Tag Archives: law

The short history of banishment

The short history of banishment


Even in primitive societies, the threat of exile struck terror into people’s hearts and minds. A savage punishment, it snatched men from their wives and children, so condemning even the innocent who were left behind to a precarious existence. A few who were banished survived the perils of isolation.

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.