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Crime and Punishment in Tudor and Stuart times

There was a lot of crime in Tudor and Stuart times and also a lot of cruel punishments that were sometimes very unfair. In Tudor times the punishments were very, very cruel. Henry VIII used to execute people as a punishment (the punishments in Tudor times were much different than today, much, MUCH different than today).

Execution was when you were killed. One of the punishments was being hanged. The prisoner had to walk up the ladder to his death. A piece of rope was put around their neck and the person would not be able to breathe. They would hang them from the rope until they had stopped breathing and were dead. Hanging was the punishment for a major crime such as stealing, you would be hanged in a big city. The gallows were a common punishment and people were hanged in the town squares mostly. If you where hanged you must have done a bad crime. In 1598, 74 people were hanged in Devon alone.

Rich people and nobles were usually beheaded not hanged.
Beheading was used for noblemen who would have been held at the Tower of London. They put them in the Tower of London and chopped their heads off with a axe. Beheading was called "Death by the Axe".

In Tudor times there were lots of different kinds of crimes like: stealing & throwing filthy things into the river or streets. Some people who stole things from shops had there hands cut off. Treason was the worst crime, it was plotting to do something horrible to the king. The punishment for this crime was to chop off your head.


Criminals are people who were bad or rude. The justices decided if people were bad or good. They made sure people went to church. Poor people who used to beg would get whipped for begging. (A whip was pieces of string that hit people very hard.) One of the other punishments was the stocks. This was when you were put in a wooden trap and people then would throw rotten eggs and lots of smelly food at you. You could be put in the stocks for not wearing a hat on Sunday, and whipped for stealing a loaf of bread.

There were very few policemen so catching criminals was a matter of luck.
If a man poisoned another man even if the other man did not die he was boiled alive in water or lead. If a man stole something valuable he had the letter F branded on his check, his ears would be cut of , nostrils slit and his hands cut off.

The prisons in Tudor times were not very nice sometimes a prisoner would wait years in prison without a trial.

CHILDREN PUNISHMENTS
In Tudor times the punishments for children were very,very cruel . They use to whip the child round the mouth, nowadays we haven't got as cruel punishments.

WITCHES
They punished witches as well. People thought that some witches were bad because they had evil powers given to them by the devil. People thought they could hurt, or even kill people just by touching or staring at them. To see what people thought and to find out what witches did look like we can look at written sources. People said that witches killed or hurt farm animals and stopped cows from giving milk.

Some witches were hanged. Also witches were burned to death or put in prison. Sometimes they were put in a sack and thrown into the fire. Others were dunked in the river by the dunk chair. This is what happened when they dunked them in the water. If they floated they were a witch and they were executed. If they sank they were not a witch but it was too late as they were dead anyway. (anyway if they were innocent by the time they were pulled out, they were dead anyway)

Work produced by Yr 5
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