Elizabethan England

Good Essays
Topics: Prison
After being charged with a penalty, the bulk of criminals were sentenced to a prison until either released or punished. There were exactly eighteen prisons: the Tower, the Gatehouse, Fleet, Newgate, Ludgate, Poultry Counter, Wood Street Counter, Bridewell, White Lion, the King’s Bench, Marshalsea, Southwark Counter, Clink, St. Katherine’s, East Smithfield, New Prison, Lord Wentworth’s, and Finsbury. Each of the prisons in London had different levels of accommodation for its prisoners. The section of the prison that the prisoner ended up in depended not on the offense with which he was charged, but on how much money the prisoner was willing or able to give to various people in the prison administration. However, prisoners had to pay more money if they wanted their own cell, meat and wine at every meal. Prisoners lived comfortably in this manner as long as they were able to pay for it. When they could no longer afford to live at this level of the prison, they had to move to one of the lesser but relatively comfortable areas, and finally to the worst area of the prison, once they could no longer afford to live in moderate comfort. Although each of the prisons had a lowest level, where the poor prisoners were cramped together into a small space and often died of starvation and cold, or from the lack of exercise and poor sanitation, most did not reach this level. There was no set limit for how long a person stayed in prison. Thus the length of a prison sentence varied from prisoner to prisoner. Debtors were not able to leave prison until they settled with their creditors. Some of those who were to be executed were able to avoid their punishment by becoming hangmen and some even buy their way out of execution with two thousand pounds.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    During the reign of Henry VIII (1485-1509) in England, the royal confiscation of monastic land s and church properties put a huge crutch on the entire charitable system. Between 1536 and 1544, one would have to search far and wide for medical help, and there was absolutely no help for indigent people in the city of London. In 1569, royal hospitals were finally restored, including Christ's Hospital for Children, St. Mary's of Bethlem for mental cases, and general hospitals such as St. Bartholomew's…

    • 891 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Crime and Punishment During the Elizabethan Era crime was a major problem, and the main contributor was the issue with poverty. Due to the fact that there were no social services, many people had to steal money or food just to stay alive. Elizabethans liked a calm way of life, and to maintain that meant that everyone had to behave themselves, be satisfied, and stay in their proper place. If there was anyone who disturbed the peace, they would be considered a threat to society, and they were to be…

    • 422 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Culture and Society in Elizabethan England Over the years, society has created and recreated different ideas of what is considered socially acceptable and what customs to follow on a daily basis. These ideas are constantly changing and renewing themselves, making even last year’s behavioral habits seem crude. For instance, life in Elizabethan England contrasted with how life is now because people acted differently, dressed differently, spoke differently, and in a general, broader sense, they lived…

    • 2076 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    During the Elizabethan Era, crime and punishment was a brutal source of punishments towards criminals. The term “crime and punishment” was a series of punishments and penalties the government gave towards the people who broke the laws. In William Harrison’s article “Crime and Punishment in Elizabethan England”, says that “the concept of incarcerating a person as punishment for a crime was a relatively novel at the time” (1). This seemed reasonable at the time, because back then they didn’t sentence…

    • 799 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Summary/Background: Caitlin: The Elizabethan Era was one of the most fascinating periods in the History of England. The Elizabethan era was a time associated with Queen Elizabeth the first's reign (1558–1603) and is often considered to be the golden age in English history . It was the height of the English Renaissance . This was also the time during which Elizabethan theatre flourished, and William Shakespeare and many others composed plays that broke free of England's past style of plays and…

    • 1005 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    “Queen Elizabeth was queen of England from 1558 until her death in 1603. Her reign is often called the Golden Age or the Elizabethan Age because it was a time of great achievement in England (Elizabeth 1).” Although a time of great achievement, many people of England were forced to turn to a life of crime, either because their peers shunned them or they were fortuneless. Many offenses were petty, but a lot of them were extreme. There were three main things that were most alluring of all, minor offenses…

    • 507 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Theatre In Elizabethan England Before the reign of Elizabeth I, temporary companies of players were attached to the households of leading noblemen, and performed seasonally at various locations. This was the foundation for the professional actors that performed on the Elizabethan stage. Despite the support received from the Queen and the Privy council, the London government were rather hostile towards the theatre. For example, it was believed that overcrowded theatre spaces may lead to the spread…

    • 597 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    "Every rascal is not a thief, but every thief is a rascal." --Aristotle Besides the fear of death by the plague, there was nothing that threatened the people of Elizabethan England as much as crime. Crime was a very frequent happening especially in England 's capital, London. Its citizens were victims of many different crimes ranging from petty theft to murder. The punishments for these crimes are considered harsh by today 's standards but because of the high crime rates, they were necessary.…

    • 1157 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    years ago. In Elizabethan England, travel was very basic, just feet, hooves, and wheels on cobblestone streets (Singman 86). Ships were also very important to travel and colonization, for England is an island nation (Time Life Ed. 132). Many towns were put on navigable rivers just to make travel easier because many people in this time used rivers and oceans for transportation and sometimes delivery of goods (Singman 85). The most important components of transportation in Elizabethan England were land…

    • 1692 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    creatures, possessed the ability to grow in size and reproduce. However, just like the minerals, they lacked mental attributes and had no sensory organs. Instead, their gift was photosynthesis, however such a phenomenon was poorly understood in the Elizabethan era, hence the phenomenon was determined to be the ability to ‘eat’ soil, air, and heat. Plants were considered to have greater tolerances for different temperature ranges, and an immunity to certain pain that impacts most animals. Each plant is…

    • 1927 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays