Mr Richard Ireland MA Oxon, LLM London

Mr Richard Ireland

Senior Lecturer

Contact Details

Additional Information

  • Member of the Committee of the Welsh Legal History Society.
  • Has delivered the Hugh Alan McLean Lecture in Canada, the Dodderidge Lecture at the Bracton Centre for Legal History Research in the University of Exeter Law School, and the Inaugural Youard Lecture on Welsh Legal and Social History.
  • Maintains the Welsh Legal History Society website:


Module Coordinator
Additional Tutor

Postgraduate Supervision

Recent theses (Ph.D. and M.Phil) supervised have included historical investigations into the Community Service Order, the development of Income Tax procedures, the Poor Law, provision for lunatics, the Penitentiary Act 1779, the inter-relation of law and literature in the eighteenth century and Chinese Copyright Law.


These principally relate to aspects of Legal History and in particular to the history of crime and the criminal justice system. He is a co-author of Imprisonment in England and Wales: A Concise History. His book A Want of Order and Good Discipline: Rules, Discretion and the Victorian Prison was published in 2007 and he co-edited, in two volumes, an edition of The Carmarthen Gaoler's Journal 1845-50, in 2010. His work relates the study of law and legal institutions to wider cultural developments and other cultural forms of expression. He has written articles, for example, on the impact of technological change on perceptions of criminality - investigating such developments as the growth of railways and of photography in the nineteenth century from this perspective. He has also written articles on the representation of law in the literature of Chaucer and in paintings both from the middle ages and the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A wide range of different material - philosophical, anthropological, psychological - is evident too in his co-authorship with Chris Harding of Punishment: Rhetoric Rule and Practice. He has also edited a collection of papers from the 15th British Legal History Conference, held at Aberystwyth, under the title Legal Cultures, Legal Doctrine and one relating to the centenary of the Department ("A Serious Undertaking"). His forthcoming works include is a history of crime and punishment in Wales, and a Chapter on the Law for a collection of essays on Chaucer.



Ireland, R. 2017. "A Nonconformist must be Chief Constable": The Historical Challenges of Policing Wales. In K. Stevenson., D. J. Cox., I. Channing. (eds) Leading the Police: Chief constables and their autonomy 1835-2016. Routledge SOLON Explorations in Crime and Criminal Justice Histories 1st edn, Taylor & Francis pp. 109-124.

Ireland, R. 2017. Wales, Crime and Punishment. In J. Turner., P. Taylor., S. Morley., K. Corteen. (eds) A Companion to the History of Crime and Criminal Justice. Policy Press pp. 275. Cadair

Ireland, R. 2017 (In press). The Law. In I. Johnson. (ed) Chaucer In Context. Cambridge University Press Cadair


Ireland, R. 2015. Land of White Gloves?: A History of Crime and Punishment in Wales. History of Crime in the UK and Ireland Taylor & Francis Cadair

Ireland, R. 2015. Why Everything We Know About Criminal Justice History Is Wrong. Law Crime and History 5 (1) pp. 130-142. Other Cadair

Ireland, R. 2015. Ivor Bowen The Statutes of Wales (1908). Gwasg y Gors | The Bog Press Cadair


Ireland, R. 2013. Criminology, Class and Cricket: Raffles and Real Life. Legal Studies 33 (1) pp. 66-84. 10.1111/j.1748-121X.2012.00237.x Cadair


Ireland, R. 2012. Sanctity, Superstition and the Death of Sarah Jacob. In A. Musson., C. Stebbings. (eds) Making Legal History: Approaches and Methodology. Cambridge University Press pp. 284-302. Cadair


Ireland, R. 2011. How Common was the Common Law? Other Other Cadair


Ireland, R. 2010. The Carmarthen Gaoler's Journal 1845-50 (2 vols). Welsh Legal History Society Publications Cymdeithas Hanes Cyfraith Cymru Cadair

Ireland, R., Callaghan, N. 2010. Welsh Legal History Society: Research and Resources. Other Cadair


Ireland, R. 2008. A Second Ireland? Crime and popular culture in nineteenth-century Wales. In R. McMahon. (ed) Crime, Law and Popular Culture in Europe 1500-1900. pp. 239-261. Cadair


Ireland, R. 2007. A Want of Order and Good Discipline: Rules, Discretion and the Victorian Prison. Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru | University of Wales Press Cadair


Ireland, R.W. 2005. 'Charles Hunt's haircut: getting down to the roots of a legal adventure'. In P. Brand., K. Costello., W. Osborough. (eds) Adventures of the Law: Proceedings of the Sixteenth British Legal History Conference. Four Courts Press, Dublin pp. 219-233. Cadair


Ireland, R. 2003. John Austin, H. L. A. Hart... Oh, And W. Jethro Brown! Cambrian Law Review pp. 57-69. Cadair


Ireland, R. 2002. The Felon and the Angel Copier: Criminal Identity and the Promise of Photography in Victorian England and Wales. Policing and War in Europe. Criminal Justice History Greenwood Publishing Group pp. 53-86. Cadair

Ireland, R. 2002. Law in action, law in books: the practicality of medieval theft law. Continuity and Change 17 (3) pp. 309-331. 10.1017/S0268416003004417 Cadair Other


Ireland, R. 2001. Putting Oneself on whose Country: Carmarthenshire Juries in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. Legal Wales: its past, its future: essays dedicated to Professor Dafydd Jenkins on his ninetieth birthday. Cymdeithas Hanes Cyfraith Cymru pp. 63-87. Cadair


Ireland, R. 1999. Howard and the Paparazzi: Painting Penal Reform in the Eighteenth Century. Art Antiquity and Law 4 (1) pp. 55-62. Cadair Other


Ireland, R.W. 1997. 'An increasing mass of heathens in the bosom of a Christian land': the railway and crime in the nineteenth century. Continuity and Change 12 (1) pp. 55-78. Other Cadair


Williams, J., Harding, C., Ireland, R. 1988. Legal Education: Outreach to the Professions and the Community. Law Librarian 19 (1) pp. 27. Cadair


Ireland, R. 1987. Medicine, Necromancy and the Law: Aspects of Medieveal Poisoning. Cambrian Law Review 18 (52) pp. 52-61. Cadair Other


Ireland, R. 1980. First Catch Your Toad: Medieval Attitudes to Ordeal and Battle. Cambrian Law Review 2 pp. 50-61. Cadair Other