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CaP Medieval

Crime and Punishment (Medieval)

Date? 1250-1500
Two types of crime? Petty (Minor Crime), Felonies (Major Crime)
Examples of Felonies Homicide, theft (over 12d), Treason, Rape
Examples of Petty Crime Theft (under 12d), Assault, Missing Church, Homosexuality
Most Common Crime? Why? Theft. Needed to steal supplies to survive
Changes to crime during this period? Black Death (1348), half population died, society breaks down, more crime.
Any More? War of the Roses (15th C.), civil war, nobles have private armies lots of violent crime
New Crimes Vagrancy (following the black death) homeless people begging Scolding (1350)
Who is at top of the enforcement chain? King = in charge of keeping "King's Peace". CHANGE = Edward I, improved law + order, Statute of Winchester (SoW) 1285. Weak King (e.g Henry VI) = poor law + order
Who is second in the enforcement chain? Sheriff = in charge of county, important nobles, no pay, got status, cut of fines and land from convicted murders in their county
Who is third in the enforcement chain? Chief Constables of the Hundred = Rich farmers, selected each year, no pay, KEY RESPONSIBILITY, made sure men were ready to fight (15-60)
Who is the fourth in the enforcement chain? Parish Constables = Chosen once a year, someone respected, arrested suspicious people, KEY RESPONSIBILITY archery practice every Sunday
Who is at the bottom of the enforcement chain? The People = If see crime, raise hue and cry, try and catch criminal. If don't village gets huge fine
What was the highest court? Royal courts. Most serious crimes (e.g. treason) or important offenders. Have juries. CHANGE: Ed I (SoW), courts go to the counties, now called assizes
Who are the JPs? KEY CHANGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Replace the sheriff courts. Dealt with serious crimes (bit less than royal courts), held 4 times a year (1388) quarter sessions
What comes below the quarter sessions? Manor courts. Dealt with majority of the crimes (petty crimes). Some variation in local laws. CHANGE: basically gone by 1500
What comes below the manor courts? Church Courts. Dealt with moral crimes, or if the criminal was a member of the clergy. No juries. Less harsh punishments
What were the juries like? People who KNEW the criminal. Would have very little evidence to work with. Trails lasted about 20 mins. More likely to LET THEM OFF than convict them, except for treason
What were the town courts called? Borough courts - courts run by towns. Ed I (SoW). All towns had to have watchmen, raise hue and cry, arrest suspicious strangers
What are the four types of punishment? Public Humiliation, Capital Punishments, imprisonment and fines
Examples of public humiliation. Cucking/Ducking Stool, Stocks, Pillory, Public Confessions
Examples of capital punishments. Hanging (most common), Hung Drawn and Quartered (Treason and Counterfeiting). 80% of hangings were for serious theft. Burned alive for heresy. At Sandwich buried alive (local variation)
Example of fines Not raising the hue and cry, gambling, money goes to court/king
What's imprisonment like? Have to pay for food and bedding, begged outside prisons, unhygienic, rich were kept in nice places as they could afford it.
How can you avoid punishments? Money - bribe king, judge, jury. Get pregnant. Seek sanctuary in church,'adjure the realm' (leave country forever). Claim benefit of the clergy, be (or pretend to be) a priest, punished in church courts instead.
Created by: MattTheBoiInit
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