these stern half-dotard warriors used to sit at each side of
   the prisoners at the bar of the Court of Justiciary as guard; with
   his huge hat on his old battered head, and his drawn bayonet in his
   large gnarled hand. They sat so immovably, and looked so severe,
   with their rugged weather-beaten visages, and hard muscular trunks,
   that they were no unfit emblems of the janitors of the region to
   which those they guarded were so often consigned. (89)


Contrasting Cockburn's picture of the weather-beaten City Guards, the new police recruits were required to be younger, fitter, and active officers. As the 1822 Edinburgh Instructions explained, 'the efficiency and value of the Police establishment of a populous City, must depend essentially on the persons employed being active and able-bodied men'. (90) In such a model the virtues of experience were outweighed by notions of youthful alertness and eager attention for those who patrolled the streets.

It was a significant shift from the characteristics of the City Guards who were often drawn (as was Porteous) from the militia. John McGowan's research suggests that new recruits to the City Guards over the period 1773 to 1817 were largely in their mid-forties, discharged from Highland Regiments. (91) Significantly, this was to be the age limit for recruits under the new model, although the average age of those who served is likely to have been much lower. In Edinburgh as early as 1805, commissioners connected the value of age to specific kinds of duties, distinguishing positions that required judgement and experience from those that necessitated attributes of a more physical nature. Thus, age limits for sergeants were set at fifty, while watchmen were to be no more than forty-five and additionally 'stout and healthy'. (92) When Cockburn recalled the City Guards in Edinburgh as 'composed of discharged soldiers, and whose youngest member was at least threescore', he may have exaggerated their age but conveyed a sense of contemporary elite men's dissatisfaction with the personnel of older models of policing. (93) To nineteenth-century onlookers, by comparison to the new police officers, Edinburgh's City Guards seemed old and outmoded in more ways than one.

The symbolic authority of the uniformed police officer was another important feature of the new model. They were to be identified in public as officers. This linked strongly to previous forms of city order, particularly the City Guards who were also uniformed. But by contrast to the new officers, in uniform as well as origins, the City Guards had been identified as a military, not a civil, force, even though they reported to magistrates. Scott's own description of a City Guard echoed the views of his contemporaries, recalling his appearance as an
   old grey-headed and grey-bearded Highlander, with war-worn
   features, but bent double by age; dressed in an old-fashioned
   cocked-hat, bound with white tape instead of silver lace, and in
   coat, waistcoat, and breeches of a muddy-coloured red; bearing in
   his withered hand an ancient weapon, called a Lochaber-axe. (94)


Their hierarchy used military terminology, with 'Lieutenants' and 'Captains', unlike the administrative bureaucratic model of 'Superintendents' and 'Boards' adopted by the new police institution. Moreover, the City Guards carried pistols, swords, muskets, and bayonets, unlike the new officers who were unarmed. (95) Robert Chambers, in his Traditions of Edinburgh, remembered that the 'unruly and the vicious stood in some awe of a troop of men bearing lethal weapons, and generally somewhat frank in the use of them'. (96) The Guards' use of the antiquated Lochaber axe was especially noteworthy--another sign of the outmoded nature of their calling in the city. Not only was their weaponry old-fashioned, but even the idea of being armed was becoming obsolete. The new police force was expected to employ different methods to subdue the masses. This was to be achieved not principally through the threat of violence, although in reality it was often utilized, (97) but instead by the active prevention and detection of crime and by winning the approval and support of communities by civil conduct. (98)

Indeed, it was this last point of difference that nineteenth-century commentators reinforced. The City Guards were remembered as having a reputation for unbecoming, uncontrolled behaviour, and sexual and alcoholic excess. Chambers wrote, for example, of their celebrated overt sexual (mis) conduct: 'They had, previous to 1785, a guard-house in the middle of the High Street, the "black hole" of which had rather a bad character among the bucks and the frail ladies.' (99) By contrast, it was in their civilized conduct towards the community that the new police officers were expected to demonstrate their power. The reality, however, was often different. Indeed, drunkenness, ill-discipline, and neglect of duty were not uncommon reasons for suspension and dismissal in the Edinburgh police's formative years, suggesting not just the disparity between ideal and reality, but also how expectations under the new model had been raised. (100) This was in theory masculine governance based more on notions of trust, credit, and sobriety than the threat of violence. As Edmund Burke had observed at the turn of the century, 'manners are of more importance than laws', arguing that men were 'qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; ... in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption'. (101) Public presentation of civility by officers, especially in times of anger, and tension, was critical to their authority. As the 1822 instructions for officers made clear, an officer at the station was to 'make it his and their special duty, to behave civilly to prisoners, and to all who may have occasion to call or transact business at the Police Office'. (102)

Yet the importance of demonstrating civility and control was not merely a concern for the upper echelons of the police organization. It was emphasized particularly to the men on the street, still drawn from the working classes, those coming face-to-face with their community. These new police officers were to demonstrate civility and control as evidence of their capabilities to govern others of their class. As the instructions articulated in some detail:
   Serjeants and Watchmen must, by every means in their power
   endeavour to preserve peace and good order; be circumspect when
   upon duty; civil and attentive to every person; bearing bad
   language, and even reproach, from such passengers as are in liquor,
   when they appear to have no bad intention; and exercising, under
   all circumstances, all the humanity compatible with the due and
   firm discharge of their duty. (103)


Respectable values of civility and self-control, virtues of the true gentleman, were to be the hallmark of the new police officer. This was not the masculine temperament Scott attributed to City Guard who were 'neither by birth, education, or former habits, trained to endure with much patience the insults of the rabble, or the provoking petulance of truant schoolboys, and idle debauchees of all descriptions'. (104) The values expected to be demonstrated by the new police officers were, in fact, much closer to those displayed by the 'strict and watchful' rioters whom Scott had described patrolling the streets, exhorting passers-by to return indoors, in their efforts to prevent violence beyond that of their designated target.

The authority of this kind of masculinity of the police rested on a combination of physical prowess and potential manly strength, regulated by middle-class virtues of self-control and civility. Uniformed and disciplined like regular militia, their immediate authority was not to be demonstrated through arms but through behaviour (with the broader machinery of justice operating to confirm the validity of their actions). By comparison, the City Guard was progressively ridiculed by elite contemporaries as displaying an archaic form of physical masculinity no longer relevant to the nineteenth century city. Indeed, by 1839 James Maidment could lament on the term 'guarded' in his Court of Session Garland, that:
   a gentleman, tried before the High Court of Judiciary, must submit
   to the indignity of sitting between two nondescripts called
   policemen, who sport glazed hats and handle no better weapons than
   batons. How different was it in the days of yore! How dignified was
   the cocked hat of the grey-haired veteran! How imposing his queue!
   How awful his Lochaber-axe! But this is the age of innovation and
   reform ... (105)


Policing by armed force was to be replaced by officers drawn from the working class whose authority was demonstrated in part by their civility.

These new developments in policing and the discussions surrounding the entitlement and attributes of varied groups of men to protect communities and control the city streets were occurring just as Scott was developing his text. Scott acknowledged that his contemporary City Guards were not representative of the function or appearance of the 'more effective' corps of Porteous's day. However, the characteristics he chose to represent in Porteous did little to contradict the more critical perspectives of the Guards' worth, morals, and functionality expounded by contemporary commentators.

V. Conclusion

That Scott would be attracted to the Porteous affair is not surprising, for it allowed him an opportunity to explore a range of themes that were key to his work, not least ideas of what constituted gentlemanly behaviour, as well as to articulate his perception of Scottish national traits. As Julia Woods has argued, Scott's novels are
   explicitly masculine, and masculine themes are clearly present:
   autonomy and independence; bravery and physical prowess, especially
   in combat; defense of female virtue; loyalty, integrity, pride--in
   other works, honor. In Scott's world it was the province of the
   'true gentlemen,' those who prove themselves worthy of the name
   through honorable conduct. (106)


Scott's discussion of Porteous and of the mob who regulated his behaviour echoed these ideas, reflecting the deeply-rooted connections between class status and capacity for masculine governance (of self and of others). But it also opened up a discursive possibility that some working-class men had the potential to inhabit middle-class manly virtues. It is through an understanding of the social and cultural context of changing urban governance in Scott's Edinburgh that we can situate some of the ideas that his novel developed through its presentation of the Porteous affair.

Moreover, Scott's literary exploration of Porteous and the men who exacted justice upon him through ideas of the masculine characteristics of governance echoes some of the elite views on policing at a time of transition. It was a time when new policing initiatives had transformed the status of the Edinburgh City Guards, displacing their perceived authority to govern the city. When Scott presented the story of Porteous, his criticisms of the old City Guards reflected these new nineteenth-century alignments of civic policing, power, and authority. However Scott also reinforced long-held understandings of governing masculinity and its display through emotional and bodily control as a pre-requisite to the governance of others, ideas that were still prevalent and powerful at the turn of the nineteenth century. Indeed, these concepts were pivotal to the new model of policing that was established, conveyed in the idealized description of the personnel who were considered fit to undertake policing work in the nineteenth-century city. (107)

What is particularly notable is that Scott emphasizes the capability of a different class of men to inhabit these long-held values of governance--a notion about which eighteenth-century texts offered only silence--despite the fact that the actual composition of the eighteenth-century City Guard consisted of men from working-class backgrounds. For Scott, Porteous was a failure as a man and thus incapable of civic governance: he represented discursively the kind of men who populated the Edinburgh City Guards. Scott's polite and orderly members of the mob, however, were men of the same type as those who could be welcomed as officers in the nineteenth-century policing model. They were men drawn from the working class, but whose particular moral and physical attributes reflected, rather than contrasted, the masculine ideals of the civic elite. Scott's work thus suggests a discursive shift in how the relationship between masculinity, governance, and class could be represented. Yet his interpretation of masculine governance reminds us that continuities in ideas of male civic authority were still very strong. For, although certain working-class men might be perceived as able to participate in governing the nineteenth-century metropolis, their values and attributes upheld older models of male governance--ones that continued to be determined by the elite.

Discipline of History

The University of Western Australia

(1) William Jackson, The New and Complete Newgate Calendar; or, Villany displayed in all its branches, 6 vols (London: Alexander Hogg, 1795), ii, pp. 273-74.

(2) Linda Pollock, 'Rethinking Patriarchy and the Family in Seventeenth-Century Europe', Journal of Family History, 23.1 (1998), 3-27; Elizabeth Foyster, Manhood in Early Modern England: Honour, Sex and Marriage (London: Longman, 1999); Alexandra Shepard, Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003); John Tosh and Michael Roper, eds, Manful Assertions: Masculinities in Britain Since 1800 (London: Routledge 1991); Tosh, A Man's Place: Masculinities and the Middle-Class Home in Victorian England (New Haven: Yale University Press 1999); Tosh, Manliness and Masculinities in Nineteenth-Century Britain: Essays on Gender, Family and Empire (London: Longman, 2004).

(3) Patricia Crawford, Blood, Bodies and Families: in Early Modern England (Harlow: Longman, 2004); Parents of Poor Children in England 1580-1800 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

(4) David Kuchta, The Three-Piece Suit and Modern Masculinity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002).

(5) Gender in English Society 1650-1850: The Emergence of Separate Spheres? (London: Longman, 1998), p. 55.

(6) See, for example, G. J. Barker-Benfield, 'The Question of Effeminacy', in his The Culture of Sensibility: Sex and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), pp. 104-53, and also Philip Carter, Men and the Emergence of Polite Society, Britain 1660-1800 (Harlow: Longman, 2001).

(7) David G. Barrie, 'Police in Civil Society: Police, Enlightenment and Civic Virtue in Scotland, 1780-1833', Urban History, 37.1 (2010), 45-65.

(8) See David G. Barrie and Susan Broomhall, eds, A History of Police and Masculinities, 1700-2010 (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, forthcoming 2011).

(9) 'Masculinity as Governance: Police, Public Service and the Embodiment of Authority, c.1700-1850', in Public Men. Masculinity and Politics in Modern Britain, ed. Matthew McCormack (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007), pp. 33-53.

(10) For a critical appraisal of this text and particularly its structure, see Peter Murphy, 'Scott's Disappointments: Reading The Heart of Midlothian', Modern Philology, 92.2 (1994), 179-98.

(11) Murphy, p. 181.

(12) 'The Porteous Mob: Fact and Truth in the Heart of Midlothian, English Language Notes, 22.1 (1984), 43-50 (p. 50). See also Sir Tresham Lever, 'Sir Walter Scott and the Murder of Porteous', Blackwood's Magazine, cccx (1971), 212-24; and Ina Ferris, '"On the Borders of Oblivion": Scott's Historical Novel and the Modern Time of the Remnant', Modern Language Quarterly, 70.4 (2009), 473-94.

(13) For recent interpretations of the historical and political implications of the Porteous riot, see H. T. Dickinson and K. J. Logue, 'The Porteous Riot, 1736: Events in a Scottish Protest against the Act of Union with England', History Today, 22 (1972), 272-81; H. T. Dickinson and K. J. Logue, 'The Porteous Riot: A Study of the Breakdown of Law and Order in Edinburgh, 1736-1737', Scottish Labour Historical Review, 10 (1976), 21-40; K. J. Logue, 'The Life and Death of the Notorious Captain John Porteous', in The Scottish Nation: Identity and History. Essays in Honour of William Ferguson, ed. Alexander Murdoch (Edinburgh: John Donald, 2007), pp. 56-70.

(14) See for example literary analyses by Michael Cohen, 'Empowering the Sister: Female Rescue and Authorial Resistance in the Heart of Midlothian, College Literature, 20.2 (1993), 58-69; and Caroline McCracken-Flesher, 'Narrating the (Gendered) Nation in Walter Scott's The Heart of Midlothian', Nineteenth-Century Contexts, 24.3 (2002), 291-316.

(15) 'The Heart of Midlothian and the Masculinization of Fiction', Criticism, 36.4 (1994), 521-40.

(16) Masculinity and the English Working Class: Studies in Victorian Autobiography and Fiction (London: Routledge, 2007).

(17) Shoemaker, Gender in English Society, p. 43.

(18) Barrie, Police in the Age of Improvement: Police Development and the Civic Tradition in Scotland 1775-1865 (Cullompton: Willan, 2008).

(19) On Scott's depiction of law and lawyers, see John Marshall Gest, 'The Law and Lawyers of Sir Walter Scott', The American Law Register, 54.5, (vol. 45, new series) May and June (1906), 289-309 and 352-72.

(20) 'The Novel as Prison: Scott's The Heart of Midlothian, NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, 27.3 (1994), 287-303.

(21) Scott himself described the stones of the doorway, which he had placed as the entrance to his kitchen-court at Abbotsford, as 'the gateway through which so much of the stormy politics of a rude age, and the vice and misery of later times, had found their passage' (Walter Scott, The Heart of Midlothian, ed., introd. and notes, Claire Lamont (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 513, n. 8).

(22) In the same year as Scott's novel, extracts of the court records and pamphlet literature were re-published in Criminal trials, illustrative of the tale entitled The Heart of Midlothian, published from the original record (Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Co, 1818). In the early twentieth century a further edition of a more substantial collection of eighteenth-century documents was edited by William S. Roughead: Trial of Captain Porteous (Glasgow: William Hodge, 1909).

(23) K. J. Logue, 'Porteous, John (c. 1695-1736)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004). See also The New and Complete Newgate Calendar, p. 264. On eighteenth-century Scottish models of martial manhood, Rosalind Carr argues that this form of manhood was constructed by the elite primarily for Highland non-elite men and was by no means equal to their own urban model of masculinity represented by the refined gentleman ('The Gentleman and the Soldier: Patriotic Masculinities in Eighteenth-Century Scotland', Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 28.2 (2008), 102-21).

(24) For a fascinating study exploring a rough masculinity within nineteenth-century police forces, see Clive Emsley, The English and Violence Since 1750 (London: Hambledon Continuum, 2005), pp. 131-46.

(25) Roughead, Trial of Captain Porteous, who adds: 'one would fain hope that such a good golfer was not so great a rogue' (p. 20).

(26) Autobiography of the Reverend Dr Alexander Carlyle, Minister of Inveresk (Edinburgh: W Blackwood, 1861), p. 35.

(27) Although the archival records of the Guards do contain several reprimands against Porteous for fighting (Roughead, Trial of Captain Porteous, pp. 17-18).

(28) In the eighteenth century, the overwhelming majority of criminals who were convicted of capital offences were executed for having committed murder, treason, burglary, or violent robbery. See David G. Barrie, 'Urban Order in Georgian Dundee, 1770-1820', in Dundee: Renaissance to Enlightenment, eds Charles McKean, Bob Harris, and Christopher A. Whatley (Dundee: Dundee University Press, 2009), pp. 216-43; and Anne-Marie Kilday, Women and Violent Crime in Enlightenment Scotland (Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2007), pp. 34, 54-56 and 133-34.

(29) For more on social crime and smuggling, see J. A. Sharpe, Crime in Early Modern England, 1550-1750, 2nd edn (London: Longman, 1999), Chapter 6; John G. Rule, 'Social Crime in the Rural South in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries', in John Rule and Roger Wells, Crime, Protest and Popular Politics in Southern England 1740-1850 (London: Hambledon, 1985), pp. 153-68; and Frances Wilkins, The Smuggling Story of Two Firths: Montrose to Dunbar (Worcestershire: Wyre Forest Press, 1993).

(30) 'Attestation by T. Crockat, Gavin Hamilton', Caledonian Mercury, 19 April 1736; 'Authentic Extract of the Proceedings in the trial of Captain John Porteous', published 25 March 1737; Witnesses James Nasmith; James Maxwell; William Douglas; all cited in Criminal trials illustrative of the tale entitled The Heart of Mid-Lothian, pp. xxv; 80; 176; 178, 180 respectively.

(31) 'Attestation by T. Crockat, Gavin Hamilton', cited in Criminal trials, p. xxv.

(32) Dun. Forbes, Information for His Majesty's Advocate, for his Highness's Interest, against John Porteous, late Captain-Lieutenant of the City-Guard of Edinburgh, Pannel, 12 July 1736, trial records, cited in Criminal trials, pp. 94-95.

(33) Dun. Forbes, Information for His Majesty's Advocate, p. 98.

(34) In Scotland, this matter took on particular significance as Scots were prohibited from forming a militia force due to concerns about their loyalty to the Hanoverian Regime. The right to bear arms was a burning issue for Scottish Enlightenment thinkers. See John Robertson, Scottish Enlightenment and the Militia Issue (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1985).

(35) Dun. Forbes, Information for His Majesty's Advocate, p. 98. Parergon 28.1 (2011)

(36) Robert B. Shoemaker, 'Male Honour and the Decline of Popular Violence in Eighteenth Century London', Social History, 26.2 (2001), 190-208; Shoemaker, 'The Taming of the Duel: Masculinity, Honour and Ritual Violence in London, 1660-1800', The Historical Journal, 45.3 (2002), 525-45. For changing attitudes among the lower orders, see Shoemaker, The London Mob: Violence and Disorder in Eighteenth-Century England (London: Hambledon Continuum, 2004); and Emsley, The English and Violence, passim.

(37) Ja. Graham, Jun., Information for John Porteous, late Captain-Lieutenant of the City Guard of Edinburgh, against His Majesty's Advocate, 13 July 1736, cited in Criminal trials, p. 126.

(38) Ja. Graham, Jun., p. 126.

(39) Roughead, Trial of Captain Porteous, p. 20.

(40) Roughead, p. 69.

(41) A whole range of testimony confirmed that many in the city, including its elite, were aware of the deadly intentions of the rioters prior to Porteous's murder (Roughead, pp. 71-72).

(42) Roughead, pp. 110-11.

(43) For a wide array of quotes from such contemporary documents, see Roughead, pp. 88-116.

(44) Roughead, pp. 96-97.

(45) Roughead, p. 113. R. A. Houston places the Porteous actors in a wider historical content of popular protests in Social Change in the Age of Enlightenment: Edinburgh, 1660-1760 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), pp. 317-18.

(46) See Dickinson and Logue, 'The Porteous Riot, 1736' and 'The Porteous Riot'. Parergon 28.1 (2011)

(47) The Life and Death of Captain John Porteous, Edinburgh, 1737, cited in Criminal trials, pp. ii-iii.

(48) The Life and Death of Captain John Porteous, p. iv.

(49) The Life and Death of Captain John Porteous, p. iii.

(50) Ja. Graham, Jun., Information for John Porteous, p. 128.

(51) Jackson, Newgate Calendar, p. 265.

(52) Jackson, p. 266.

(53) Jackson, p. 266.

(54) Jackson, p. 267.

(55) Tales of a Grandfather, 3rd series, 1830, ii, cited in Lamont, ed., Walter Scott, The Heart of Midlothian, p. x, and Criscuola, 'The Porteous Mob', p. 44.

(56) Scott's original notes to the 1830 'Magnum' edition, p. 522, n. 10.

(57) See, for example, Kilday's work providing detailed analysis of female involvement in popular disturbances in Enlightenment Scotland, Women and Violent Crime, Chapter 6.

(58) Scott, The Heart of Midlothian, p. 33.

(59) Scott, p. 33.

(60) Scott, p. 35.

(61) Scott, p. 35.

(62) Scott, pp. 35-36.

(63) Scott, p. 36.

(64) See further discussion of this moment in Bruce Beiderwell, Power and Punishment in Scott's Novels (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1992), p. 68.

(65) Scott, The Heart of Midlothian, p. 36.

(66) Scott, p. 37.

(67) Scott, p. 514, n. 10, with extended discussion of the identity of 'The Porteous Mob' at pp. 521-23.

(68) Scott, p. 513, n. 7, where he added a note that recounts the experiences of a near-relation escorted home at the hands of the mob 'On reaching her own home, one of her attendants, in appearance a baxter, ie. a baker s lad, handed her out of her chair, and took leave with a bow, which, in the lady's opinion [our italics], argued breeding that could hardly be learned at the oven's mouth'.

(69) Hewitt, 'The Heart of Midlothian and "the People", European Romantic Review, 13 (2002), 299-309 (pp. 306, 307). Lincoln argues that Scott 'dignifies' the riots by his deliberate decision to use English rather than Scots to describe it, as well as the manner in which it is presented (Walter Scott and Modernity (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007), pp. 172-73).

(70) In a wider discussion of scholarly interpretations of Scott's views on justice, David Brown notes, for example, that Scott counterbalances the 'aesthetic beauty of the mob's organisation and its restraint in carrying out a sentence' with the description of Porteous's corpse 'cruelly strung up and mutilated in the most bestial manner'. See his

(71) Scott, The Heart of Midlothian, p. 62.

(72) Scott, p. 62.

(73) Scott, p. 62.

(74) Scott, p. 63.

(75) Scott, p. 63.

(76) John McGowan, 'The Emergence of Modern Civil Police in Scotland: A Case Study of the Police and Systems of Police in Edinburghshire 1800-1833' (unpublished doctoral thesis, The Open University, UK, 1996), p. 90.

(77) See McGowan for a detailed study of policing reforms in Edinburgh. The authors are currently preparing a monograph on the development of the police courts at this period, Police Courts: Crime, Control and Community in Scotland, c.1800-1892.

(78) David G. Barrie and Susan Broomhall, 'Policing Bodies in Urban Scotland, 1780-1850', in Governing Masculinities: Regulating Selves and Others in the Early Modern Period, eds Susan Broomhall and Jacqueline Van Gent (Aldershot: Ashgate, forthcoming 2011).

(79) Scott, The Heart of Midlothian, p. 36.

(80) James D. Marwick, Sketch of the History of the High Constables of Edinburgh (Edinburgh: John Greig and Son, 1865), pp. 218-19.

(81) Marwick, p. 219. However, they justified the introduction of the new officers because 'it was impossible to expect that gentlemen occupying the first stations and most respectable and laborious professional employments in the city, should discharge the duties of watching over the peace and police of this metropolis'.

(82) Marwick, p. 105.

(83) Marwick, p. 220.

(84) Barrie, Police in the Age of Improvement, pp. 126-27.

(85) For criticism of police management see, for example, 'Parallel between the Edinburgh and Glasgow System of Police', Scots Magazine (1807), 28-31. There were many grievances listed in this publication, but the main ones centred on the dispersal of powers between police sub-committees, the large number of appointed commissioners, and the extent of tax imposed on the community.

(86) Andrew G. Ralston, 'The Tron Riot of 1812', History Today, 30.5 (1980), 41-45.

(87) See McGowan, The Emergence of Modern Civil Police in Scotland, pp. 203-05.

(88) Edinburgh City Library, 'Report of the Committee Appointed at the General Meeting of the Magistrates, and the Different Public Bodies in this City, to Concert Measures for Obtaining a more Efficient System of Police' (Edinburgh: Publisher unknown, 1812), pp. 1-27 (p. 20).

(89) Memorials of His Time (Edinburgh: T. N. Foulis, 1856), pp. 292-93.

(90) Instructions, orders, regulations, and bye-laws given, made, and passed by the General Commissioners of Police, for the City of Edinburgh, July 1822, p. 2.

(91) Cockburn cited in McGowan, The Emergence of Modern Civil Police in Scotland, p. 72.

(92) McGowan, pp. 114-15.

(93) McGowan, p. 72.

(94) Scott, The Heart of Midlothian, p. 34.

(95) McGowan, pp. 69-70.

(96) Traditions of Edinburgh (Edinburgh: W. and R. Chambers, first published 1824, 1847), p. 173.

(97) See, for instance, Emsley, The English and Violence, pp. 131-46. For industrial violence in Scotland, see Alan B. Campbell, The Lanarkshire Miners: A Social History of their Trade Unions, 1775-1974 (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1979), passim.

(98) Although as studies of the English police have made clear, in practice, there was often simmering anti-police resentment. See, for instance, R. D. Storch, '"The Plague of Blue Locusts": Police Reform and Popular Resistance in Northern England, 1840-57', International Review of Social History, 20 (1975), 61-90.

(99) Chambers, Traditions of Edinburgh, p. 173.

(100) McGowan, The Emergence of Modern Civil Police in Scotland, p. 116.

(101) Burke, 'Letters in a Regicide Peace', in The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke (1796) and Burke, A Letter from Mr. Burke, to a Member of the National Assembly; In Answer to some Objections to his Book on French Affairs, cited in Kutcha, The Three-Piece Suit, p. 3 and p. 9 respectively.

(102) Instructions, p. 4.

(103) Instructions, p. 6.

(104) Scott, The Heart of Midlothian, p. 34.

(105) Court of Session Garland (Edinburgh: Thomas G. Stevenson, 1839), p. 34.

(106) 'The Literary Interests of Two Nineteenth-Century Lawyers: Travis and Scott', Legal Studies Forum, 22 (1998), 35-44 (p. 43).

(107) The reality often turned out to be different. Scottish police forces in their formative years suffered from the same problems of ill-discipline as their eighteenth-century predecessors. See Barrie, Police in the Age of Improvement, Chapter 6.
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Author:Broomhall, Susan; Barrie, David G.
Publication:Parergon
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2011
Words:11370
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