He exercised criminal jurisdiction in cases of incendiarism and offences committed against the law during the night, and in later times this jurisdiction was considerably extended.
He appears to have done his utmost to protect his Christian subjects, incurring thereby the reproaches of the more fanatical Moslems, especially in the year 1320 when owing to incendiarism in Cairo there was danger of a general massacre of the Christian population.
Discontent showed itself in pillage and incendiarism on country estates; between March and July 1789 more than three hundred agrarian riots took place, uprooting the feudal idea of property, already compromised by its own excesses.
After his release Wakefield seemed disposed for a while to turn his attention to social questions at home, and produced a tract on the Punishment of Death, with a terribly graphic picture of the condemned sermon in Newgate, and another on incendiarism in the rural districts, with an equally powerful exhibition of the degraded condition of the agricultural labourer.
In 64 he made himself notorious for the orgies arranged by him in the Basin of Agrippa, and was suspected of incendiarism in connexion with the great fire, which, after having subsided, broke out afresh in his Aemilian gardens.