It is important to stress that participation in scuttling affrays was not universal among young working-class males, even in those areas where the gangs were strongest.
In order to develop a more detailed analysis of scuttling affrays in relation to masculine notions of honour and reputation, I now propose to examine a series of cases involving John Joseph Hillyar, a leading Salford scuttler during the 1890s.
76) By the time he was aged seventeen, Hillyar was well-known to the members of rival gangs, and a third case shows how youths with prominent reputations were singled out by the members of opposing gangs during affrays.
Moreover, it is equally plausible that prosecutions were viewed as an alternative means of revenge for scuttlers who had been worsted in affrays.
Considerable peer-group prestige was at stake in scuttling affrays, and feuds between rival gangs generated a momentum of their own as gang members sought to avenge defeats and thus to salvage their honour.