Within the boundaries of the historic county of Cheshire, Altrincham was established as a market town in 1290, a time when the economy of most communities was based on agriculture rather than trade, and there is still a market in the town. Further socioeconomic development came with the extension of the Bridgewater Canal to Altrincham in 1765 and the arrival of the railway in 1849, stimulating industrial activity in the town. Outlying villages were absorbed by Altrincham's subsequent growth, along with the grounds of Dunham Massey Hall, formerly the home of the Earl of Stamford, and now a tourist attraction with three Grade I Listed Buildings and a deer park. (Full article...)
Wild exploited a strong public demand for action during a major 18th-century crime wave in the absence of any effective police force in London. As a powerful gang-leader himself, he became a master manipulator of legal systems, collecting the rewards offered for valuables which he had stolen himself, bribing prison guards to release his colleagues, and blackmailing any who crossed him. Wild was consulted on crime by the government due to his apparently remarkable prowess in locating stolen items and those who had stolen them. (Full article...)
Image 42The first general laws against child labour, the Factory Acts, were passed in Britain in the first half of the 19th century. Children younger than nine were not allowed to work and the work day of youth under the age of 18 was limited to twelve hours. (from History of England)
Image 61Alfred Hitchcock is often regarded as the greatest British filmmaker, and was described as "a straightforward middle-class Englishman who just happened to be an artistic genius." (from Culture of England)
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Insanity in English law is a defence to criminal charges based on the idea that the defendant was unable to understand what he was doing, or, that he was unable to understand that what he was doing was wrong.
The defence comes in two forms; where the defendant claims he was insane at the time of the crime, and where the defendant asserts he is insane at the time of trial. In the first situation, the defendant must show that he was either suffering from a disease which damaged the functioning of the mind and led to a defect of reason that prevented him from understanding what he was doing, or that he could not tell that what he was doing was wrong. In the second situation, the test is whether or not the defendant can differentiate between "guilty" and "not guilty" verdicts, instruct counsel and recognise the charges he is facing. If successful, he is likely to be detained under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964, although judges have a wide discretion as to what to do. (Full article...)