For example, in Thomas Flanagan's The Year of the French, Ferdy O'Donnell says, "And they stood you before the magistrates like a spalpeen or a tinker." This context of the word spalpeen implies that spalpeens were viewed as the lowest in social class and were extremely ignorant and uneducated people. Another example from The Year of the Frenchis when Sean Mackenna says, "Sure the French wouldn't bring with them barrels of coppers for the spalpeens of Connaught. It is murder and bloodshed they would bring." This quote implies that spalpeens were a very disrespected group and their actions were held to the very lowest of standards.
Swinging London; Crime in the 18th century.('The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century')(Book Review)
May 10, 2003; THERE is a tendency to regard public hangings in the 18th century as some kind of carnival. The handsome highwayman goes cheerily...