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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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Poachers and Keepers

Poachers and Keepers

(p.171) 7 Poachers and Keepers
Hunters and Poachers


Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on poachers and gamekeepers in medieval England. Most of the poachers during this period were adolescents, and poaching was viewed as an expression of youthful rebellion and juvenile delinquency. Some of the offenders were easily deterred by the intervention of their family or masters, while others displayed the hardened attitude of the habitual offender. To take advantage of their knowledge about the tricks and dodges of the professional poachers, reformed poachers were hired to serve as gamekeepers. The chapter suggests that habitual poaching fostered a lack of moral responsibility, and disrespect for established hierarchies and patriarchal authority.

Keywords:   poachers, gamekeepers, medieval England, adolescents, youthful rebellion, juvenile delinquency, moral responsibility, established hierarchies, patriarchal authority

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