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Making Murder Public – Homicide in Early Modern England, 1480-1680 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Making Murder Public: Homicide in Early Modern England, 1480-1680

K.J. Kesselring


Homicide can seem timeless, somehow, determined by unchanging human failings. But a moment’s reflection shows this is not true: homicide has a history. In early modern England, that history saw two especially notable developments: one, the emergence in the sixteenth century of a formal distinction between murder and manslaughter, made meaningful through a lighter punishment than death for the latter in most cases, and two, a significant reduction in the rates of homicides individuals perpetrated on each other. This book explores connections between these two changes. It demonstrates the value ... More

Keywords: homicide, murder, manslaughter, violence, state formation, public vs private, punishment, crime, law

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198835622
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198835622.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

K.J. Kesselring, author
Professor of History, Dalhousie University