Publication Date



This chapter examines the role of changing policing arrangements in Scottish burghs in projecting ideas of governing masculinity between c. 1780 to 1850. It explores how ideas about the relationship between masculinity and governance shaped policing structures institutionally and in practice. It thus examines how the authority of police was expressed through understandings of male behaviour, how far the notion of the governing man that underpinned the old system was reflected in the new, and how the relationship between governance and gender was understood by those responsible for policing. We explore these issues by looking at three main areas: which men were considered ‘fit and proper’ to hold authority in police administration and to represent others, civic expectations of male householders as men in control of themselves and others, and the moral and physical attributes of manliness embodied in the ideal police officer.


Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences

Document Type

Book Chapter

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.