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PRESIDENT Carnot was not the last head of state to fall victim to an anarchist outrage, but by the mid-1890s the tide was beginning to turn against the faction favouring propaganda by the deed. The future, it seemed, belonged to the collectivist vision advocated a generation earlier by the First International anarchists: ‘monster unions embracing millions of proletarians’. Although this new syndicalist vision had the advantage of positioning anarchism within the emerging political movement of the industrial working class, it also meant anarchists were forced to compete with the much better organized and better funded parties of reformist socialism.
The anarchist colony in London was increasingly coming under the sway of people like Errico Malatesta, Louise Michel, Rudolf Rocker and other avowed communists, leaving the advocates of ‘individual will’ in an increasingly uncertain minority. With the exception of Rocker's organizing of East End Jewish sweatshop workers along anarcho-syndicalist lines, however, the communists were themselves shut out of the enfeebled British trade union movement and the reformist late-Victorian socialist revival (embodied by the Independent Labour Party and, to a lesser extent, by the SDF). Consequently, the anarchist movement in Britain had, as a whole, become ‘very dull and sluggish’ by the end of 1895.
Although there is no indication that British police knew anything about – or were even interested in – the ongoing ontological crisis of emigre anarchism, they must have nonetheless perceived and welcomed the change of pace it gradually brought about. Special Branch had just been strengthened by the addition of four constables to ‘meet the emergency’ which 1894 had seemed to promise, but a couple of months into the new year, the only cases Melville and his men had to work on involved only the quiet shadowing of recent arrivals, usually on behalf of foreign governments.
Such missions were not, in fact, entirely legitimate, despite being tacitly condoned by the Home Secretary. Just how tacitly is revealed by the reaction of Harry Butler Simpson, a Home Office clerk, to the 1897 request by Spanish authorities for information on the movements of a Cuban revolutionary exiled in Britain.
ABSTRACT. This chapter focuses on the analysis of the ports of the island of Tenerife following the conquest of the island by the Crown of Castile. The different port enclaves and their trajectory throughout the first half of the fifteenth century are examined, with particular attention to two key aspects of port operation: infrastructures and the different tasks performed in them.
The culmination of the conquest of the island of Tenerife in 1496 concluded the process of European territorial dominion of the Canary Islands, with the incorporation of this island under the royal jurisdiction of the Crown of Castile. At the time, before the impact of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas was fully felt, the archipelago already held an essential strategic position in the maritime traffic of the south Atlantic, the ‘Atlantic Mediterranean’, as described in maritime historiography. In this context of the inception of colonisation, the insular port system developed from very early on to become a space offering essential connections to the exterior, both in import and export processes; it was also crucial for the military provision of fleets frequenting the African coastline, and to the consolidation of the American route. In the following decades, with the exponential and rapid growth of maritime traffic between Europe, Africa and America, the islands further consolidated their geostrategic significance, to become an essential enclave within this tricontinental navigation.
Being an island territory, all connections, those of Tenerife in particular, and of the other islands in general, were done by sea. In this sense, it is important to underline that during those initial stages, port infrastructures were part of a much wider set of infrastructures of all sorts; these had to be put in place if the islands were to be inhabited and exploited to European socioeconomic standards. This makes the Canarian case an exceptional model for analysis, where, rather than witnessing a gradual process of maritimisation, the crucial importance of maritime communications for the whole territory suggests privileged investments and interventions in those spaces. However, as we shall see in the following pages, throughout the sixteenth century, interisland, intra-island and exterior maritime traffic developed under deficient material conditions.
DESPITE his dismissal of Monro's concerns about the legal limits of police action, the Commissioner was himself in a legal conundrum in late 1888. As he explained to Ruggles-Brise on 4 October:
I am quite prepared to take the responsibility of adopting the most drastic or arbitrary measures that the S[ecretary] of S[tate] can name wh[ich] w[oul]d further the securing of the murderer however illegal they may be, provided Hm. Govt will support me… All I want to ensure is that the Govt will indemnify us for our action wh[ich] must necessarily be adopted to the circ[umstance]s of the case.
Three weeks ago I do not think the public would have acquiesced in any illegal action but now I think they would welcome anything which shows activity [and] enterprise. Of course the danger… is that if we did not find the murderer our action would be condemned & there is the danger that an illegal act… might bond the Social Democrats together to resist the Police & it might be then be said to have caused a serious riot… [Houses] could not be searched illegally without violent resistance & bloodshed & the certainty of one or more Police officers being killed… We have in times past done something on a very small scale but then we had certain information that a person was concealed in a house. In this matter I have not only myself to think of but the lives & position of 12,000 men, any one of whom might be hanged if a death occurred in entering a house illegally.
What specific past case(s) Warren was referring to we do not know, but all the same this letter tells us several important things: firstly, that illegal house searches had been undertaken by Metropolitan Police officers in the past; secondly, that Warren still feared ‘the mob’ and its socialist instigators; thirdly, that Warren's relationship with the Home Secretary had not necessarily improved following Monro's departure; and fourthly, that ‘the murderer’ – known to the public only by a macabre letter received by the Central News Agency on 27 September signed ‘Jack the Ripper’ – was increasingly making a mockery of the police's ability to combat violent crime in London.
ABSTRACT. This chapter aims to identify and analyse the logistics of slave trade from the northern Portuguese seaports in the early modern period. This is a generally unknown topic in Portuguese and European historiographies, which for a long time focused exclusively on the major ports such as Lisbon or Seville. However, when looking at the early modern port traffic on the northern Portuguese coast, the slave trade was one of the main ventures of commercial and mercantile agents and triggered new and potent port dynamics. Analysis of a set of ships chartered from Porto, Viana and Vila do Conde, and numerous mercantile contracts between merchants and shipowners – from the mid-sixteenth century onwards – allows us to identify the operative logistics and the participants in this complex process. From cargo handling to the fitting of the ships, and from mercantile societies to financial investments, we can uncover a complex and widely spread practice related to the slave trade in these Portuguese seaports, proving that the slave trade depended on many more agents and connections than those studied hitherto by historians.
On 8 February 1526, after a troubled six-month voyage, the ship Conceição arrived in São Tomé. On board, in deplorable conditions, it carried 466 slaves bought on behalf of the island's contractors in the Kingdom of Congo. En route, eighty-nine were buried at sea, victims of illness, hunger, accidents and the ultimate and desperate means to avoid captivity: suicide.
In a less dramatic tone, this chapter deals with the same topic: the Atlantic Slave Trade. I will analyse a slightly later chronology, the second half of the sixteenth century, and approach the subject from a different perspective: the ports of northern Portugal and their participation in this business, one of the most conspicuous in the history of the early modern era. The main objective is to identify, describe and analyse the slave-trade logistics mobilised by these ports.
This topic remains generally untapped in Portuguese and European historiography, which for a long time has concentrated exclusively on major ports such as Lisbon or Seville. However, when looking at port traffic of the early modern period on the northern coast of Portugal, the slave trade was one of the major business pursuits and became the driving force behind the vigorous new port dynamics.
JENKINSON's move to the Home Office did not remain a secret for long, soon becoming fodder for editorials on both sides of the Irish Sea. The staunchly Nationalist Freeman's Journal, for example, noted gleefully that ‘the peaceful serenity [of] Scotland Yard officialdom… has been rudely dispelled by… Mr. Jenkinson [who] is daily expected to promulgate a scheme for the reorganisation of the detective department, and [who]… has been practically allowed a carte blanche in its preparation.’ Pulling no punches in ridiculing this apparent ministerial folly, the paper depicted Harcourt as a hysterical weakling and Jenkinson as an insidious errand boy eager to prey on his paymaster's paranoia in the pursuit of personal profit. For British newspapers, however, the picture was somewhat more complicated.
The Liberal Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper tacitly approved of Jenkinson's appointment as ‘a sort of Minister of Police under the Home Office’, but was somewhat wary of the exclusively political nature of his office, asking wryly why ‘the ordinary citizen [could not] also claim the benefit of his services’ given that Scotland Yard ‘has not failed more conspicuously in attacking political than in trying to capture ordinary criminals’. That unease was more forcefully stated by the Conservative Standard which, while granting that ‘current arrangements [in combating politically motivated crime] are far from satisfactory’, depicted the new appointment as a betrayal of the Metropolitan Police. Mr Jenkinson had ‘done good service in Ireland’, but his presence at the Home Office would only weaken the ‘authority of the Chief Commissioner’ and further antagonize the provinces where ‘already the authority exercised by the Home Office in Police matters is regarded… with considerable jealousy’.
If such comments appeared, to some degree, to echo those of Jenkinson‘s critics in Whitehall (Anderson especially) it is because they were almost certainly based on controlled leaks, as the new ‘Minister of Police’ himself believed. Writing to Spencer only a day after the publication of the Standard piece, Jenkinson warned that newspaper chatter could go a considerable way towards harming the vital secrecy on which his new duties depended, railing at the same time against the inability of Scotland Yard men to ‘hold their tongues’.
Nearly fifty years ago, Herman Van Der Wee and Theo Peeters presented the concentration of much of the economic activity in a small number of ports as one of the explanations for the crisis of the late Middle Ages. Since then, historiography has not paid due attention to the efforts of port societies to build strong port infrastructures and improve port services, these efforts being some of the most important factors for the revitalisation of the European economy from the mid-fifteenth century onwards. This volume offers such material: transport and port infrastructures, cargo handling, labour groups and port services help us understand the reasons for their success.
From Antiquity, cities have emerged along the littoral, with few regions in the world ever being totally self-sufficient. As the Latin name portus reveals, these are gateways from the sea to land allowing for the flow of merchandise, people, knowledge and, also, disease and violence. The benefits – and drawbacks – derived thereof were numerous. With seaborne traffic being much faster and more direct than overland transport, the main benefit was the supply of commodities to the population. During Antiquity, the proximity of the sea to a city did have adverse consequences. As Plato describes in his Laws dialogue, cities should be located at a distance of 80 stadia from the sea to counteract the inherent dangers of maritime cities, namely the influence of foreign customs, the drive for gain and profit, corruption and the inclination for travelling and venturing overseas:
although there is sweetness in its proximity for the uses of daily life; for by filling the markets of the city with foreign merchandise and retail trading, and breeding in men's souls knavish and tricky ways, it renders the city faithless and loveless, not to itself only, but to the rest of the world as well. (Laws 705a)
In his Politics, Aristotle does not hold such a negative view of port cities. In his view, ports of transit are necessary for subsistence, commercial and military purposes; he does, however, oppose the development of a city into an emporium.
WHAT Anderson had described as the ‘long and complicated inquiry’ into the Jubilee Plot finally ended on 18 November 1887 when Thomas Callan (alias Thomas Scott) was picked up in Goswell Road by a City Police sergeant as the former was coming out of a barbershop. Subsequent enquiries indicated that Callan, the last of Harkins’ known associates, had been trying for some time to cut loose from the whole operation, but his failure to dispose of nearly twenty-seven pounds of dynamite ended up sealing his – as well as Harkins's – fate. Within a few days of Callan's arrest both men had been charged with conspiracy ‘to endanger life or cause serious injury to property’ and, after a lengthy and highly publicized trial, were sentenced to fifteen years each.
Despite this apparent success, the year 1887 saw the Metropolitan Police descend into its worst crisis in more than a generation. The first real cracks appeared during the summer of 1887 when Home Secretary Matthews and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Warren found themselves at the heart of two quite separate scandals, one involving the wrongful arrest of a young seamstress for prostitution, the other the execution for murder of a possibly innocent East End salesman. Neither arguably did any widespread damage to the police's reputation, but in the fallout both the Home Secretary and the Commissioner had become legitimate opposition targets where they had previously been promising agents of change or at least honourable servants of Her Majesty's Government. Even to the moderately Liberal Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper it was now ‘becoming only too evident that under the new regime of… Mr. Matthews and Sir Charles Warren… the Metropolitan Police force is degenerating’.
Such fears were only dramatically confirmed later in the year thanks to a resurgent militancy among London's socialist and radical organizations, several of which now vied to reclaim Trafalgar Square, the site of several consequential demonstrations during the Reform agitation of the 1860s, as the unofficial headquarters of London radicalism. Besides its symbolic value, the square was also increasingly important as a refuge for many of the capital's unemployed and homeless, who, for militant socialists like John Burns and Henry Hyndman, constituted an ideal reserve army for the upcoming revolution.
BY the time Robert Anderson wrote his ‘straining the law’ memo in 1898, extra-legality had already been long established as a defining feature of British political policing, as several official documents attest. Thus, as early as 1881, following a police raid on Johann Most's printing shop in the wake of his arrest for incitement to murder, the Director of Public Prosecutions, A. K. Stephenson, candidly observed in a memo to the Home Office how ‘the police often necessarily in the proper discharge of their duties commit acts which are said to be illegal, inasmuch as there may be no statutable authority for such acts’.
As we have seen, extra-legal practices continued throughout the 1880s, becoming firmly established during Edward Jenkinson's tenure as (unofficial) chief spymaster at the Home Office. Jenkinson took charge of an intricate network of informers stretching on both sides of the Atlantic, using it to upset the activities of the Clan na Gael and other American Fenian organizations. On several occasions, this more than likely involved the use of agents provocateurs (Red Jim McDermott, Daniel O’Neill), arguably without the full knowledge of the Home Office or Scotland Yard, but with the cooperation of RIC and provincial police chiefs (the help lent by Chief Constable Joseph Farndale in the 1884 arrests of John Daly and James Egan being a case in point). The rivalries generated within the political police hierarchy, partly by Jenkinson's style and personality, led to the latter's downfall and the abandonment of his particular model of intelligence gathering, but not to the abandonment of extra-legality.
As the events surrounding the abortive Jubilee Plot of 1887 and the Bloody Sunday riot of the same year show, the willingness of Jenkinson's former rivals to act in an extra-legal manner – whether by colluding with Fenian conspirators in order to avoid the public airing of ‘embarrassing’ information or by unilaterally curtailing rights of assembly and free speech – was beyond doubt. Such methods were also at play in less extraordinary cases, as attested by Charles Warren's admission in late 1888 that ‘we have in times past done something [i.e. illegal house raids] on a very small scale but then we had certain information that a person was concealed in a house’.
ABSTRACT. This chapter aims to describe the degree of development of the western Cantabrian ports (Galicia and Asturias) through their port activities (loading and unloading) and their infrastructures. Extant historical sources deliver a very modest image, with exceptions, of these small port ‘cities’ in the Cantabrian northwest coast, as a minor microcosm striving for survival through fishing activities. As a direct effect of these limitations, the ports had simple infrastructures more in keeping with small berths and fisheries than with the large and middling ports of the European Atlantic. This discreet economic activity was mirrored in the modest trade associations that the people of the sea established in their places of origin. At the same time, however, those ‘harvesters of the sea’ activated local economies through a common effort that even today upholds the very evident bonds of solidarity in Galician and Asturian maritime communities.
Asturias and Galicia in the Medieval Atlantic Koiné: The Organisation of the Northwestern Cantabrian Port Space
Historiography has long addressed the study of small port towns in the northern Peninsula and their impact on local economies on account of documentary evidence of their economic influence in the late Middle Ages. All evidence appears to verify the leading role of these minor northern ports in the maritime development of the Cantabrian façade from their foundation in the mid-thirteenth century. The foundational text, Las polas asturianas en la Edad Media, published in 1981, was the first serious methodological attempt to consider not just coastal communities but also the medieval Asturian urban phenomenon as a whole. In the wake of this work, several revised analyses of the new coastal towns, both general and based on specific case studies, have endeavoured to gradually build a fuller historiographical survey; however, even today, rigorous research and comparative proposals for many Asturian towns is lacking, leaving a wide and untouched field of study.
Hence, at least in the Asturian case, the present historiographical challenge involves the reinterpretation of an old historiographic theme in the light of new sources, the confirmation of hypotheses, the reconsideration of hitherto confirmed certainties, and the formulation of new inquiries, such as the type of contacts established between the different port towns, the economic consequences of such exchanges, the characteristic traits of the societies that generated them, the creation of regional networks, the hierarchy of ports and their possible function as ports of call on the Atlantic trade corridor.
THE intense personal rivalries that had put the political police in permanent crisis mode throughout the 1880s did not continue unabated into the following decade. Robert Anderson and Edward Bradford remained comfortably secure and unchallenged as head of CID and Commissioner respectively. Lushington went on as Permanent Under-Secretary (retiring in 1895), while Henry Matthews briefly stayed on as Home Secretary until 1892 when he was replaced by the Liberal H. H. Asquith – a man who, much like the previous Liberal Home Secretary, Hugh Childers, had no great interest in matters of policing subversion.
Subversion meant something altogether different during the 1890s. Although dynamite outrages continued to occasionally disturb the peace of Irish cities (Dublin in particular), in Britain insurgent Fenianism was more of a theoretical concern – a reality illustrated by the fact that Irish Branch, reduced to a clerical section of the CID, was increasingly threatened with extinction. If its detectives were going to detect they had to act through the all-purpose Section D headed by Chief Inspector John Littlechild. Though still the ‘brilliant and distinguished’ head of the ‘political crime department’ as far as everyone was concerned, Littlechild was, unbeknownst to his superiors, thinking of taking his talents into the private sector. The political police apparatus – still grounded in gentlemen's agreements and shrouded in extra-legality – was once again ready for a strong-willed and opinionated administrator to bend it to his will.
The new perceived threat to national security was not a movement which aimed specifically at striking the British state, as Fenianism had professed to, but it was a movement nonetheless and it declared itself inveterately opposed to all states everywhere. In Britain it was overwhelmingly made up of exiled revolutionary socialists – or anarchists as some preferred to style themselves – who were opposed, on libertarian grounds, to the state-driven political revolution of Marx and his followers as well as to the gradualist reformism of non-Marxist socialists. They came from Western European countries like Italy, France or Spain where strikes and workers’ demonstrations, insofar as they were allowed at all, often ended in bloodshed thanks to heavy-handed interventions by police and the military.
ABSTRACT. Commercial relations in the Portuguese northern border has been a fruitful subject in Portuguese and Spanish historiography. A common background concerning natural landscape, population mobility and sharing of resources – the sea and the river – connected both margins of the Minho river and moulded their stories and people. On this matter, we know a lot about product circulation – the importance of salt, wine, fish or textile routes – the seasonality of migrations around labour offers, or the sharing of neighbourhood privileges in each other's towns. However, in what concerns the logistics of transport and shipping, as the operations concerning loading and unloading, there is a lot of work to be done. This chapter aims to approach transport and shipping operations in the Portuguese northern border in the sixteenth century, setting the focus on the seaport of Caminha, and the relations established between border communities. The analysis is settled on detailed empirical work that uses different data sources, such as historical cartography, travel memories and descriptions, appeals to the Crown, customs house records and council minutes. The chapter will assess the following topics: maritime landscape, port infrastructures and navigation constraints; navigation and trade circuits, considering competitive and cooperative behaviour between border communities; and customs and port administration.
A border has the important purpose of creating relationships, allowing territories and communities to establish contact with their neighbours. It defines their interactions of rivalry, exchange or cooperation. Commercial relations along the northern border of Portugal have been a fruitful subject for Portuguese and Spanish historiography. A common setting including the physical environment, the mobility of the population, and shared resources – the sea and the river – connected both margins of the river Minho, shaping their history and people.
Much is known of the circulation of products – the importance of salt, wine, fish, or textile routes – the seasonality of migrations following employment opportunities, or the shared local privileges between towns. There remains, however, much untapped potential for the research of shipping logistics such as cargo handling operations. This chapter aims to approach transport and shipping operations in the Portuguese northern border during the sixteenth century, centred on the seaport of Caminha, and the relations established between border communities.
ABSTRACT. Like all territories, ports must be legally defined, in one way or another. In the Middle Ages, as the sites of multiple human activities, port spaces were governed and supervised by public authorities. The safety of port users and their property, the soundness of the economic activities that took place there, the tax revenue they generated, and respect for the authority of their owners were at stake. Most of the time, and in a very ordinary way, seigneurial, municipal, princely or royal officers were supposed to resolve issues of harbour policing, taxation and security. This raises the question of what fell under the jurisdictions these actors were responsible for, how they overlapped, and the extent to which they covered the port territory.
What did the concept of a port territory cover in the Middle Ages? The etymologies of the terms most commonly used at the time to describe a port territory – namely, ‘port’ and ‘harbour’ – allude to the two main purposes that these facilities were expected to fulfil: allowing for the transport of men and their goods, and harbouring fishing vessels and merchant ships. In other words, a port territory could serve as a refuge and a berth space, a hub for the circulation of people and goods, a boarding point for passengers, a shipbuilding and ship repair area, an enclosed space housing naval weaponry workshops, and a tax collecting site. This variety of purposes led to a great disparity in port layouts and amenities: from simple beaching areas to ‘port-channels’ and rudimentarily equipped ports, to complex harbours with multiple basins, stone docks, defence systems, jetties, lighthouses, locks, cranes, etc., and corresponding regulations.
Both materially and spatially, port territories seem to have been rather poorly circumscribed. Ports were territories quite distinct from cities, and the latter sought to protect themselves from the former, since ports constituted entry points for invasion threats. Most often, a port included both a sea basin and a fringe of land of varying width, but sometimes it was merely a body of water, a section of river, or an anchorage near shore. Apart from enclosed ports, which were the exception at the time, ports were only roughly demarcated, most likely by means of a few natural or man-made landmarks.