Cheap print, crime and information in early modern London: The Life and Death of Griffin Flood

Mark Jenner, Lena Liapi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article centres on the pamphlet The Life and Death of Griffin
Flood informer (1623), which tells the career and execution through
pressing of an informer and murderer working in early modern
London. It outlines what archival research reveals about this figure,
and thereby re-examines how far crime pamphlets were rooted in
social actuality. Secondly, it shows that The Life and Death does not
follow what historians have identified as the conventions of rogue
literature and murder pamphlets, and that scholars’ treatment of
cheap print has often overlooked its generic instability and inconsistency
of tone. Finally, it highlights how the representation of
Flood’s career as an informer casts new light on attitudes towards
non-citizens within early modern London. The article concludes by
arguing that The Life and Death (and many similar pamphlets)
invoked communitarian understandings of justice, and emphasized
neighbourliness, social peace, and charity, rather than the themes
of redemption and divine retribution.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalThe Seventeenth Century
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Author(s)


  • Crime; early modern London; informers; pamphlets; print culture; neighbourliness

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