Crime and Punishment 1450-1750

Mind Map by lucyh.charles13, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by lucyh.charles13 about 6 years ago


GCSE History Mind Map on Crime and Punishment 1450-1750, created by lucyh.charles13 on 04/16/2014.

Resource summary

Crime and Punishment 1450-1750
1.1 POPULATION GROWTH - population was steadily increasing and with more people it was harder to find work
1.2 INCREASED POVERTY AND WEALTH -england was becoming wealthier so some people were getting richer but majority stayed poor particularly when bad harvest rose food prices and loss of jobs occured because of fall in trade
1.3 RELIGIOUS IDEAS - in the earky 1600's, views of extreme protestants began to influence people. they believed in hard work and opposed alot of traditional entertainment, particularly on a sunday when people should be in church
1.4 INCREASED TRAVEL - better roads helped the development of coaches, more people were travelling around the country and horses became cheaper to buy
1.5 TAXATION - government was in need of more money for war and other expenses and since there wasn't any import tax, taxes were put on many other things eg custom duties on imports
1.6 COMMERCE - business and trade were growing rapidly and london was becoming major centre for commerce throughout england. banks and banknotes were new developments.
1.7 INVENTION OF PRINTING - after the invention of printing in the 15th century, more books and other printed materials eg broadsheets and pamphlet appeared and the topic of many early pamphlets were alarming reports on crime
1.8 LANDOWNER ATTITUDES - they were getting richer and wanted to protect their rights, property and power from other classes and keep the poor in their place
1.9 POLITICAL CHANGE - in the 1600's, england went through a political revolution and bloody civil war which made many people feel insecure for decades afterwards.
2.1 Vagrancy (wandering the country without a settled job or home)
2.1.1 this can be linked with population growth
2.2 witchcraft (using the devil's power to harm you neighbour)
2.2.1 linked to religious ideas and invention of printing
2.3 Poaching (catching birds and animals on another person's land)
2.3.1 this links with landowners attitudes
2.4 drinking and not attending church
2.4.1 this can be linked to changes in religious ideas
2.5 highway robbery (stopping a coach and robbing the passengers)
2.5.1 is can be linked to increased travel
2.6 smuggling (bringing goods into the country without paying import taxes on them)
2.6.1 links to taxation
2.7 Riot (a group of people joining together to protest and sometimes using violence or damaging property)
2.7.1 linked to political change
3 factors affecting crime and punishment between 1450-1750
3.1 DEVELOPMENTS IN CRIME (most important as it shaped how seriously crimes were viewed and punished, which were most common and also lead to the formation of new crime categories due to developments in society)
3.1.1 most crime was theft of money, food or low value belongings, a pattern which hadn't changed since middle ages. amount pf crime increased in 16th and early 17th century but fell and was much lower by 1700's. some crimes and criminals became very well known either because they were very common or because they got lots of publicity in broadsheets which hadn't existed during middle ages. Vagabonds - poverty and unemployment in 16th century led to more people wandering country looking for food and work. some were already criminals, others turned to crime in desperation Highwaymen - highway robbery by masked riders became a danger from mid 17th century. more people were travelling by coaches which made an easy target for thieves. Smugglers - high import taxes on goods eg tea =meant there was a large market for smuggled goods sold at low prices. in the 1700's government officials could not control the well organsied smugglers. Poachers - laws against hunting were some of harshest of all eg hunting deer and rabbits was punishable by death, for many peopl in the country areas, poaching was part of their way of life.
3.2 BELIEF THAT CRIME WAS INCREASING (made crimes a bigger issue than actually were and so punishments became harsher as people became anxious about and wanted to stop this "growth"
3.2.1 despite the fall in crime in the late 1600's, many people believed that crime was increasing for a number of reasons. for example, the invention of printing in the late 15th century meant that more printed material had appeared and by the late 1600's there was a market for broadsheets which attracted readers with tales of violent crimes. also, earlier pamphlets had been published about certain crimes eg vagabonage and witchcraft. changes in religion in the 1530's under Henry VIII led to many religious protests and rebellions. these became fewer but there was still a fear that a rebellion for religious reasons could happen at any time. the English Civil War, in which parliament fought and beat the king, made people feel insecure for decades afterwards.
3.3 METHODS OF CATCHING CRIMINALS (least important as no police force in place so catching criminals was inefficient and had little effect but did make it easier to get away with crime)
3.3.1 no police force had been put in place to catch criminals or collect evidence and the hue and cry and system of unpaid constables was still used. in the early 1700's, thief-takers began to track down criminals, particularly in London. they were men who earned their living from rewards they got for bringing criminals to justice. all this meant criminals had little fear of being caught and so policing remained inefficient and did not deter people from crime.
3.4 ATTITUDES OF LAW MAKERS (quite important as they influenced laws and what was and wasn't seen as a crime. also affected punishments which were influenced by how these people thought certain crimes should be punished)
3.4.1 MP's who passed the laws that made up the BLOODY CODE were wealthy landowners whose motives were wanting to do good for people on the whole and wanting to defend their rights from thieves and others they regarded as criminals. most people believed the best way of deterring criminals was to have savage, terrifying punishments that would frighten people away from crime
4.1 1543-Henry VIII set up church of england
4.1.1 1536-Pilgrimage of Grace 1542-First law against witchcraft 1549-Kett's rebellion 1605-The Gunpowder Plot 1642-49-English Civil War 1715-The Riot Act 1718-Transportation Act 1723-The Black Act increased number of capital offences by 50 1736-Last law against witchcraft repealed
5 what was the BLOODY CODE?
5.1 old punishments
5.1.1 PILLORY = used to punish crimes such as selling underweight bread/rotten goods, cheating at cards or persistent swearing. some people didn't suffer eg a man who refused to pay tax on soap was cheered for and hour but two men who won £4000 playing with loaded dice were pelted with stones. those accused of sexual crimes, especially involving children, were likely to be attacked and maybe killed in pillory.
5.1.2 STOCKS = mainly for those who could not afford to pay fines or for drunkeness
5.1.3 DUCKING STOOL = used for women accused of being scolds including arguing or swearing in public, trouble making or disobeying husband
5.1.4 CARTING = being dragged around street in a cart and was used to punish vagrancy, adultery and running a brothel
5.1.5 WHIPPING = usually took place on market day to make it as publiuc as possible. used for a variety of crimes: vagrants were whipped before being turned off to church, thieves who had stole property worth less than 1 Shilling were also whipped as were regular drunkards. those who refused to attend church or seriously misbehaved in church were whipped too. one occasion, two men were whipped, in London one for stealing a radish, the other for child abuse.By 1700's was less common because transportation was used regularly as a punishment.
5.1.6 FINES = minor fines such as swearing, drunkeness, gambling and failing to attend church were punished by fines
5.1.7 PRISONS = largely used for debtors. receiving a prison sentence was rare and became less llikey once transportation became a routine punishment as it was better to sndn the criminal overseas.
5.2 new punishments
5.2.1 BRIDEWELLS = houses of corrections built in many towns in the late 1500's. first was Bridewell Palace in london so they all became known as bridewells. Unmarried mothers, vagrants and runaway apprentices were sent to bridewells where they were whipped and put to hard work. they were also used when other punishments or warnings hadn't worked. the authorities believed crimes were usually a result of not working hard enough.
5.2.2 TRANSPORTATION = the introduction of transportation was the greatest change in punishments in this period. from 1660's, criminals were wnet to Amercian colonies and between the Transportation Act of 1718 and 1769, 70% of criminals convicted at the Old Bailey in London were transported, in all 36,000 people. it became a routine punishment; 7 years, 14 years or life. Charles Scoldwell was transported for 7 years for stealing 2 ducks. once they were there, they suffered conditions close to slavery but it was still criticised by people in England who thought it was a soft option.
6 TREASON became a much more frequent charge in the reign of the Tudors than it had been before 1485. this is mainly because the rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries felt more under threat for a number of reasons linking to unpopularity and instability of the English monarchs. see book for more information.
7 being hung drawn and quartered
7.1 1) dragged through streets on hurdles 2) placed on a stage in a public place 3) hung but not until dead 4) innards drawn out in varying order 5) quartered (cut into pieces) 6) dipped in hot tar, put on a stick and taken back to home town
7.2 how could 'hanging, drawing and quartering', torture, hanging and other physical punishments be used as methods of...
7.2.1 DETECTION replaces expensive police force in place of TbyO replaces trials for more serious crimes work out if other people are involved by torturing those already caught the bring in other members and torture them too interrogation techniques eg irons, press and rack with applied pain to induce confession
7.2.2 PREVENTION people deterred from commiting crime detection (police and jails) aren't necessary as people are scared acts as a deterrant to potential criminals makes them fear the consequences of their actions
8.1 in Tudor and Stuart England, crimes were punished in much the same way as the Middle ages e.g. stocks and pillory regularly used but fine still the main way of punishing minor crimes. serious offences still had very harsh punishments.
8.2 some towns still had watchmen and constables to look out for crooks and JP's tried tp investigate crimes, gather information and hold trials. these government appointed men were also busy with other duties eg looking after roads and bridges, checking ale-houses and reporting people who continually failed to attend church. this meant the government sometimes used other ways of getting info, catching criminals and foiling plots. they could hire spies but this was time-consuming and costly and so they instead used torture.
8.2.1 THE RACK stretched people often causing ligaments and tendons to tear and shoulders to dislocate
8.2.2 THE PRESS put prisoners under a wooden or metal board and put rocks on top of them, one for every time they didn't confess
8.2.3 THE SPANISH DONKEY sat prisoners on a wooden 'donkey' and attached weights tp their legs, more and more until they confessed
8.2.4 THE JUDAR CRADLE hung a victim above a pyramid and lowered them onto it, forcing the sharp tip of the cone into the area between the victims legs
8.2.5 THE SCOTTISH BOOT put the prisonbers foot in a heavy metal boot and hammered wooden wedges down the sides until the leg and ankle bones were crushed and splintered
8.2.6 SKEFFINGTON'S IRONS kept the prisoner in a very uncomfortable position either until they confessed or their back was broken
9 Key Rebellions
9.1 1) 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace led by Robert Aske during the reign of Henry VIII
9.1.1 caused by dissolving of English monastries and England not following pope only about 200/30,000 rebels were punished and they were punished by execution. this was justified by the monarch as they were going against what he believed they should believe in and so was threatening his powere and influence and they also caused social trouble. this showed the authority of the monarch as he was able to influence the harsh punishments and use his power to stop the rebellion. however, he could only punish a small proportion of offenders
9.2 2) 1549 Ketts Rebellion led by Robert Kett during reign of Edward VI
9.2.1 caused by peasants protesting against rich robber barons who stole public land and left them to starve. also because they were being taxed too much. rich people had enclosed land so they burnt down fences as part of the rebellion 300 of rebels were executed in worwich. kett was jailed and executed by hanging in norwich castle. 3,000 had died in attack Edward justified this punishment as they had rebelled, caused criminal damage, civil unrest and had behaved in a dangerous and threatening way towards his power, throne, control and influence. this showed his power and authority as he was able to execute a large number of people in a brutal way
9.3 3) 1605 (November 5th) Gunpowder Plot led by Guy Fawkes during the reign of James I
9.3.1 caused by James I telling Catholic priests to leave the country because he didn't like them fawkes was tortured until he gave away the names of fellow conspirators. they were briefly tried and the "HD&Q" and their bodies displayed in London/Westminister. James justified this by saying that the catholics were plotting against James in a high treason scheme that threatened his safety. they were also rising up and becoming more powerful by gaining more power and couldn't be trusted with it. this showed his power/authority as he was able to effectively catch gang members and kill them brutally
9.3.2 government faced problems in dealing with this challenge to authority as they; 1) didn't have a police force so it was hard to arrest all plotters (all at different times and some shot whilst trying) 2) they couldn't be identified as they had plotted in secret beforehand and had run away after. fawkes was reluctant to give names away so had to be tortured alot 3) couldn't manage info as they had no investigation (see book for more on this one)
9.4 summary of threat criteria
9.4.1 damage to monarch's property = 3 damaged public property = 2, 3 threatened monarch's power = 1, 3 threatened monarch's security = 1, 3 threatened public security = 2,3 difficult to catch criminals or know who was involved = 1,2,3
10 information on...
10.1 kinds of crimes that carried the DEATH PENALTY included forgery, stealing goods (inc values of 1 pound, 13 shillings and 3 pence). stealing form houses and murder
10.2 ALTERNATIVE PUNISHMENTS, rather than the death penalty, used under the BLOODY CODE included joining navy, leaving country, transportation to America/Australia and branding on the hand
10.3 punishments did NOT always DETER people from committing a crime because of the UNPREDICTABILITY of the allocation of these punishments eg someone convicted of manslaughter got away with just a branded hand, but someone accused of stealing 1 pounds worth of goods (but was innocent) was executed. this means that you could never be sure what punishment you would get for a crime as they varied greatly and were disproportinate to each other. punishments or minor crimes were often harsher than for major crimes and they could change due to petition of judges views.
11 THE BLOODY CODE = name given to english legal system form late 17th century to early 19th century
11.1 why so harsh?
11.1.1 wealthy men who made the laws were unsympathetic and thought those who committed crimes were sinful, lazy, greedy and deserved klittle mercy.
11.1.2 rich made laws that protecetd their interests so any activity that threatened their wealth, property or sense or law and order was criminalised and made punishable by death eg could be executed for stealing anything with value more the 5 shillings. they worried about the poor and lower classes rising up and threatening their power and property.
11.1.3 harsh to act as a deterrent. thought might not commit crimes if knew would be sentenced to death. this was why executions were public spectacles until the 1860's; the authorities believed that executions would frighten people into obeying the law and refrain from committing crime.
11.1.4 however, this harshness was often disproportionate to the actual crime eg you could be hung for cutting down trees or sending threatening letters.
11.2 the alternative
11.2.1 not everyone found guilty was executed and other punishments did exist eg criminals could be branded, mutilated, publicly whipped or humiliated in the stocks and pillory
11.2.2 if you were sentenced to death you could avoid execution by joining the army/navy or being transported to the colonies in america, canada and later Oz. transportation became a very popular mode of punishment and it is estimated >1/3 of convicted criminals from 1788-1876 were transported to Oz or Tasmania. incarceration in prison was also a form of punishment that became increasingly popular with authorities
11.2.3 however, many crimes still carried the death peanlty in the 1700's including; murder, cutting down trees, arson, forgery, being out at nighte with a blackened face, stealing from a rabbit warren, unmarried mother concealing and stillborn baby etc.
11.3 did it work? NO not very well!
11.3.1 trials for serious offeces sometimes only lasted a few minutes and the defence didn't get a chance to put forward there case. it seemed like a lottery whether the accused were found guilty or innocent easier if you were rich as you could afford proper legal representation and persuade known and wealthy figures to act as character references.
11.3.2 main problem was juries were often unwilling to find someone guilty knowing they would be executed. some judges were so desperate to avoid having people executed that they deliberately under-valued stolen goods so the accused would no longer face the death penalty. evidence suggest fewer hangings took place in the 18th century than previously, depsite the bloody code. some judges only gave out DP if they felt accused had been disrespectful to them or drunk in the dock of court, not because they had done something wrong.
11.3.3 most people did not feel deterres by the public punishments and many even brought their family for a day out to watch it as entertainment
11.4 by the end of 17th century the number of crimes with the DP had risen to 50. in 1723 a law called the Waltham Black Act added another 50 to this list and by the middle of the 18th century there were 160 crimes with the death penalty and this rose further to 225 by 1815.
12 punishing the poor
12.1 the poor could be classified as either victims of poverty, or criminal beggars.
12.2 some actions eg murder and theft have continued to be crimes for 1450 to the present day, but in Elizabethan England in the 16th century, begging was treated as a crime but is not today. this is because the concern for the growing number of beggars led to them being thought of as criminals and punished. often there are times when particular problems lead to actions being punished which would not be treated the same way in a different period of time-this is an example of one such case.
12.2.1 changes in the law and decisions about what should be and is regarded as a crime can sometimes be driven from the top of society (gov) or from below by the local communities putting pressure on government or trying out ideas to combat crime
12.3 some places such as york gave badges to the sick/injured beggars who were thought to deserve help (deserving poor). this separated them from the sturdy beggars, those considered lazy.
12.4 numbers of people wandering and looking for work increased due to changes in the economy in the late 14th century and 15th century. this was at the same time local people in juries and local judges called JP's had been given more powers to keep law and order.
12.4.1 reasons why the number of beggars increase during 16th century include... problems in the cloth industry increased unemployment figures inflation meant prices went up higher than wages landowners kept sheep instead of crops. this need less workers closing of the monastries removed help for the poor end of wars meant soldiers were out of work (henry VII banned his en from having private armies) population growth pressurised jobs and food there was no national system to help the unemployed and sick
12.4.2 reasons why begging was treated harshly and as a crime large numbers of beggars travelling on the roads seemed to threaten society where people were expected to know their place within the local community cost of supporting beggars was resented by the communities they ended up in acts of charity did not seem to be enough to meet the rising demands from the poor poor people were more likely to turn to crimes such as theft
13 STURDY BEGGAR was one of the most infamous criminals of Tudor period. were people who wandered country either looking for work or for goods to steal so they didn't have to work.
13.1 although the number of genuine poor vagabonds did increase, there was a small minority who were fit enough to work but found crime was an easier way to make a living. these people were known as sturdy beggars and there were various types.
13.1.1 BRISTLER used weighted dice which would land on any number he desired
13.1.2 THE COUNTERFEIT CRANK would dress in grubby old clothes, pretend to have violent fits and suck soap so he frothed at the mouth
13.1.3 THE CLAPPER DUDGEON would cut his skin to make it bleed and tie dirty rags over it to make it bleed hoping people would give him money for 'Medial attention'
13.1.4 THE BARETOP TRICKSTER would flash a man in the street and ask him for a meal-he would think he might get sex and go with her but would be robbed by a vicious gang
13.1.5 TOM O'BEDLAM would pretend to be mad and follow people around, carry a stick with a piece of meat on the end, bark or put chicken heads in his ears.
14.1 1531 (Henry VIII) unemployed found begging or vagrants should be whipped until their bodies are bloody and sent back to where they came from
14.1.1 1547 (Edward VI) 'undeserving poor' who were caught were to have 'V' branded on their forehead and must work as a slave to the person who caught them for 2 years. anyone caught a second time would be executed or made a slave for life. 1552 (Edward VI) parish registers of poor were introduced 1563 (Elizabeth I) JP's given power to raise funds for Deserving Poor. categories of poor and undeserving poor made so are easier to identify and punishment for undeserving poor was as in 1531 1572 (Elizabeth I) made compulsory everyone pay poor tax and funds raised were used to help deserving poor. first offence undeserving= whipped and ear burnt, 2nd offence = executed 1597 (Elizabeth I) every district should ave overseer of the poor who should: -work out how much money is needed for the number of poor in that area and set the poor rate accordingly -collect poo rate from property owners -relieve the poor by dispersing food or money -supervise parish poor -organise punishment of undeserving poor, made same as in 1531 1601 (Elizabeth I) Act of Parliament was passed that brought together all measure into legal act aiming to stop people being lazy and keep poor rate low. overseers were told to find work for poor to do and workhouses set up where they could work under supervision. still caught and identified as undeserving poor. could be sent to house of correction to learn to improve ways, banished from country or executed depending on number of times. the act remained in force until 1834. HOW DID 1601 POOR LAW CHANGE THE WAY THE POOR WERE TREATED? most important was that the deserving poor were helped out of piverty through financial aid as well other methods eg until 1563 there was no methods to help DP but 1601 law brought together the poor tax (1572), provision of food (1597) and also introduced search for work the methods of punishing the UDP were updated eg 1601 poor law included branding, execution, whipping, burning and enslaving. also introduced new houses of correction. identified UDP and DP eg in 1531 anyone unemployed was punished but in 1601 PL the selection of UDP (1547) and lists of DP (1552) and categories (1563) all brought together
15 VAGABONDS were beggars, tramps or vagrants who wandered the city without a settled job. some were soldiers who had been demobbed, some criminals but most unemployed who were moving to new town or city to look for work.
15.1 why did people think the vagabonds were a problem?
15.1.1 in the 1500's, there were 3 main reasons which were; they thought IDLENESS WAS WRONG as Puritan religion taught that everyone should work hard so they did not have time to be tempted to commit sins. not working was seen as a crime by itself and although most people did not mind helping the genuine poor, who could not work for valid reasons, they were suspicious of outsieders asking for help, especially if they seemed fit and healthy enough to work vagrants were BLAMED FOR MANY CRIMES as it made sense they were more likely to commit crimes as it is the only way they could get money people WORRIED ABOUT THE COST each village/town raised poor rates to help the genuine poor from their parishand did not want to spend their hard earned money helping the idle from another parish
15.2 in normal years, vagrants were not a problem and Oxford JP's would usually only deal with 12 per year. However, in a year of bad harvest (eg during the 1570's) or great poverty (eg during 1590's when wages were at their lowest since 1200) the figures increased. in 1598, Oxford JP's dealt with 96 vagrants
15.3 why were the punishments so harsh
15.3.1 people who made laws were rich and wanted to protect their money
15.3.2 invention of printing meant rumours about poor spread
15.3.3 middle classes wanted them gone so they didn't have to keep giving money
15.3.4 people wanted a group to blame crimes on
15.4 were they really a problem?
15.4.1 many people lived 'in terror of the tramp' and the harshness of laws against vagabonds tells us that landowners and gov believed they were behind many crimes and were a danger to peace. some vagabonds were criminals but MOST WERE NOT A THREAT TO LAW AND ORDER - they were genuinely poor and unemployed looking for work and not criminals or devious beggars. as population increased there were too many people for jobs and when harvests failed and food prices rose, people would travel hoping to find some work.
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