2001 Sutherland Prize Winner
The Sutherland Prize Committee has voted unanimously
to award this year's Sutherland Prize to Dr. Robert Shoemaker,
University of Sheffield, for his article, "The Decline of Public Insult
in London 1660-1800", which appeared in Past and Present, no.
169, 2000:97-131. This ambitious article makes thorough and technically
knowledgeable use of ecclesiastical court records, correlated with the
experience of other courts, to persuasively argue that the total number
of actions for defamation declined in the course of the eighteenth
century, and that the character and language of the cases that were
prosecuted also changed significantly. It suggests that the decline in
litigation reflected a real decline of public insult and was part of a
broader cultural shift, in which the power and significance of the
spoken insult was being undermined. His is a fresh and exciting
approach to these legal records, exploring them as not only technical
and specific documents (which of course they were) but as also
participants in the cultural and social life of their time. In this
article Dr. Shoemaker has impressively utilized legal records to present
a strong case for a broader transformation of social life.
The Sutherland Prize Committee for the year 2001 was
charged with selecting the best article in English legal history written
in English and published in 2000. The Committee consisted of Robert
Palmer (University of Houston), Christopher Brooks (University of
Durham), Martin Wiener (Rice University), chair.
The Committee wishes to encourage and to regularize
the process of nomination of an article or essay for the Sutherland
Prize. A recommender should send at least one copy of the article to
the chair of the Sutherland Prize Committee. The cut-off date for
nominations is May 1.
2001 Surrency Prize Winner
The Surrency Prize Committee announced awarded the 2001
prize to Professor James Jaffe for his article "Industrial
Arbitration, Equity, and Authority in England, 1800-1850," which
appeared in volume 18 of the Law and History Review. Jaffe examines
the variegated forms of arbitration used in English industrial trades
in the nineteenth century. Through a detailed exploration of the
practices of the mining, pottery, and printing industries, Jaffe
demonstrates how a voluntary system of arbitration as public policy.
Voluntary industrial arbitration not only resolved disputes, but
helped establish working rules for entire trades. Aware of the
importance of arbitration, employers and workers struggled to
implement and control arbitration systems to their own advantage. In
telling this story with clarity, insight, and precision, Jaffe has
brought legal history, social history, and labor history into fruitful
dialogue. Each year the Surrency Prize Committee selects the best
articles in the Law and History Review for that year.