Book #74216
Item #74216 The Confession of Percival Cooke and James Tomlinson, Who Were. Criminals, Percival Cooke, James Tomlinson.

The Confession of Percival Cooke and James Tomlinson, Who Were...

Victims of the "Bloody Code" [Criminals]. Cooke, Percival [1785?-1812]. Tomlinson, James [1784?-1812]. The Confession of Percival Cooke and James Tomlinson, Who Were Executed on Friday, April 10, 1812, On a Drop Newly Erected in the Front of Derby Gaol, For Robbing the Houses of Mr. S. Hunt, Of Ockbrook-Mill, And Mr. J. Brentnall, Of Locko-Grance, In the County of Derby. Nottingham: Printed and Sold by C. Sutton, [1812?]. 8 pp. Octavo (7-1/2" x 5). Unsewn, untrimmed folded sheet, woodcut tail-piece (of a coffin). Moderate toning, light soiling, dampstain along top-edge not affecting text, lower right corners folded, clean tear to head of main vertical fold, all leaves secure, blind-embossed library stamp to right margin of first leaf. $300. * Only edition. Cooke and Tomlinson, aged 26 and 27 respectively at the time of their crimes, were executed in Derby for burglary at the Hunt house in December 1811. They were also charged with breaking and entering at the Brentnall house the night before, though the inhabitants prevented them from stealing anything. Both men were well-respected in the community prior to their crimes. Somewhat unusually for items of this genre, our chapbook laments the English code of justice, "so deeply stained with human blood," and urges the country to heed the suggested reforms of Sir Samuel Romilly "so that our eyes need not be so frequently the sight of public executions." Romilly was a passionate advocate for reform of the so-called "Bloody Code," the name given to the highly punitive penal code in England, Wales and Ireland that resulted in a sharp rise in executions in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. OCLC locates 8 copies of this scarce item, 3 in North America (UCLA, Brown, Western Washington University). We located a copy at Harvard Law School.

Price: $300.00

Book number 74216

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