Give 2 examples of a crime against the person.
Murder, assault, public disorder, rape.
Give 2 examples of a crime against property.
Arson, theft, poaching, counterfeiting coins.
Give 2 examples of a crime against authority.
Treason and rebellion.
During the Anglo-Saxon period, what 2 attributes did those who were involved in law making hold?
Power and wealth.
Were crimes against authority seen as not serious or serious?
Was it compulsory for laws in Anglo-Saxon times to be written down and why?
No - they were still based on local custom.
What effect did the growing power of the monarch have on the country’s laws?
Laws became more unified across the country.
What year was the Norman Conquest?
When did Henry II became king and what was significant in terms of law after he became monarch?
He became king in 1154; standard laws were written down, meaning that, for the first time, there was a uniform legal system across the whole country.
Give an example of a ‘social’ crime.
Why was poaching seen as a ‘social’ crime?
It was considered to be acceptable to many people - catching animals for food on common land was allowed and helped people survive.
In Medieval England, what was poaching defined as?
Hunting wild animals on other people’s land without paying hunting rights.
What law stimulated the increase of poaching?
The Forest Laws.
How did the Forest Laws cause an increase in poaching?
Peasants used what has previously been common land to catch animals for food.
What did reducing the amount of common land mean for many people?
They were forced to choose between breaking the law and going hungry.
Other than the monarch, what was the other huge authority in defining criminal activity across the medieval period?
How did King William I establish royal authority over his new kingdom?
He added new crimes to the existing Anglo-Saxon ones (e.g rebellion and those covered by the Forest Laws and the Murdrum fine)
Under the Forest Laws, how much of England became ‘Royal Forest’?
What was the ‘Royal Forest’ used for and who by?
William I and the nobility used it for hunting.
Give 2 reasons why ordinary people hated the Forest Laws.
- Many had been evicted from their homes or farms to make way for the Royal Forests.
- Activities that had previously been allowed, such as killing rabbits and collecting firewood, were now illegal. This irritated ordinary people and made the everyday struggle for survival harder.
- Punishments for breaking the Forest Laws were extremely harsh.
- The foresters who enforced the Forest Laws were often violent.
What did the Forest Laws make it illegal to do in the Royal Forests?
Graze animals, kill wild animals or take wood without a licence.
Give 1 place in England where there was a rebellion by the Anglo-Saxons following the Norman invasion.
Give an example of a crime which William I punished more harshly than in Anglo-Saxon times.
Betraying your lord or inciting rebellion against a king.
What was the Murdrum fine?
The fine payable to the king by the hundred where a killing occurred, unless the killer was produced or the victim proved to be a Saxon.
What was the Murdrum fine used to help establish?
Control over the conquered population
How did the Murdrum fine allow the ruling class to make laws to benefit themselves?
It make murdering a Norman a more serious crime than murdering an Anglo-Saxon.
Who was largely responsible for preventing crime and catching criminals in Anglo-Saxon England and why (what did they not have)?
The community - they didn’t have an official “police force”.
What was the crime rate like in Anglo-Saxon England?
Where did most people live in Anglo-Saxon England?
In small hamlets or on farms, or small villages known as ‘burhs’.
Why did tight-knit communities have an impact on crime rates in Anglo-Saxon England.
Everyone knew everyone else and felt a sense of duty towards their community and so crime rates were low and law enforcement was effective.
What was a shire?
The Anglo-Saxon version of a county.
How mang tithings were in each hundred?
What was a tithing?
A group of ten people.
What was the purpose of tithings?
To prevent crime within communities?
What would happen if someone in a tithing committed a crime?
The others made sure they went to court or else they would have to pay a fine for them.
Who was a shire reeve?
A local man appointed by the community to take criminals to court and make sure all punishments were carried out.
Who did the shire reeve meet regularly with?
One man from each tithing.
What was the hue and cry?
A shout raised by the witness or victim of a crime to alert others.
Who was expected to respond to the hue and cry?
Which type of court dealt with the most serious crimes?
Which type of court dealt with lesser crimes?
Which type of court dealt with petty crimes?
In Anglo-Saxon England, did court hearings take place in private or public?
Who did people swear oaths before in the Anglo-Saxon justice system?
In Anglo-Saxon England, if the jury could not decide if someone was guilty or innocent, who took over the trial?
The Church so God could decide.
Who was expected to join a tithing?
Every male over the age of 12.
What happened if someone chose not to join the hue and cry?
The whole village would have to pay a fine.
What happened if the hue and cry failed?
The local Sheriff would get together a Posse of men to continue the search.
Who was expected to take on the role of Constable?
Well-respected men in the village.
What was the role of the Constable?
Keep an eye out for crime and lead the hue and cry.
How long did a constable in medieval England hold his position?
Give 2 features of law enforcement which Normans kept the same as the Anglo-Saxons.
- Hue and cry
- Court system
The Normans introduced trial by combat. What did this entail?
Two people would fight until one was killed or surrendered to settle a dispute.
In Norman England, what was the role of ‘foresters’?
To police the Royal Forest and enforce Forest Laws.
Did crime rates increase or decrease throughout the 13th and 14th centuries?
Who become increasingly responsible for law enforcement throughout the 13th and 14th centuries?
Authorities - they appointed officials.
From 1250, who led the hue and cry?
When were trial by ordeal and combat abolished?
Who were parish constables nominated by?
The local community.
Were parish constables paid and if so how much?
They weren’t paid.
When and by who were knights first appointy to keep the peace in some ‘unruly’ areas?
In 1195 by Richard I
When did Edward V extend knights to all areas?
When was the Justices of the Peace Act passed?
What power did JP’s have?
Hear minor crimes in small courts four times a year.
Who were Justice of the Peace nominated by?
How did the role of the sheriff change from 1285?
He was allowed to form a posse of local men to help chase and catch crimals if the hue and cry failed.
Give 2 of the main aims of medieval punishment.
- Keep people safe
Give 2 types of medieval punishments.
Describe the trend in the use of fines as punishment from Anglo-Saxon, to Norman, to Medieval England.
Anglo-Saxon: most common
Norman: decreased significantly
Medieval: became more common
Describe the trend in the use of capital punishment from Anglo-Saxon, to Norman, to Medieval England.
Anglo-Saxon: rarely used
Norman: rose dramatically
Medieval: gradually decreased
Describe the trend in the use of corporal punishment from Anglo-Saxon, to Norman, to Medieval England.
Anglo-Saxon: fairly common
Norman: rose dramatically
Medieval: still widely used
What is capital punishment?
Killing the criminal.
What is corporal punishment?
Physically hurting the criminal.
What is retribution?
Making the criminal suffer for the crime committed.
What is deterrence?
Trying to prevent others or the criminal from carrying out crime.
What did the amount of Wergild payable in Anglo-saxon times depend on?
The victim’s social status.
For murder, what sort of capital punishment would commoners get and what sort would nobles get?
Commoners would be hanged; nobles would be beheaded.
In the early 13th Century, which place offered sanctuary?
Some important churches only.
What was sanctuary?
Protection from the law.
How did sanctuary work?
The accused would go to a church and either agree to go to court or swear an oath to leave the country.
What was the role of the priest in sanctuary and how did this affect the accused?
The priest would report the crime but no one was allowed to arrest the accused.
In sanctuary, what happened if the accused had not left the country within 40 days?
They would be outlawed.
What did sanctuary and benefit of clergy demonstrate about the church and law enforcement?
They showed how the church operated an alternative justice system outside the control of other authorities.
Where did benefit of clergy take place?
In church courts.
How did people prove their right to benefit of clergy?
By reading a passage from the Bible.
What did many laymen (people who weren’t members of the clergy) do to ensure they could claim benefit of clergy in court?
They memorised the Bible passage.
Were punishments in Church courts more or less lenient than in other courts and why?
More lenient - the church wanted to give people the chance to reform.
Who was benefit of clergy not available to?
Women (they couldn’t be priests).
Who was entitled to benfit of clergy?
What organisation used trial by ordeal?
Give 2 methods of trial by ordeal.
- Trial by hot water/iron
- Trial by water
- Trial by consecrated bread
How did trial by hot water/iron decided if a person was guilty?
The person would hld a hot iron/put their hands in hot water. if the burns had healed well after a few days, they were innocent.
How did trial by water decide if a person was guilty?
The person was thrown in a lake. if they sank, they were innocent.
How did trail by consecrated bread decide if a person was guilty?
If the priest choked on the bread, he was guilty.
In what circumstance would trial by ordeal be used?
When a person’s guilt/innocence couldn’t be decided by a court.
Who ordered the end of trial by ordeal and when.
The Pope in 1215.