Punishment as applied by the ordinary criminal courts from 1400 to 1747

Mactaggart, Robert Alasdair (1969) Punishment as applied by the ordinary criminal courts from 1400 to 1747. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

l. In time the study covers What might be called the first period of Scottish Legal history (the second period being from 1747 to the present day). 1747 formed a watershed in Scottish social, political and legal attitudes in the same way as 1945 was a watershed in British attitudes, and this study is an attempt to ascertain the scope, range and application of punishment as applied by the Scottish courts in the first period. 2. The principal types of Court have been studied and the sentencing patterns have been noted and related to the overall picture While there are many published court records and also a number of works on punishment, it is considered that the court records are largely self-contained and not particularly directed to a study of sentencing. The works on punishment deal with the principles of law and exceptional cases rather than the ordinary punishments actually inflicted by the courts. Procedural and political influences have been noted briefly to ascertain how far they affected the basic sentencing pattern. 4. The punishments divide into (1) death 2) personal (3) monetary (4) property and (5) restriction of freedom. (1) DEATH) The most general form Was hanging but, there were clear differences beheading was standard for slaughter, and strangling (and burying the body) for unnatural crimes. Depending on the degree of outrage corresponding degrees of personal punishments could be added to the death sentence. (2) There was a considerable range of personal punishments and in the calendar of sentences personal punishments rank after death sentences in severity. Some forms (e.g. mutilation) could be applied before or after death and there was a definite graduated scale of combinations of death and personal punishments, according to the severity or dishonour of the crime. (3) MONETARY punishments wore common - fines, assythment cautionary obligations - as a general rule, the other penalties were avoidable by paying either a fine or compensation or both. (4) PROPERTY punishments were usually incidental to death or personal punishments (e.g. escheats, forfeitures) but in a special class were loss of burgh freedom and outlawry which, although not directly property punishments, bad a severe property effect as their principal indirect result. (5) RESTRICTION OF FREEDOM extended to imprisonment and banishment In both a definite course of develpment is seen - from a custodial to a punitive aspect in imprisonment, and from expulsion from Scotland to a direct order to go a definite place, in banishment. 5. The principal aim of punishment was deterrent, but, especially in the earlier period, there was a strong clement of retribution present.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Law
Date of Award: 1969
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1969-73670
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/73670

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