Tag Archives: Cultural and social history

Swearing, cursing and the English law

Swearing, cursing and the English law


Statutes passed between the reigns of  James I (1603 – 1625) and George III (1760 – 1820) criminalised swearing. These laws drew careful distinctions between swearing and cursing, imposed fines or the stock, and banded the penalties according to social rank.