Crime and punishment

Attitudes to crimes and how they should be punished have changed throughout history. Public punishments and executions were considered important deterrents. There were many forms of punishment which we no longer use, such as transportation, the pillory, whipping and hanging. The death penalty was used for a large number of crimes.

It is often difficult to find stories within the archive documents which give accounts of ordinary, working people, but criminal cases are one of the few instances where their words are recorded, either as the accused or as witnesses to a crime.


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