Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Britain

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  • EARLY MODERN BRITAIN CRIME AND PUNISHMENT 1500-1750
    • CRIMES
      • Heresy - going against the religion of the monarch
        • Gunpowder plot 1605
      • Witchcraft
      • Vagrancy - homelessness
      • Petty theft
      • Violent crimes were a small minority of cases
      • Smuggling
      • Poaching
      • Highway robbery
      • Drinking and not going to church
      • Riot and rebellion
      • Crimes against property = 74%
      • FACTORS EFFECTING CRIME
        • Population growth
        • Increased wealth and poverty
        • Religious ideas
        • Increased travel
        • Taxation
        • Landowner's attitudes
        • Invention of printing
        • Political change
    • PUNISHMENT
      • Pillory - cheating at cards, selling underweight or rotten goods, persistent swearing
      • Stocks - those who could not afford to pay fines
      • Ducking stool - punish women who gossiped or disobeyed their husbands
      • Carting (paraded in the streets) - vagrancy, adultery or running a brothel
      • Whipping (publicly) - vagrants, petty thieves, drunkards and those who didn't attend church
      • Fines - minor offences such as swearing and gambling
      • Prisons - largely for debtors
      • Bridewell /House of Correction - punish and reform offenders vagrants, unmarried mothers & runaway apprentices
    • POLICING
      • NO POLICE FORCE
      • Hue and cry
      • Constables
      • Thief takers (1700s) - men who earned their living from the rewards they received for bringing criminals to justice

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