Tudor Crime and Punishment

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Tudor Crime and Punishment

  • The Star Chamber
  • The Crimes of Royalty and Nobles
  • Execution by beheading
  • The Punishment of being Hung, Drawn and Quartered
  • The Punishment of being burnt at the stake
  • History, facts and interesting information about Crime and Punishment in Tudor Times

Tudor Crime and Punishment
Royalty and Nobles

Crimes and Punishments of Poor Tudors

Tudor Crime and Punishment
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.

Tudor Crime and Punishment - Royalty and Nobles
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.

Tudor Crime and Punishment - The Star Chamber
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.

Tudor Crime and Punishment - The Crimes of Royalty and Nobles
The most common crimes of royalty and wealthy nobles included:

  • High Treason
  • Blasphemy
  • Sedition
  • Spying
  • Rebellion
  • Murder
  • Witchcraft
  • Alchemy

The punishment for most of the above crimes was death. There were various forms of execution. These terrible punishments included execution by beheading, burning and the terrible punishment for high treason was to be hung, drawn and quartered. Minor punishments would include taking the lands, titles and wealth form those who had been found guilty of various crimes.

Tudor Crime and Punishment - Execution by beheading
The punishment of death by the axe was the most common form of execution and it was a terrifying prospect. The Tudor executioners often took several blows before the head was finally severed, as was in the execution of the old Countess of Salisbury. Anne Boleyn was granted the services of a French executioner and the sword, rather than the axe. The punishment of beheading was held in public and witnessed by many people. Following the execution by beheading the severed head was held up by the hair by the executioner. This tradition was not just to show the crowd the head, but also to show the head of the victim the crowd and to it's own body. Consciousness remains for at least eight seconds after beheading, until the lack of oxygen causes unconsciousness and mercifully death. The heads of Tudor traitors were placed on stakes and displayed in public places such as on the ramparts of castles or such prominent spots like London Bridge.

Tudor Crime and Punishment - The Punishment of being Hung, Drawn and Quartered
Life in Tudor England was chronicled by William Harrison and this included details of Tudor crime and punishment. The most dreadful punishment of being Hung, Drawn and Quartered was described by William Harrison as follows:

"The greatest and most grievous punishment used in England for such as offend against the State is drawing from the prison to the place of execution upon an hurdle or sled, where they are hanged till they be half dead, and then taken down, and quartered alive; after that, their members and bowels are cut from their bodies, and thrown into a fire, provided near hand and within their own sight, even for the same purpose."

Tudor Crime and Punishment - The Punishment of being burnt at the stake
Another Tudor punishment included execution by burning, favored by the Catholic inquisition and Queen Mary I - Bloody Mary. Being burnt at the stake was a most terrible death. Tudor Executioners sometimes showed mercy to their victims by placing gunpowder at the base of the stake which helped the victims to a swifter, and less painful death. The only other respite from the excruciating pain of being burnt to death was if the victims died of suffocation through smoke inhalation and lack of oxygen.

Tudor Crime and Punishment
The Tudors encompass one of the most exciting periods in English History.

Tudor Crime and Punishment
Each section of this Tudors website addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about Tudor Crime and Punishment. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of the Tudors!

Tudor Crime and Punishment

  • Tudor Crime and Punishment - Royalty and Nobles
  • The Star Chamber
  • The Crimes of Royalty and Nobles
  • Execution by beheading
  • The Punishment of being Hung, Drawn and Quartered
  • The Punishment of being burnt at the stake
  • History, facts and interesting information about Crime and Punishment in Tudor Times

Tudor Crime and Punishment

Tudor England - Britain - Tudors - Life - Rich - Poor - History - Information - Facts - Info - Era - Life - Times - Life - History - Information - Facts - Info - Era - Life - Times - Life - Britain - Tudors - Life - Rich - Poor - History - Information - Facts - Info - Era - Life - Times - Life - History - Information  - Facts - Info - Era - Life - Times - Life - Tudor England - Written By Linda Alchin

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