History: Paper 1 - Crime & Punishment

  • Created by: JS13
  • Created on: 09-03-22 17:46

Anglo-Saxon: 1000s

Laws: The King was chosen by God therefore the King was lawmaker. His laws aimed to 1) Protect people from violence, 2) Protect property and 3) Protect authority from challenges 

Crimes: Taking into account the above, crimes were all categorised into either 1) Crime against a person e.g. murder or assault, 2) Crime against property e.g. counterfeiting coins, theft, arson or 3) Crime against authority e.g. treason or rebellion

Law Enforcement: 1) Tithings - a group of 10 men over the age of 12. If a member committed a crime, the tithing had to bring the accused to court or everyone in the tithing was fined. 2) Hue and Cry - If someone raised the hue and cry, everyone had to stop what they were doing to stop the criminal. 3) Shire-reeves - Governed their shire on behalf of the King and the earl, they could summon a posse. 4) Courts - There were Hundred, Shire and Royal Courts. 5) Trial by Ordeal  - Trial by hot water, trial by hot iron and trial by cold water

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Anglo Saxons pt.2

Punishments: The two aims were deterrence and retribution. There was the blood feud, capital punishment, wergild, stocks and pillory, flogging and maiming or corporal punishments.

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Normans: 1066 - 1154

Laws:  To make him be perceived as the rightful heir of England, William the Conqueror kept a lot of Edward the Confessor's laws. Within 1066, William introduced the Forest Laws

Law Enforcement: The Normans continued to use tithings, the hue and cry, the court system, shire-reeves and reeves. A new way of enforcing the law was through terror. In 1069, The Harrying of the North took place, William ended up killing 150,000 people to end the uprisings. He also built castles for the Shire-reeves as an intimidation tactic. He also introduced the Feudal System. Trials by ordeal continued but Trial by Combat was added. Church Courts were introduced and the Right of Sanctuary was introduced.

Punishment: Deterrence and retribution remained the top aims of punishment. The Norman concept of the King's Mund was introduced so crimes were seen as a direct attack against William, resulting in more crimes being punishable by death or maiming. The Murdrum replaced the Wergild.

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Later Medieval: 1154 - 1500

Laws: The King had to listen to 'Parliament'. Towns began to grow so they were divided into 'wards'. In 1348 the Black Death wiped out 1/3 of England's population. This meant a shortage of workers. Those who were alive demanded higher wages. In 1351, The Statute of Labourers made demanding higher wages and working over a maximum wage illegal. Also in 1351, The Treason Act made anyone who targeted the King or his family subject to being hung, drawn and quartered. From 1382, heretics could be arrested, from 1401, heretics could be burnt at the stake.

Law Enforcement1194, the Coroner was introduced. 1361, JPs met 4 times a year to enforce the law. 1250, Parish constables were introduced.

The Church's power: In 1170, King Henry II ordered the death of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Beckett. In 1174, King Henry II was whipped in punishment. The Church's power could even rival the King. Benefit of the Clergy was introduced which meant churchmen could get of easy by reciting 'the Neck-Verse'. In 1284, Laurence Duket's murderers were executed for killing him despite him having claimed sanctuary.  The Church could also excommunicate and fine people for their sins.

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Early Modern: 1500 - 1700

(1476 - William Caxton brought the printing press to England)

1534 - King Henry VIII declares himself the Head of the Church of England and closes down Catholic Monasteries

1536 - Unclergyable crimes are introduced

1547 - Vagrancy Act: Vagabonds were branded

1553 - 1558, Mary I rule, nearly 300 people were burnt at the stake for Protestantism

1567 - Thomas Harman published his book on vagabonds

1597 - James I publishes Daemonologie

1600s - Import duties were introduced. Smuggling became a social crime.

1601 - Poor Laws Act: made a distinction between the deserving poor and undeserving poor and poor relief was set up for those who couldn't work and the parish gave the undeserving poor work

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Early Modern Period pt.2

1604: King James I passes the Conjuration Act

5th Nov 1605: Guy Fawkes found in the basement of the House of Lords. Late Jan 1606, Digby, Wintour, Grant and Bates were publicly hung, drawn and quartered. 1606 Popish Recusants Act forced Catholics to take an oath of allegiance to King James I. Catholics could not become lawyers or vote or serve in the army or navy.

1623: James I abolishes sanctuary

1645 - 1647: The 'witchcraze'. There were over 200 cases of witchcraft, an unusually large number. Matthew Hopkins wrote a book 'The Discovery of Witches'. Witches were made to go through 'the swimming test'. Major factors include: Eve in the Genesis story being tempted, 1550s being a time of poor harvests and famine led to people wanting a scapegoat, 1642 - 1649 English Civil War, the printing press, misogyny (90% were women) and Matthew Hopkins wanting rewards.

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Industrial Revolution: 1700 - 1900

1823 Gaols Act - Thanks to the work of Elizabeth Fry and John Howard (Quakers aiming for prison reform), Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel made sure Gaolers are paid, women and men are seperated and doctors, teachers and chaplains visit prisons regularly. Emphasis on rehabilitation.

1829 Metropolitan Act A police force was set up in London where 2800 men were recruited but only 600 were retained for a year or more. 1856, police forces were compulsory nationally, at this point police were respected not treated with suspicion.

1834 Tolpuddle Martyrs formed a trade union. They were pardoned from transportation in 1836 due to public outcry over their punishment.

1841, the Bloody Code ends due to the 225 crimes being reduced down to murder and treason. Robert Peel, changing attitudes to criminality being poverty related and the aims of punishment emphasising rehabilitation were major factors.

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Industrial Revolution pt.2

1776 Transportation goes from America to Australia. Gold was discovered in Australia, establishing the empire here. 1857 Transportation ends due to Australian settlers complaining of the influx of criminals and Britain wanting to appease the Austalians to maintain this colony.

1842 - 1877 The Seperate System of imprionsment is introduced. Between the said time frame, 90 prisons were modelled off of Pentonville Prison. This put all its prisoners into solitary confinement. In its first 8 years, 22 prisoners went mad and 3 committed suicide. 

1865 Prison Act: Hard labour, hard fare, hard board is introduced. This brought in the Silent System where all prisoners were forced to be silent otherwise they would be whipped. Penny Dreadfuls sensationalising crimes such as garroting and growing belief of a 'criminal type' were major factors in prisons becoming harsher.

1868 Public executions end. Crime in huge crowds was easy. Public executions became an opportunity for social gathering as opposed to deterrence so it became pointless.

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Modern Era: 1900 - Today

1900s Car crimes, internet crimes. Police force specialisation such as dog handling units, fraud squads (in 1946), drug-trade units (1971 Drug Misuse Act) and e-crime units (2001)

1902 - Hard and pointless labour abandoned

1922 - 1947: Alexander Patterson introduces prison reforms

1922 - Solitary confinement ends

1930s - Motorbikes and cars allow easy transport to the scene of the crime

1965 - The death penalty is Britain is suspended for 5 years but is then made permanent is 1969. High profile executions that contributed to the death penalty's abolition included Timothy Evans / John Christie 1950, Derek Bentley 1952 and Ruth Ellis 1955.

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Modern Era pt. 2

1967 - Homosexuality and abortions are decriminalised in Britain

1974 - Police National Computer allows police stations across Britain to cooperate

1982 - Neighbourhood Watch: 3.8 million households involved


1914 - Initially, 1 million men volunteered to fight in WW1

1916 - Due to heavy casualties, Lord Kitchener introduces conscription through the Military Service Act. Thanks to Quaker MPs, the conscience clause was made available. 16,000 registered as COs. 400 were given exemption but 2,600 were rejected. However COs were imprisoned, shot by firing squads, put in solitary confinement and lost the right to vote 5 years after WW1 ended.

1939 - Nearly 60,000 people registered as COs. Government were far more sympathetic. The public still verbally abused them and employers fired them from their jobs.

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