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Crime and Punishment in the Medieval Period

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by

Ashlee Turrell

on 13 August 2014

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Transcript of Crime and Punishment in the Medieval Period

The minor offenses include:
• stealing
• women nagging their husbands
• gossiping
• baker cheating on his/her customers
• steal firewood
• whose animals had been damaged someone else's crops
Crime and Punishment in the Medieval Period

What types of crimes and punishments were there in the medieval period?
Types of Crimes
Crimes in the medieval world ranged from minor offenses like stealing and/or nagging and more serious crimes like murder, treason or witchcraft. Witchcraft was a very serious charge.
Women who were found guilty of gossiping had to wear the scold's bridle. If a baker cheated on their customers might have been dragged through thr streets on a sledge with a loaf of bread tired around the neck. A peasant who stole firewood from the lord's forest or whose animals had damaged someone else's crops would most likey pay a fine or do extra work.
Crimes & the punishments for serious crimes
The harsher punishments for stealing or cheating include being whipped or some form of mutilation, such as cutting off a hand, an ear or the tongue. The eyes of someone may also be burnt out with a red hot poker.
The punishment for witchcraft was being burned alive. For someone who committed murder, would be hanged, drawn and quartered.
Crimes & the punishment for minor crimes
Types of punishments:
The common punishments for crimes in the medieval period were:
Paying a fine
Doing extra work
The stocks
Burned at the steak
Being put into a pen with a wild dog
The scolds bridle
The ducking stool
Stretching
Beheading
Hung, Drawn & Quartered
Pillory
Burned at the stake
Burned at the stake was probably the most excruciating form of torture. Prisoners who faced the torture of being burned at the stake had no law or rules to protect them. Victims were in their shirt, barefooted and a rope that had been placed around there neck. The victim was tired to a stake that had been placed in the ground and layers of straw and wood that were about the height of the victim.
Other ways of that are designed to reduce the suffering of the victim was to place gunpowder in the straw and wood to ensure a quicker death.
Hung, Drawn & Quartered
This type of torture was invented in 1241. In this type of torture, the offender would be hanged until they are half dead and then they were taken down off the rope and quartered (cut up) alive. After the victim has been quartered, their guts are taken out of their body and thrown into a fire (drawn). The arms and legs of the offender are then hung in prescribed locations in the city of London.
The Stocks
Stocks were used as punishments for minor crimes like stealing. Stocks were are boards that were placed around the legs or wrists of someone being displayed as a form of public humiliation.
The major offenses include:
• murder
• treason
• witchcraft
Full transcript