Crime and punishment unit 2 : crimes

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  • Created on: 25-02-20 16:37

Heresy and treason.

Heresy was seen as a crime against the church and an offence to God.

Heretics were seen as danger to others as they may persuade other to follow them.

Treason was a challenge to the authority of the ruler.It became connected with heresy because after Henry VIII monarchs were head of the C of E.

Whoever challenged the rulers authority as head of C of E would be guilty of treason.

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Burning at the stake.

Heretics were punished by being burnt.

The person executed was tied to a wooden post whilse being lit on fire.

Death was caused by breathing in fumes from fire or the shock to the body caused by the burns.


Henry VIII - 81 executions for heresy

Edward VI - 2 executions for heresy

Mary I - 283 executions for heresy.

Elizabeth I - 5 executions for heresy.

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After 1500 the growing population,falling wages and rising food prices meant that greater numbers of people left villages in search of jobs.

Unemployed and homeless people were known as vagabonds or vagrants.

The better off population began to see all vagabonds as potential criminals.

Vagabonds were lazy is what people thought.

The vagrancy act 1547 says if a vagabond is without work for more than three days they were to be branded with a V ,and sold as a slave for 2 years.

The 1597 act for relief to the poor included punishments like whipping and burning the ear using a hot iron.

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In this time most people belived that witchcraft existed and that they could do harm to others.

They should be stopped and or punished.

Punishments became harder during this period as new laws saying that those accused of withcraft would be tried in ordinary courts.

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Controlling the land-Rural crimes.

Large areas of land which the poor had previously been able to access were enclosed.

The new enclosed land was to graze sheep whose fleeces could be sold for good profit.

Enclosure made it harder for village people to survuve .

Local people tried to resist the enclosures by pulling down new fences and hedges.

Poaching is an example of a social crime.

The new anti poaching law made criminal activity worse as men got together and poached in gangs making it harder for the authorities to catch them.

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The rise of smuggling

In the 17th century the government introduced import duties.

This meant there was profit available to those who wanted to smuggle good into the country and avoid import duties.

Smuggling is another example of a law that was difficult to enforce as many people benefitted from the crime and did not view it as serious.

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Puritan rule

After parliaments victory of english civil war Oliver Cromwell tok the title lord protector.

He governed england from 1652 to his death.

During this period some activites and entertainmetns were made illegal.

This is an example of how government can have a central role in deciding what is classed as a crime.

The bans were lifted in 1660 when the monarchy was restored.

Cromwell thought people chould focus on religion and pray for pure souls.

This affected laws passed by the parliament.

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