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Crime has been present in all cultures and societies, since the beginning of time. This work focuses on the punishments common in England around the time of Shakespeare and Milton, presenting descriptions of over fifty criminal cases.
Information comes from narratives printed for the popular news media at the time of the event. Details of everyday life in England and facts about the English legal environment of the era are brought to light. Also revealed through the narratives are issues present in society today - i.e., the status of women, poverty, and corruption. Individual cases are discussed under chapters devoted to specific types of crimes.