XerXes Xu
Publisher: Strictly4Play Publications
Pages: 643

This year we remember the outbreak of the First World War, one hundred years ago. This ended a century of relative peace in Europe, a century of great technological progress in which the modern world was born and a century of huge social change in England. We easily recognise the world of 1914, with trains, planes and buses. 1814 is not so easily recognisable, but it was also a cusp year. Napoleon surrendered, the French wars were near an end, a page was turning and a better future beckoned. However, in 1814, in many ways the social institutions of England remained medieval, none more so than the criminal justice system. There were 222 capital offences on the statute book, often for relatively minor offences. A child of eight was sentenced to death at the Old Bailey, London's main criminal court, another person was sentenced to death for the stealing threepence worth of cheese. This ...
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