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KS4 Punishments


Many historians argue that gradually, through this period, the older "shaming" punishments like the stocks and the pillory fell out of use as did whipping and that fewer and fewer people were hanged. You are going to see if this was the case in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdon.

  1. Describe the changing pattern of the use of stocks and whipping as a form of punishment in the 19th century in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdon.
  2. Describe the changing pattern of the use of the death penalty as a punishment in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdon in the 19th century.
  3. Do these patterns match the pattern described by historians? Explain your answer.
  4. Use the database to test the following hypothesis:
    "Prison became the most common form of punishment for serious crimes in the 19th century."

    CrimePunishments 1800-1820Punishments 1821-1850Punishments 1859-1900Support Hypothesis?
    Murder Transportation (3)
    Death (4)
    Gaol (2)
    Hard Labour (5)



  5. According to historians the transportation of criminals to Australia peaked in the period 1831-1840. Use the database to see whether the data for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdon matches this trend.

    Decadenumber of criminals transported?
    1800-1810
    1811-1820
    1821-1830
    1831-1840
    1841-1850
    1851-1860
    1861-1870


  6. "Fines became the most common punishment in the 19th century." How far do you agree with this statement?

  7. When students are revising for their GCSE exams they sometimes want to use something other than textbooks and their notes. Your task is to create a podcast that they can use to help them revise the key issues surrounding prisons in the 19th century.

    You can use your own knowledge and the information under the gaols section of the website to create a moviemaker clip to summarise the key aspects of prisons in the 19th century. Use the following headings to organise your moviemaker clip and don’t forget to use the pictures and diagrams from the website to illustrate your key points. What was the purpose of sending criminals to prison (to punish or to punish and reform)?
    • How did prison buildings meet the requirements of separation, silence, hard labour and moral guidance?
    • How was labour used in gaols?
    • How were women and children treated in prison?
    • How and why did ideas about prisons change through the 19th century? (Look on the website under 19th century justice for more information on reforms to prisons).
    Don’t forget to try and include some specific examples of events/prisoners so that it is easier for pupils to remember the key points. A good place to look for some unusual bits of information is under 'inmates' in the gaol section of the website.


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