World History: Senior High School: 11th and 12th Grade Quiz - Crime And Punishment: Early Modern Britain (Questions)

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The growth of towns and cities encouraged crime, and there was no official police force. Some forms of punishment were harsh: capital punishment was rife, as were torture and transportation. The authorities were frightened of the "many-headed monster" of popular unrest.

Discover more about law enforcement in early Modern Era Britain in this enlightening quiz.

1. In Mary Tudor's reign heretics (i.e. those who followed the Protestant faith) could suffer the death penalty, and 300 were killed during her reign (1553-1558). What form of execution did they suffer?
[ ] Hanging
[ ] Burning at the stake
[ ] Drowning
[ ] Beheading
2. As there was no police force, many victims of crime hired someone to find the culprit - for a fee. What name was given to these bounty hunters?
[ ] Private detectives
[ ] Thief-takers
[ ] Special constables
[ ] Crime wardens
3. In 1688 the death penalty could be imposed for no less than 50 different crimes. Why did courts in fact impose so few death sentences?
[ ] A shortage of executioners
[ ] Fear of public unrest over frequent executions
[ ] A reluctance on the part of juries to convict if they thought that death might ensue
[ ] The compassionate nature of most judges at the time
4. Witchcraft was taken seriously as an offense in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. What did the witch-finders look for on an alleged witch's body to prove guilt?
[ ] The taint of the Devil
[ ] The Devil's mark
[ ] The Devil's finger
[ ] The Devil's nose
5. Transportation overseas was an available punishment. To where were convicts transported until the late 1700s?
[ ] Australia
[ ] The North American colonies
[ ] South Africa
[ ] New Zealand
6. What term was used to describe a robber on foot encountered on the highway?
[ ] A highwayman
[ ] A footpad
[ ] A vagabond
[ ] A vagrant
7. What was meant by a "bridewell" during this period?
[ ] A courtroom
[ ] A prison
[ ] A work house for the poor
[ ] The mayor's office
8. Women accused of witchcraft often had to undertake a "swimming test". How did this establish guilt or innocence?
[ ] A woman who floated was deemed to be a witch
[ ] A woman who sank was deemed to be a witch
[ ] A woman who drowned was considered guilty, but forgiven
[ ] A woman who swam was considered to be especially guilty
9. Which crime was regulated as a capital offense under the 1723 Black Act (amongst others)?
[ ] Vagrancy
[ ] Poaching
[ ] Nagging
[ ] Blasphemy
10. Some towns and villages did employ constables, but they suffered from a crucial weakness. What was it?
[ ] They worked only part-time
[ ] They were unpaid
[ ] They had no powers of arrest
[ ] They could not pursue suspects beyond the boundaries of the village or town
World History: Senior High School: 11th and 12th Grade Quiz - Crime And Punishment: Early Modern Britain (Answers)
1. In Mary Tudor's reign heretics (i.e. those who followed the Protestant faith) could suffer the death penalty, and 300 were killed during her reign (1553-1558). What form of execution did they suffer?
[ ] Hanging
[x] Burning at the stake
[ ] Drowning
[ ] Beheading
Mary and her advisors regarded the death sentence as an effective deterrent. Capital punishment was - in any event - a frequent occurrence in this period
2. As there was no police force, many victims of crime hired someone to find the culprit - for a fee. What name was given to these bounty hunters?
[ ] Private detectives
[x] Thief-takers
[ ] Special constables
[ ] Crime wardens
Poorer victims of crime could be precluded by poverty from seeking redress in this way
3. In 1688 the death penalty could be imposed for no less than 50 different crimes. Why did courts in fact impose so few death sentences?
[ ] A shortage of executioners
[ ] Fear of public unrest over frequent executions
[x] A reluctance on the part of juries to convict if they thought that death might ensue
[ ] The compassionate nature of most judges at the time
In fact the number of capital offenses actually increased during the following century
4. Witchcraft was taken seriously as an offense in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. What did the witch-finders look for on an alleged witch's body to prove guilt?
[ ] The taint of the Devil
[x] The Devil's mark
[ ] The Devil's finger
[ ] The Devil's nose
They were looking for any kind of unusual spot on the skin of the accused
5. Transportation overseas was an available punishment. To where were convicts transported until the late 1700s?
[ ] Australia
[x] The North American colonies
[ ] South Africa
[ ] New Zealand
Transportation was not abolished as a punishment at this point: the prisoners were now re-directed to a new destination
6. What term was used to describe a robber on foot encountered on the highway?
[ ] A highwayman
[x] A footpad
[ ] A vagabond
[ ] A vagrant
Such robbers were much feared, and they could usually run fast
7. What was meant by a "bridewell" during this period?
[ ] A courtroom
[x] A prison
[ ] A work house for the poor
[ ] The mayor's office
Most towns had one of these at this time
8. Women accused of witchcraft often had to undertake a "swimming test". How did this establish guilt or innocence?
[x] A woman who floated was deemed to be a witch
[ ] A woman who sank was deemed to be a witch
[ ] A woman who drowned was considered guilty, but forgiven
[ ] A woman who swam was considered to be especially guilty
This procedure was a reminder of medieval and Anglo-Saxon practices
9. Which crime was regulated as a capital offense under the 1723 Black Act (amongst others)?
[ ] Vagrancy
[x] Poaching
[ ] Nagging
[ ] Blasphemy
The fact that this was a capital offense did not necessarily mean that all of those found guilty of it would be sentenced to death
10. Some towns and villages did employ constables, but they suffered from a crucial weakness. What was it?
[ ] They worked only part-time
[x] They were unpaid
[ ] They had no powers of arrest
[ ] They could not pursue suspects beyond the boundaries of the village or town
Under these circumstances constables could not achieve much