'The Reckoning': disorderly women, informing constables and the Westminster justices, 1727-33.

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    • Abstract:
      The article presents an examination into the history of a social reform initiative in early 18th century Westminster, England which showcased a legal confrontation between a group of unpopular women and the authorities of the community. Details are given describing the efforts of the Society of the Reformation of Manners to address local "disorderly" women and their aggressive social resistance to the move. The specific cases of the sisters Mary Harvey and Isabella Eaton are highlighted, noting how they were targeted deliberately by the legal system as a means of social control and how their legal response to the action demonstrated their own community power.