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Hunters and PoachersA Social and Cultural History of Unlawful Hunting in England 1485-1640$
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Roger B. Manning

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203247

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203247.001.0001

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The Structure of Poaching

The Structure of Poaching

(p.135) 6 The Structure of Poaching
Hunters and Poachers


Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the structure of poaching and illegal deer hunting in medieval England. It explains the leadership of the gentry in poaching gangs and discusses the factionalism in unlawful hunting that flourished in Tudor and early Stuart England because of conflicts in overlapping hunting franchises and jurisdictions, and competition for forest and game offices among the aristocracy and the gentry. The chapter suggests that the violence perpetrated by deer stealers and poaching gangs can be explained by the extent to which martial values permeated the deer-hunting culture of the aristocracy and the gentry.

Keywords:   poaching, deer hunting, unlawful hunting, medieval England, gentry, aristocracy, hunting franchises, martial values

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