How did attitudes to crime and punishment change in later Middle Ages?

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  • How did attitudes to crime and punishment change in later Middle ages?
    • The Assize of Claredon
      • 1166. the courts were re-organised.
      • Prisons were set up for those who were accused and waiting for trial.
    • Justices in Eyre
      • Henry II ordered royal judges to visit each country twice a year to hear the most serious criminal cases.
      • Increased the role of the king in legal matters
      • Stronger centralised control over the court system.
      • whole country was becoming more uniform
    • Government appointed officials
      • more centralised approach was needed to control crime, role of government began to increase
      • similar law enforcement methods began to be used across different areas
      • older approaches remained in use too
    • Constables
      • less serious crimes (elements of old Anglo-Saxon practices continued at a local level)
      • local officials = tythingmen were known as constables in the Anglo-Saxon times
    • The Statue of Labourers
      • it was a crime to ask for higher wages
      • Plague (1/3 of workers died)
      • more peasants could demand higher wages
      • ruling classes wanted to protect their wealth
      • law introduced a maximum wage for workers
        • passed by parliament in 1951
      • illegal to move to another job to get a better pay
      • Change: later Medieval period, more laws were being made and passed
      • Continuity: ruling class also introduced laws to protect their own interests at the expense of peasants
    • Coroners
      • King Richard I introduced coroners to deal with situations where there was a suspicious death (1194)
    • Justices of the Peace
      • all men judged to be 'good or lawful' were appointed to the role
      • Met four time a year to carry out their magistrate duties and enforce law.


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