Crime and Punishment in the England of Shakespeare and Milton, 1570–1640

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About the Book

Crime has been present in all cultures and societies, since the beginning of time. This work focuses on the punishments common in England around the time of Shakespeare and Milton, presenting descriptions of more than fifty criminal cases. Information comes from narratives printed for the popular news media at the time of the event. Details of everyday life in England and facts about the English legal environment of the era are brought to light. Also revealed through the narratives are issues present in society today—i. e., the status of women, poverty, and corruption. Individual cases are discussed under chapters devoted to specific types of crimes.

About the Author(s)

The late John W. Weatherford wrote journal articles on history, librarianship, and collective bargaining. He lived in Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

John W. Weatherford
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2001
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0963-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

I. Issues of Crime and the Time      9
II. Removing Obstacles to Wealth      16
III. Murdering Children for Their Own Good      39
IV. Murdering to Resolve Triangles      54
V. Robbery on Land      74
VI. Robbery at Sea      91
VII. Fraud and Blackmail      106
VIII. From Sex to Disaster      115
IX. Corruption      135
X. Shades and Witches      152
XI. From Religion to Disaster      165
XII. Conclusion      178

Appendix A: Shakespeare’s Purse      191
Appendix B: “Appeal” by Next of Kin      193
Notes      195
Works Cited      203
Index      213

Book Reviews & Awards

“Delightful…Weatherford is obviously a talented writer…an enjoyable, often revealing book”—Sixteenth Century Journal.