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Ceremony and CivilityCivic Culture in Late Medieval London$
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Barbara A. Hanawalt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190490393

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190490393.001.0001

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Rebellion and Submission

Rebellion and Submission

Chapter:
(p.81) 4 Rebellion and Submission
Source:
Ceremony and Civility
Author(s):

Barbara A. Hanawalt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190490393.003.0005

Offenders who slandered the mayor and aldermen were brought before the court at the Guildhall to be tried. The ultimate punishment was the removal of citizenship, which meant that the man could not trade in the city. Most offenders made public apologies and made a bond to be paid if they slandered again. Punishments for infractions were turned into didactic rituals that informed the populace about the guilty man’s wrong behavior, fraud, or sexual lapse, and so on. Public punishment depended on the offender’s social class. While a citizen could get off with a bond, a bawd, prostitute, baker of bad bread, or a seller of spoiled meat pies was tried in the mayor’s court and, if found guilty, paraded through the streets on a hurdle drawn by a horse to the stocks to stand in public view. It was both humiliating and indicated whom not to patronize.

Keywords:   slander, elected officials, Guildhall, fines, removal of citizenship, apologies, fraud, victuals, humiliation rituals, pillory

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