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Law and Punishment of Elizabethan England

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Natalie Pagrach

on 16 March 2013

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Transcript of Law and Punishment of Elizabethan England

Law and Punishment Elizabethan England Basics of law Types of laws
Common law: governed criminal and civil actions that were unwritten
Civil law: jurisdictions enforced by judges in written form (favored the rich)

Typed of courts
Courts of common pleas: dealt with one private party suing another
Courts of kings: a criminal court where the crown attempted to prove that the defendant had committed some offense against the law
Courts of Exchequer: a court to decide casing involving crown revenue for the sort of cases heard in common pleas Elizabethan era: 1588-1603
Crimes are met with violent punishment that could cost you your life

How to commit a crime:
Obstruct the common and civil law

Landing yourself in court
Defending your actions

Differing of punishment:
Establish whether you are a commoner or nobility (different forms of punishment are necessary)

Additional tips:
-DO NOT ACT WITHOUT A LICENSE Remember Additional Tips The common law was breached more often than the civil law How the Courts Were Conducted Interesting Facts Almost all defendants were deemed guilty
Trial were run in favor of the prosecution
Some defendants accused of felony or treason were not aloud legal counsel
There were over 1000 hangings in England, Wales annually Loopholes The Neck Verse Anybody who could read the neck verse could plead benefit of clergy and be branded rather than hung (some exceptions)
If the courts thought that you were particularly deserving of death, they would occasionally ask you to read a different passage form the bible
This would ruin your loophole leaving you with no defense Punishment for the Commoner Class For Lower Degree Crimes Branding
The amputation of a hand or ear
Eyes plucked out with hot pinchers For Felony or Treason Hanging
Being boiled to death in lead or oil
Being burned alive at the stake
Being hung drawn and quartered Punishment for the Nobility Class Execution by Beheading Execution would be held in public
Many people would witness the execution
Even royalty was subjected to this most public form of punishment
The lower class would treat the execution as an exciting day out
After the head was severed, it was held up by the hair to show the head the crown and its own body
The traitor`s head would then be placed on a stake and displayed to the public at places such as the London Bridge Acting: A Crime Without a License Actors were treated with as much suspicion as beggars

They could expect to be accused of crimes

When theater started to became more popular, it was decreed that licenses would be granted in order to legally act

This would raise an actor`s status

This led to fewer accusations of criminal activities Executioners often took several blow before the head was finally severed Overview
Elizabethan Era-Today Different organization of the judicial system

Different methods of conducting the courts

No death penalty, for the rich nor poor

No need for a license in order to act
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