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The Norman Conquest - 1066


He managed to defeat most of the Viking raiders. By the 1000s England was one united country with ... The Normans introduced the custom of Peine Fort et Dure. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Norman Conquest - 1066

The Norman Conquest - 1066
England was united under the leadership of Alfred
the Great. He managed to defeat most of the
Viking raiders. By the 1000s England was one
united country with one single set of laws.
Having defeated the vikings Anglo Saxons were
soon given a new challenge. In 1066 a duke from
Normandy in France invaded and killed Harold
Godwinson the Saxon King. His name was William
the Conqueror.
As with Saxon times, the Tithings were still
used. The Shire reeve was also still used but he
became known as the Sheriff.
The Posse was similar to a tithing. They were a
groiup of men that the sheriff would use to help
him track down an outlaw.
Each village elected a Constable for one year.
This was a normal member of the village who had
to also sort out law and order for one year.
Most of the well respected men in a village would
do a spell as a constable.
In was in the later middle ages that Coroners
were first used. Their main role was to
investigate the cause of death and organise
criminals who were in sanctuary. They had no
medical training and did not dissect bodies but
they may investigate by questioning.
It wasnt until the Early Modern period that
coroners used medical dissection to help them.
By the later Middle Ages, the Sheriffs job bacame
that of the Justice of the Peace. Each village
had one. It was often the most wealthy man in
the village.
After the Norman Conquest William declared all
forests as Royal Forests. These Forest Laws made
it a crime to hunt or even chop down trees in the
Rebellion was common after the Battle of Hastings
as many of the Saxons in Britain refused to
accept the new Norman rulers.
Hereward the Wake
An Outlaw was someone who had escaped capture and
was wanted for a crime. If caught they could be
executed. The most famous outlaw was Robin Hood.
If he did exist, he was a man who fought with
the Sheriff of Nottingham. He did not rob the
rich to feed the poor.
An example of a real Outlaw gang would be the
Folville Gang. They were a gang of thieves who
stole and murdered for a living. They were
eventually pardoned by joining the kings army
and fighting for him.
The Folville cross marks the point where the gang
killed Roger Bellere
Because of paying tto much tax, the peasants of
Kent marched to London in 1381. They campaigned
to the king to reduce the tax. There was a
scuffle in which the kings adviser was killed.
The king ordered the rebels to go home, which
they did. They were later rounded up and the
ring leaders were executed.
In order to reduce crime and prevent rebellion
William used public execution as a deterrant. He
also used more public punishments like whipping
and stocks.
  • There were a number of ways to avoid execution.
  • Read the Neck Verse
  • Get pregnant
  • Join the Army
  • Become Kings Approver (Snitch)
  • Buy a pardon

The Fines system was different from the Wergild.
During Saxon times your fine went to the person
that you had hurt. After the Norman Conquest,
your fine went to king.
You may have had you eyes gouged out if you
killed a stag as the kings considered them to be
their property.
The Dunking Stool was saved for women who were
Being tied to a cart (Carting), whipped, stocks
and pillory became much more common. They were
punishments given out for a variety of crimes.
Petty theft, vagrancy, selling mouldy produce,
fighting in the street whilts drunk. The point
of it being in public was to humiliate and so
The Normans introduced the custom of Peine Fort
et Dure. This was being crushed to death by
having weights put on your chest. If you refused
to speak or defend yourself in court it would be
an option. Although you obviously died, you died
an innocent man and so you family got to keep
your belongings.
Kings were responsible for making the law
throughout the Middle Ages. They would enforce
the Kings Peace. Most of the old Saxon Laws
remained unchanged into the Norman period. The
Normans simply changed and adapted a few to suit
their needs. Juries became more commonly used as
did evidence.
Trial by Ordeal was replaced by Trial by Combat
but the principle was the same. It was used in
cases where guilt could not be decided as they
believed that God would not let an innocent man
Norman law was unfair as it favoured Normans over
Saxons. It also sometimes favoured the rich.
Prison tended to be used for those awaiting
trial. If there was a castle nearby it would be
the dungeon. Other than that it would be a
secure building that was actually quite easy to
escape from. It would be the Tithings
responsibility to guard the building but it was
sometimes cheaper to allow the criminal to escape
a pay the fine instead of missing days of work.
The court system remained virtually the same.
They just changed the name of some of the courts.
Royal Courts held by kings for very important
cases stayed as Royal Courts Shire Courts held
twice a year by Kings officials, dealt with
serious cases became Quarter Sessions held 4
times a year Hundred Courts held once a month to
sort minor crimes and organise the tithing.
Didnt meet as often Manor courts held by lords
to sort out their workers remained Manor Courts
Some Kings such as Henry II took care to sort
out the Law
Other Kings like Richard I spent the majority of
his reign fighting abroad and paid little
attention to Law and Order
During the reign of Henry VI there was a break
down in Law and Order. Henry gave too much
freedom to his favourite and some them got away
with very poor behaviour