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This book examines how the law was made, defined, administered, and used in eighteenth-century England. A team of leading international historians explore the ways in which legal concerns and procedures came to permeate society and reflect on eighteenth-century concepts of corruption, oppression, and institutional efficiency. These themes are pursued throughout in a broad range of contributions which include studies of magistrates and courts; the forcible enlistment of soldiers and sailors; the eighteenth-century 'bloody code'; the making of law basic to nineteenth-century social reform; the populace's extension of law's arena to newspapers; theologians' use of assumptions basic to English law; Lord Chief Justice Mansfield's concept of the liberty intrinsic to England; and Blackstone's concept of the framework of English law. The result is an invaluable account of the legal bases of eighteenth-century society which is essential reading for historians at all levels.