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Crime and Punishment in Tudor and Stuart Herefordshire
The Tudor period was a time of great change and upheaval. There was a constant threat of rebellion, ongoing religious dissent, and groups of vagrants and beggars roaming the streets. Harsh laws were made to deal with troublemakers and criminals, but there was no police force to enforce the law. Instead, communities appointed sergeants or constables to bring people to justice and the government appointed Justices of the Peace (magistrates) to hear the cases brought before them. In addition to sentencing criminals, Justices of the Peace also had to prevent riots, report people who did not attend church services and manage the building of poor houses, bridges, roads and jails.
[Original author: Toria Forsyth-Moser, 2003]
Last Updated: 27/04/2009 14:58:41