Anglo Saxon Crime and Punishment - created from Mind Map

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GCSE History Note on Anglo Saxon Crime and Punishment - created from Mind Map, created by lucyh.charles13 on 04/16/2014.

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law and order when the romans left roman empire collapsed - so did their uniform system of law and order in the 5th century AD localised/decentralised centralised Angles, Saxons and Jutes from north Germany took over using more basic, small scale and local systems north and east England was largely conquered and ruled by Danes and Vikings made their own laws laws unfair and hard to enforce as they varied from place to place 9th-10th century authority of Anglo-Saxon kings grew and they became central in making and enforcing laws

overview crime policing punishments trials mostly theft of money, food or low value property violent crimes were a small minority of cases had to catch criminal calling out to fellow villagers in the hue and cry adult men from age of twelve put into groups of ten called tithings if one broke the law had to take him to court compensation paid to victims called werguild (blood price) government ordered executions and physical punishments more common by 1100 juries of local people decided innocence or guilt courts if couldn't decide used trial by ordeal God decided if guilty held twice a year to deal with serious cases held by every land owner royal courts shire courts village courts manor courts

community why was it important? remember!! if community was central, how would this affect society, law, order and punishment? England divided into regional groups with smaller towns and cities which were more closely knit than the large Roman Empire communities made up of generations of families didn't want to break close relationships they had one problem more likely to affect lots of people and be significant easier to take collective responsibility for peacekeeping in a small town than in a large town made up of people from different generations no official police force or national government everyone protected more likely to get involved in hue and cry know people and be aware of suspicious behaviour less likely to commit crime against people they know - guilt tithings discourage people from crime and catch perpetrators quickly influence punishment and cause biased judgement

church why was it important? remember!! if god and christianity were central, how would this affect their actions? Christianity wasn't illegal or persecuted as it had been in Roman Britain anglo-saxon kings made christianity the official religion of england in 663AD at Synod if Whitby believed in one God who; -knew everything, -would help them follow right not wrong, - would judge them on behaviour church leaders said it was important to try and reform criminals so their souls can be saved instead of just punishing them clergy could often read and write unlike normal people at the time new beliefs of christianity caused people to make new definitions of what a crime was played a part in shaping the laws God was all knowing and ever present only one God who everyone believed in God was just and decided your eternal destiny try to do good to get a place in heaven judge people on behalf of God, who was fair, so people would be properly convicted God knew what you did and if you had committed a crime or not trial by ordeal was enforced, where God made the decision on innocence or guilt God could tell if you were lying whilst being judged at trials God could see if and when you had committed a crime

Important Aspects werguild was a sum of money used to pay compensation to the family of anyone you had killed (accidentally or on purpose) botguild was a sum of money used to pay compensation to anyone you had physically injured (not killed) accidentally or on purpose tithing was a group of men who had to be responsible for each others' behaviour. if one committed a crime the others had the responsibility of getting him to court to face judgement. anyone witnessing a crime had to raise the 'hue and cry' - a shout for anyone to come and help chase a criminal or sort out a fight or crime. failure to raise or respond was seen as a great cry repeat offenders were often punished by amputation of limbs instead of execution as the church wanted time to save their souls, not just kill them for punishment members of the clergy were trained to read and write and were often employed by the king or nobles to keep records many activities that had not been crimes under the Romans became crimes under the Anglo-Saxons due to the role of the church TRIAL BY ORDEAL TRIAL BY JURY eg slander was punished by cutting out the offenders tongue used when jury members could not agree with each other, usually in cases of theft or murder when there was no witnesses and so God is asked to reveal the truth as, even though human beings may not know the truth, God definitely would. trial by hot water trial by hot iron trial by cold water trial by consecrated bread whichever kind was used, a careful religious ritual was followed. the accused had to fast for three days preceding a trial and hear mass in a church. all the trails, except trial by cold water, were conducted in a church. mainly used to prove innocence or guilt of men accused of crimes accused put hand into boiling water and had to pick up an object, and the arm was then bandaged. if in three days it was healing cleanly, the person was deemed to be innocent mainly used to prove innocence of guilt of women accused of crimes accused had to carry a piece of red-hot iron for three metres. her hand was then bandaged and unwrapped three days later. if the wound was healing cleanly and without festering God was saying the woman was innocent. used by both sexes, but mainly men, to prove innocence or guilt. people believed the water was pure and so would reveal truth. accused was lowered into a river or pond (as close to the church as possible) on the end of a rope which was knotted around the waist. if the person sank and the knot went below the surface, the person was innocent as the 'pure' water was willing to accept this person beneath its surface. if he and the knot floated, this rejection by the water proved his guilt. taken by priests to prove their innocence or guilt priest had to pray he would choke on bread if he lied, and then he had to eat a piece of consecrated bread. if he choked, he was guilty as God would not allow a sinner to eat consecrated bread. seemed lenient, but was in fact seen as the most effective derivative of trial by ordeal as God was sure to punish a dishonest priest decided innocence or guilt based on evidence but if there was not conclusive evidence, judgement was made based on the character of the accused/accuser compurgation = oath sworn by jury members to say accused was guilty based not upon evidence, but on the character of the accused/accuser

Saxon Courts royal courts, judged by king, attended by king accused and lords and dealt with crimes that were serious/involved lords shire courts, judged by local noblemen, attended by local noble men all landowners a representative from each village and the accused, dealt with serious case e.g. murder hundred courts, attended by freemen, dealt with less serious crimes private courts, judged by landowner, attended by worker who had not done enough work on lord's land/ slaves who had tried to run away (=accused) and the landowner, dealt with people who had broken local rules

The Blood Feud when victims of crimes were legally allowed to punish criminals themselves. the right that the family of a murdered victim to track down and kill the murderer. PROS; -harsh punishment that could act as source of revenge and a deterrent, -cheap for the king/government as it removed need for police force. CONS; -it often lead to more violence as people banded together to take revenge for an attack (leading to another attack), -did not protect people who did not want to use violence against those who had harmed them

Werguild (blood price) and Botguild (body payment) later Saxon kings (eg King Ethelbert of Kent 603) abolished the blood feud and introduced fines instead-werguilds and botguilds benefits = no lives are lost in punishment, punishment ends straight away (is discontinued) and it does not result in an on-going cycle of violence. compensation remained a deterrent but was logically decided and implemented. flaws = it was unequal and compensation differed due to status in society and so certain people were left worse off the king decided on the level of compensation. the level of compensation was higher for crimes against nobles that it was for crimes against freemen noble killed=300 shillings freeman killed=100 shillings

Capital and Physical Punishment Prisons were not used as a punishment, but instead only to hold people before trial. they were seen as expensive, especially as taxes were usually only collected in emergencies e.g. war. capital punishment was used when people had committed treason against the king, arson or had betrayed their lord physical punishment was used for reoffenders who were punished honestly if they were caught OUTLAW=someone who no longer had protection of law and could be killed by anyone as punishment. People would be outlawed if they were the accused person in a criminal case and they did not show up to court. COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY=where a group of people are responsible for each other. EG punishments show that society was quite lenient as physical punishments were only used for reoffenders so people got a second chance. However, both were harsh punishments. Shows importance of loyalty to authority due to the crimes that were punished by execution. Outlawing shows brutality as no-one now cared for the criminal. tithing system began in 10thC AD before which people had to rely on family and friends to help them catch criminals. it included all males over 10 and aimed to ensure people were caught and punished and the victim got what he deserved without having to catch the criminal themselves. STENGTHS = deterrent/more criminals punished/hard to get away with crime as tithing know you well/more organised and fairer than old system as doesn't depend on strength of family/cheap as no policeforce to be paid WEAKNESSES = whole tithe could be blamed for one persons actions/whole tithe could be corrupt and could therefore hold them to account minor crimes eg petty theft = fines major crimes or repeat offences = fines/confiscation of property/beatings and floggings reoffenders (first time was a fine) more serious crimes eg arson, treason = execution most commonly hanging but sometimes beheading, stoning, burning or drowning most serious crimes eg treason = execution by beheading, burning or hanging stealing = cutting off hands or feet alander = cutting out tongue

Anglo Saxon Crime and Punishment

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