Have you ever wondered what scams and tricks people thought of in the Middle Ages? The Book of Charlatans is one such guide, and one can read about the ways of thieves. Fortunately, it also gives methods to catch them.
From his base in Newcastle, the wicked Sheriff of Northumberland weaved a web of power and corruption in the thirteenth century.
Drawing on a variety of legal, liturgical, literary, and archival sources, Ephraim Shoham-Steiner examines the reasons for the involvement in crime, the social profile of Jews who performed crimes, and the ways and mechanisms employed by the legal and communal body to deal with Jewish criminals and with crimes committed by Jews.
What happens when someone was murdered in the Middle Ages? This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle is joined by Peter Konieczny to take a look at the Coroner’s Rolls from 14th century London. These records offer many insights into violent deaths, detailing the who, what, where, when and sometimes why of murders that took place within the city.
14th century English outlaw was vastly more violent and cruel than the myths would have us believe
Why was the policing of sexual relationships in these medieval communities thought to be necessary in the first place?
The Metropolitan Police Service – the first modern police force – was only created in London in 1829. So what were the structures in place for keeping order before that?
In medieval Europe, arsenic was stocked as a matter of course along with other medicines. As with other medicines, the poisonous nature of arsenic is a matter of dosage and administration.
In the Middle Ages, a person could claim sanctuary to delay or avoid punishment for a serious crime. But what were the rules? This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle interviews Dr. Shannon McSheffrey to find out how and why medieval people sought sanctuary, and whether or not a convicted heretic could expect the church to save his life.
In 1527, the Bruges fishmonger Thomas Haghebaert shouted at the governors of his guild: ‘I will have nothing to do with you or the magistracy. I sh*t on you and on the aldermen and on all those who think they can harm me!’
In the Mamluk state there were several ways to avoid being executed, including physical beauty.
The Londoners who entered pleadings in this court between 1405 and 1415 have left a fascinating glimpse into both interpersonal violence and the world of savvy litigators.
During the later Middle Ages, a new idea fueled suspicion of minority groups in Europe: a belief
that they might poison wells to cause widespread illness and mortality.
In the history of crime and punishment the prisons of medieval London have generally been overlooked.
This article explores compelling and specific cases from France during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in which animals were formally executed for crimes.
An overwhelming number of the criminal charges made in the Consistory from the second half of the fourteenth century until the last quarter of the fifteenth, the period for which records are most complete, were sexual in nature.
First digital map of the murders recorded by the city’s Coroner in early 1300s shows Cheapside and Cornhill were homicide ‘hot spots’, and Sundays held the highest risk of violent death for medieval Londoners.
When trying to understand acts of violence in the Middle Ages, historians often have to turn to government records. Here are five official accounts of murders that took place in the city of Oxford at turn of the 14th century.
What was the perception and conception of homicide and suicide in the Viking Age Scandinavia, and to what extent is that traceable in the written and archaeological sources?
This paper examines mental health in cases of homicide, including how and why proving lack of intent diverted the guilty from the most serious punishments.
You can find dozens of examples of spells and charms from medieval manuscripts to help prevent you from being a victim of theft, or to catch a thief.
Axlar-Björn, or Björn of the farm Öxl, was executed in 1596 for having murdered at least 18 people.
Ten observations made by the Chinese physician Song Ci (1186–1249 AD) on whether or not a person was a victim of homicide.
The circumstances of the case show just how easy it could be to get away with murder in the Middle Ages.