At The Instigation of the Devil
Capital Punishment and the Assize
Publication date: 10/04/2013
Capital Punishment and the Assize in early modern England during 1670-1730
“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
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