A pernicious and wicked custom: corporate responses to lock picking in the Scottish town, 1488 -1788

Aaron Allen (Author)


Keyword(s):
lock picking, locks, tools
Location(s):
Scotland; UK
Period(s):
medieval, early modern

Abstract


While the use of lock picking for criminal purposes was not confined to towns, there were several specifically urban, unique responses to it from the craft guilds of Scotland’s burghs. In an urban context, the prevention of lock picking can be seen to have depended largely on a framework of corporatism. This article examines how security was provided, the role of locks in the urban environment, the deficiencies of lock technology, and the exploits of the infamous Deacon Brodie. While it was impossible to make a pick-proof, warded lock, the incorporations did what they could to contain this ‘pernicious and wicked custom’.

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Published
30-11-2008
How to Cite
Allen, A. (2008). A pernicious and wicked custom: corporate responses to lock picking in the Scottish town, 1488 -1788. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 137, 471-486. Retrieved from http://journals.socantscot.org/index.php/psas/article/view/9708
Section
Articles