: Markus Eder
: 17.11 MB
“Acting at the instigation of the devil” was the designation used in english indictments of the early modern period for those heavy criminals as murderers, high traitors, rapists, robbers and burglars who, on conviction, would have faced capital punishment. Although criminals of the above- mentioned kind have at all times haunted the immagination of society , up to now, no sytematical and representative analysis of the subject of capital punishment in the pre- 1718 period, the date of the passage of the so called Transportation Act, has been published. Drawing on the archival resources of one of England`s largest and most heavily populated Assize, the so called Western Circuit, Markus Eder, author of the well received Crime and Punishment in the Royal Navy of the Seven Years` War, 1755-1763 (Aldershot, 2004), unfolds before the reader`s eyes the story of the incidence, nature and punishment of capital crimes during the period 1670-1730. What emerges is the most fully and most representative study on the nature and handling of capital crime in early Modern England.