Crime And Punishment In Tudor Times Tudor England and Tudor Crime and Punishment: crimes committed in the 15th and 16th century were met with violent and cruel punishments. Many of the punishments and executions of the Tudor period were witnessed by many hundreds of people. The poor Tudors treated such events as exciting days out. It was common practise for royalty and nobility to be subjected to this most public form of punishment or execution for their crimes. The execution of the tragic Queen Anne Boleyn was restricted to the members of the Tudor court and the nobles of the land, including close members of her family, but her execution was still witnessed by several hundred spectators. By Courtney Elsdon
Tudor England was split into two classes consisting of royalty, nobles and courtiers and the second class consisted of everyone else. Tudor Punishment varied according to class. The upper class Tudors were well educated, wealthy and associated with Royalty and high members of the clergy. These privileged Tudors would often become involved in power plays and became deeply involved in political intrigue and matters of religion. The upper class Tudors could therefore become involved in crime which were not shared by other people. Just being accused of one of the serious crimes, such as treason or heresy could well result in torture. Trials were designed in the favour of the prosecutors conducted at the infamous Star Chamber. Defendants were not even allowed legal counsel. Poor Tudors Rich Tudors
The Star Chamber was an English court of law which was located at the royal Palace of Westminster. The Star Chamber witnessed the trials of royalty and nobility between 1487 and 1641. The primary function of the Star Chamber was to hear cases involving political libel, heresy and treason. The Star Chamber was made up of Privy Counsellors and judges and was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against powerful and prominent people who might not be convicted by ordinary courts. Star Chamber sessions were closed to the public and became greatly feared. The Star Chamber court sessions were held in secret. The Star Chamber Court had no jury, there was no right of appeal and no witnesses - evidence was given in writing. The powerful Court of the Star Chamber evolved into a political weapon to use against any opponents of the policies of the monarch. The Tudor Court
Beheading ("Death by the Axe") This was a punishment that resulted in your head being chopped off! The heads were sometimes placed on spikes along London Bridge or other places. Hanging from the gallows. A piece of rope was put around the neck making it hard for the person to breathe. They would be hung from the rope until he/she had stopped breathing and was dead. People were hung for crimes such as stealing, treason, rebellion, riot or murder. Burning Women found guilty of either treason or petty treason were sentenced to be burned alive at the stake Being 'pressed' (crushed) The ducking stool (Punishment for women) Accused witches were dunked into a river, to see if they were innocent or guilty. If they floated, they were considered guilty and burnt at the stake. If they sank, they were innocent but died anyway, by drowning. Either way, they perished. The Brank, (the gossip's bridle) The brank was a punishment enacted on women who gossiped or spoke too freely. It was a large iron framework placed on the head of the offender, forming a type of cage. There was a metal strip on the brank that fitted into the mouth and was either sharpened to a point or covered with spikes so that any movement of the tongue was certain to cause severe injuries to the mouth. Limbs cut off Some people who stole things from shops had their hands cut off.