1250 - 1500 : MEDIEVAL PERIOD CONTEXT ,CRIME, LAW.E, PUNISHMENT

  • Created by: kangaroo
  • Created on: 10-01-19 20:11

1250 - 1500 : CONTEXT

  • Chuch very powerful as an organisation

taught sinners go to hell, ----- people also belived in DIVINE RIGHT

  • Society (HIERARCHAL STRUCTURE): split into three categories - clergy, lords, peasants.

Clergy = religous officals, eg priess(conducted religous services) and archbishops

Lords = wealthy landowner

Peasants   = lived in the countryside, poor, usually farmers

  • heavy reliance upon land for food and work

Famine, War, Plague and Harvest failures = devastating impacts on food supplies = anger

  • people also illiterate and lived together in small communties = tension and arguments
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1250 - 1500 : CRIME

Crime depended on 3 things: CHURCH teachings, Reliance on LAND, STRUCTURE of society

  • 2 types of crime : felony (serious) and petty (small and insignificant)

crime rates NOT RECORDED, evidence gained from parish records

  • Felony = murder, suicide ,robbery and , AFTER 1275 - also **** and theft over 12d 

---After 1275, Edward I allowed death penalty for theft over 12d

Murder rates very high : due to ***** farming

Famine (harvets failures :1315-1316) led to anger, starvation and debt  = crimes

  • Vagrancy: rose after Black death (1348) - killed upto 3.5m - shortage of workers/jobs
  • Heresy : crime agianst church: lollards
  • Outlaw Gangs : people on run from law/punishment joined outlaw gangs in forest = thugs
  • 1351 Treason Act; crime against authority, eg, king country, husbands - and counterfeting
  • Crimes that abused authority : War Of Roses - 15c :1455-1485-  civilans forced to join in
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1250 - 1500 : LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • Overall, king incharge of keeping 'King`s Peace' - Statue of Winsdor 1285
  • Everyone in society had responsibilty of policing own area eg. HUE AND CRY
  • Sheriff = king schief law enforcer of each county = powerful lords = called posse if h/c failed
  • Parish Constable = in charge of villages = ensured :proper response to crime, also supplied armed men and weapons
  • Chief Constables of the Hundred = wealthy farmer =supervised law and order in own area
  • Watchmen= patrolled towns at night reported suspicous behaviour to constable in morning
  • Royal Courts : most serious crimes, overseen by judge, jury from criminal`s local area
  • Church Courts: dealt with religous crimes, overseen by priest. no jury
  • Borough Courts: in towns, similar to hundred courts, run by county sheriff 
  • Manor Courts: dealt with most crimes(inc. petty), run by lords, jury were wealthy villagers
  • County Assizes (1293): royal judges visited each county 2-3 times p.y for serious crimes
  • JP`s: took over hundred courts with quarter sessions (1388) - 4 times p.y
  • Jurors used own knowledge of criminals background,knew everything
  • Court lasted only 20mins - Judges often leniant 
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1250 - 1500 : PUNISHMENT

Petty CrimesFines, Public Humiliation and Prison 

  • FinesKing from hundred court, Lord from Manor courts, Mayors from Borough courts etc.
  • Public humilation: cucking stool (women accused of scolding), pillory/stocks(unlawful traders)
  • Prison: those awaiting trial or for debtors, forgers or false accusors
    • Gaolers, poor had to pay for basic needs, rich in luxury rooms in castles, poor were beggar

Serious CrimesCapital Punishment, (death= justice)

  • Hanging: (slow strangulation), for murder, burglary, robbery
    • After 1275 also for ****/theft over 12d
    • Before 1350, local variations, eg. Dovercliff
  • Hung, Drawn Quartered : to punish high treason (against king or counterfeiting)
  • Burned Alive: for petty treason and heresy

How to avoid Punshment:

  • Join an outlaw gang , stay in church or cathedral (offered sanctuary after 40 days), havibg a powerful friend, buying a pardon, gain the benefit of clergy(beg for mercy)
  • If women pregnant, punishment reduced to fine
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