How Much Changed In Crime And Punishment Following The Norman Invasion?

967 words - 4 pages

How much changed in crime and punishmentfollowing the Norman invasion?In 1066 William the Conquerer embarked on a crusade to take what was supposedly Williams. William took Britain in the space over nearly a year by successfully beating the king himself (Harold) on the battle field at Hastings. Once William had taken a large chunk of Britain's countryside he set out to rebuild the ashes he had left behind into something of a reflection of the country across the english channel, Normandy. Anglo-saxon Britain had had a up till that point brutal system of law and order. Much of the country was run by the Nobel that lived in the county or parish. This meant that there was little law enforcement apart from any men working on the estate of that said Nobel.Norman law was based on the idea of the Mund - this is an area of land around every mans home in which peace and order was allowed to exist. Since William had now conquered the whole country, it was now his mind which meant that he was responsible for the law and order in his Kingdom. Law and Order under the Normans was very similar to that of Anglo-Saxon laws.Forest Laws were put in place under William the Conquerer. This meant that William owned all or any forests within his kingdom, This meant that any animals or wood in that area was his and if taken would be treated as theft. These forest laws also included some farms and villages in quite remote places in England. This restricted people from hunting in these areas and foraging. Park rangers were employed to police these forests to make sure no poachers or villages stole anything from the woods. Farmers were not even allowed to a kill a deer if it was eating there crops as William owned all deer and killing one would result in being Blinded. Poaching was treated as not only theft but in some cases as treason against the king, this was punishable by death. This was a huge shock for the people of Britain as now they had no place to collect wood nor hunt freely in the woods so anything they could scavenge would have been trees from fields or near homes. This would have been very different to the Britain pre-norman invasion, as in anglo-saxon law the forests were free to roam and hunt in along as the lord of the manor permitted it.Normans also brought in a simple way of policing with lack of police force, this was called the Hue and Cry. The basis of the hue and cry was that if a crime was committed and the victim were to shout for the hue and cry. If the villages ignored their cry then the whole village would have been fined a considerable amount of money/harvest. Usually this meant that the committer of...

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