History: Crime & Punishment in 1450

Tom Johnson
Mind Map by Tom Johnson, updated more than 1 year ago
Tom Johnson
Created by Tom Johnson about 5 years ago


A mind map containing information on different examples of crime in the 1450s and how various severities lead to different punishments with information on the types of courts used.

Resource summary

History: Crime & Punishment in 1450
1 Different Types of Crime and How They were Punished - Depending on How Serious They Were and How Common
1.1 Fines, stocks and pillories were all used as punishments for common and not serious crimes like selling poor quality goods
1.1.1 They were also used with whipping for rare and fairly serious crimes like assault
1.2 Treason, very rare and EXTREMELY serious; was punished by hanging, drawing and quartering
1.3 Heresy (not following official beliefs of the Church), rare and very serious; was punished by burning at the stake
1.4 Theft of money or goods worth more than 2 days wages or more was common yet very serious and punishable by hanging
1.4.1 Arson, rape and murder despite being rare were just as serious and punished in the same way
1.5 Fairly serious and common crimes like blasphemy were punished by branding
2 Those who made laws were powerful or wealthy
2.1 Crimes that threatened power or wealth were considered serious
3 Small villages had "manor courts" with a jury of 12 men to decide if someone was guilty
3.1 The worse the crime, the more horrible the death penalty
3.2 More serious crimes went to the "royal court" where trial by jury could lead to someone being sentenced the death penalty
3.3 "Church courts" dealt with Christians who committed crimes, often moral crimes like adultery or not paying their tithes or ordinary people breaking official Church rules
4 There were no police to catch medieval criminals
4.1 The community formed "tithings" (groups of 10 men) who were responsible for each other
4.1.1 If one of the men in a tithing committed a crime, the other 9 were responsible for bringing that person to justice or paying a fine to the victim of the crime
4.1.2 If a crime was committed, any bystanders who witnessed the crime were expected to shout and chase the criminal, this process was known as the "hue and cry"
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