• Policing and Public Houses in Newfoundland

    Keith Mercer In the fall of 1807, the Royal Gazette listed the public houses licensed to operate in St. John’s for the coming year. Most of these 33 taverns catered to the business district around the waterfront, attracting patrons with drink, music, and vice, but also colourful signs such as Agincourt, Jolly Fisherman, Red Cow, and Nelson – likely named for Lord Nelson, after he fell at Trafalgar in 1805. The London Tavern, like the Ship… Continue Reading

  • Calling the Police before the Police in Newfoundland

    M. Max Hamon Rough Justice: Policing, Crime, and the Origins of the Newfoundland Constabulary, 1729-1871, by Keith Mercer (St. John’s: Flanker Press, 2021). Drawing out ambiguities of the “police before the police” is an excellent way to explore the past as a different country in the classroom. For instance, a great hook to tell students… Continue Reading