Violence and the Law in Medieval England

How dangerous was life in the Middle Ages? Sean McGlynn gets to grips with the level of violent crime, and the sometimes cruel justice meted out to offenders.

A 'doom mural' on the wall of St Thomas the Martyr, Salisbury, 1475The medieval world has an understandable reputation for brutality. In 2002, during the trial of Slobodan Milosevic at the war crimes tribunal at The Hague, the chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, accused the Butcher of the Balkans of 'medieval savagery'.

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