85 Crime and Punishment

The PilloryA digression this week – the state of the crime and punishment in 14th century, and the story of the theft of the crown jewels in 1303. We also get the final and rather gruesome end of William Wallace in 1305. 




85 Crime and Punishment


The statute of Winchester, 1285

The Statute of Winchester was one attempt by Edward to control the rising tide of crime; in fact war and the focus of the king on Wales, France and Scotland meant that the crime wave continued. But it gives an interesting insight. 

Download a PDF of Statute of Winchester 1285 or

Visit it online online of the Documents in English History site


8 thoughts on “85 Crime and Punishment

  1. Hi David,
    Another good episode. Just thought I’d let you know that I’m studying the History of English Law at the moment, so found today’s episode very interesting. The development of the King’s Bench around the current period is fascinating and the role of the Chancery is issuing writs will become more important as you continue your odyssey through the next hundred or so years. One thing to definitely look out for is the Ordeal basically died out post 1215 when the Lateran Council banned the Church from taking part and the jury becomes more and more important as Trial by Battle fades (although it only becomes repealed after it was asked for in the 1818 case of Ashford v Thornton).
    Thanks again for such a great podcast.
    P.S. It’s pronounced IN-DYE_TMENT – so people are indicted (in-dye-ted).

  2. Also, in terms of prisons, all prisoners had to pay for their own upkeep. So as well as bribes, they had to pay for their own food, clothing, etc, which is why debtors prisons become so prevalent in England – people just run out of money to pay for their own upkeep.

  3. I haven’t had a chance to listen yet but I am so excited to! This is my favourite podcast, and I’ve been trying out some other ones (including British history) while waiting for your next episode. They just aren’t the same and your podcasts are definitely worth the wait!

  4. Hi both of you,
    Harry thanks so much for a fascinating post! I feel something of an idiot about the pronunciation – somehow I’ve never connected the written word with the spoken one, very interesting what you say about Ordeal – I must look that up. I loved the legal development stuff too, but never specialised.
    Thank you Francine, it’s so good to hear that people like what I’m doing. It is also enormous fun for me I have to say, so we are all winners!

  5. Ah, the violence inherent in the system … chortle.
    Probably not a good idea to let young Henry travel through Northumberland alone for a while. The people of Berwick might do things to him that would make even William Wallace’s eyes water. Probably best avoid Alnwick too.
    Another fine pod. Thanks.

  6. In reference to the pronunciation of “indicted,” I just assume now that any strange pronunciations are just the English way of saying things.

  7. I think it was this one it was in. Best Crowtherism I’ve heard so far.
    I commute so I leave early, come home late. On the weekends I’m knackered, yell at the kids and do podcasts.
    Sounds like my life accept I listen to podcasts. You make them.

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