עודכן: 7 בדצמ׳ 2021
This project is a unique comparative study and meta-research of print about female criminality and violent murderesses including women accused of murder in the context of domestic violence throughout the medieval ages and pre-modern Europe which among other surveys and evaluates a few dozen studies addressing this topic in a comprehensive, systemic and a thorough way. The study covers the West European hemisphere and concentrates especially on five countries as case studies: England, Wells, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. It covers a wide range of fields of interests regarding female violence like female perpetrated DV against spouses and children, murder perpetrated by women as well as general criminality and subsequently touching the status of women in medieval times including the very nature of the society in which those women lived and were active. When talking about female violence and criminality not only in historical terms but also from the perspective of the current situation, the first association which comes to mind is the assessment of a very well - known modern criminologist who has asserted that the apparent imbalance between male and female participation rates in twentieth-century criminal activity is based upon a "statistical deception". Pollak submits that modem women are quite as likely as men to commit a crime (0. Pollak, The Criminality of Women (New York 1961) 1-2). As we will see Pollak's assertion will prove to be true also from a historical perspective supporting the research of Murray Strauss which asserts and claims gender symmetry in domestic violence (Gender symmetry in partner violence: The evidence, the denial, and the implications for primary prevention and treatment, Murray Strauss). Here, Pollak states that "because of the inherent deceptiveness of the female nature, women literally "get away with murder." While his theories regarding the biological link between deceit and the menstrual cycle are somehow irrational and baseless in light of modern scientific understanding, the sociological aspect of his ideas due to the gynocentric nature of society whose lifeline is the clandestine nature and the taboo of female violence, are still valid" ( compare with Osgoode hall law journal, female poisoner of the nineteenth century: a study of gender bias in the application of the law© by Randa Helfield*; see also in the references ). While I don't believe that the inherent female nature is deceptive, I do believe that socio-cultural conditioning strengthens the tendencies of deceptiveness in women and makes them get away with murder because of the gynocentric culture's clandestine nature with its hidden taboos, it's the lifeline which guarantees the survival of this social order and constructs!
Anyway, Pollak explains that a woman's indoctrination into the world of deception begins at puberty with the onset of her first menstrual period. According to Pollak, "the fear and anxiety caused by this strange and inexplicable phenomenon, coupled with the social taboos surrounding its mere mention, quickly teach a young girl to hide her experience from others. While the first assertion, especially in the light of modern science and understanding seems to me, as stated above, quite senseless, the second part of the taboos, although different, seems correct. Likewise, according to Pollak, this, plus a generally rigid early sex training, is bound to inhibit free sexual expression. While such notions of menstrual taboos are outdated today, although prevalent in the Victorian era, the taboos and the clandestine nature of both phenomena, the gynocentric society as well as female violence, is indeed one of the main sources why women are getting away not only with murder but almost with every crime especially if it relates to men and DV. Hence, although I will claim that female deceptiveness is not inherent to a woman's authentic and true nature, Pollak's outlook that women are culturally and socially conditioned through gynocentric social engineering to be insincere through what we can define as applied toxic femininity, meaning conditioned through social engineering, was, indeed, very true not only in the nineteenth century, not only today but throughout all of the history. It is so not because women are inherently so but because of gynocentrism's clandestine nature especially regarding the taboos about female violence required to maintain the culture as its lifeline. "Because of their superior training in dissimulation", Pollak argues that "many of the crimes committed by women remain undiscovered. As we will see in our thesis here, there are, indeed, good arguments in support of the idea that despite the scarcity of historical records, there were far more female murderesses and criminals in the Medieval era as well as Pre – Modern Europe than previously believed
Another outstanding researcher in this field was J. M. Beattie whose study of female criminality in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England was ground-breaking. Although still not realizing the full scope of female violence, Beattie at least went one step further in the research and showed clearly that women participated in the same range of offenses as men, albeit in lower numbers, and he saw little evidence of supposedly ‘natural’ feminine weakness and passivity concerning their involvement in a crime. Works that followed shifted the focus of criminal history from a male-orientated approach to one which challenged women’s perceived marginality. The mid-1990s were crucial as gender historians sought to improve and advance a better and greater understanding of both male and female criminality by providing close textual analysis alongside quantitative approaches. Widely-cited works, such as those by Garthine Walker, and the collection of essays edited by Walker and Jenny Kermode, explored the dynamics of a range of crimes, including property offenses and violent attacks, in the light of gendered reality. Likewise, the more the research advanced and further progressed, an examination of nineteenth-century murder cases heard at the Old Baily Sessions Court reveals that not only women partially committed murder in similar or at least not so much different rates but that almost all murders and attempted murders committed by women occurred in a private domestic environment which supports the notion above of the more clandestine nature of female violence and the gynocentric taboos imposed on it as the life to the existence of this society. Those, also, involved victims who were not only intimate with or related to, the accused. The mostly but not exclusively private nature of these offenses impeded their discovery, and because the victims and witnesses were often close friends or family, many more of these crimes likely went unreported. Today, we can only imagine how many female offenders escaped detection and arrest for every one woman that was charged but even more so we will see that many women even if got caught were getting away with crime and murder due to the medieval concept of female hypo – agency.
Based upon this concept of hypo - agency and subsequently Pollak's "statistical fraud presumption", the numbers presented here in our study are much higher. Just to give one more modern example, even in their minimum levels, as the more current study of (general) crime statistics for New York State suggests, of the 20,000 men arrested in 1940, 57% were convicted, while in the same year only half as many females were arrested and of this only 43 % were convicted. Hence, as we will see, in our discourse, this is the same ratio and percentage for women's crime and female criminality in the middle ages, we can assume that the same principles of hypo agency and the statistical fraud presumption was valid in medieval Europe too (See Pollak, p. 5). Also, further publications in the last two decades have shown that women were also just as capable as men of committing varying degrees of non-fatal, as well as fatal, violence. This applied both within and outside the home, as Elizabeth Foyster and Joanne Bailey have demonstrated. Most homicides committed by men were in fights with other men in public places, like the alehouse. As women spent more time within the domestic sphere of the household they would be less likely to be in these situations. Thus, especially in historical terms, the types of female homicides can be categorized into four general groupings: infanticide and child murder, husband murder, the murder of subordinates, and murders that do not fit into the other categories. Women employed a variety of methods to commit murder. Strangulation was the most common method used by women when all forms of murder are considered. However, methods very often were specific to each form of murder. For example, suffocation and strangulation were most commonly used in infanticide cases, whilst poison was used more in cases of husband murder. Infanticide cases in particular display many methods that were specific to that form of murder. If were move infanticide cases, we can get a better picture of what methods women used in other forms of murder.
Statistics on Female Criminality in the Middle Ages and the Pre-Modern Time!
Generally speaking, women represented historically at least 30 to 40 percent of the defendants at criminal trials, in some periods reaching 60 percent or higher ("Continuity or Change? The Prosecution of female crime, Manon van der Heijden, see in the references). The overall percentage of property offenses for the Ricardian period is 62.5%. Among women, it is 66%, 140 of 211 indictments. "The data of the consistory records reveal the domestic violence of women that was concealed in the records of the criminal courts. Women made up 44 percent of the cases involving violence that was brought before the consistories. The high numbers of disciplinary cases brought before the consistories involving violent wives can also be explained by considering the definition of violence. The criminal courts dealt primarily with physical violence, while verbal violence and cases of defamation were generally treated by civil courts (and rarely by correctional courts). In the minutes of the consistories, such differences were much less clear because spouses were often accused of various forms of violence. Swearing, foul language, and drunkenness were often accompanied by beating, kicking, throwing things, or other physical violence. The cases brought before the lower criminal courts may give a much clearer indication of women’s violent behavior because here the defendants were unambiguously accused of physical violence" (Women, Violence and Urban Justice in Holland c. 1600-1838, Manon van der Heijden, Page 83). This is evidence is very important because the main route of the statistical fraud and manipulation of female perpetrated DV and violence was conducted via the disregard of the data relating to the lower courts where women were treated more leniently, very often left off the hook, and also did not appear in the official legal statistic. "Looking for violent women implies looking for sources which reveal violent female behavior that may be hidden in records of the most serious violent crimes" (Women, Violence and Urban Justice in Holland c. 1600-1838, Manon van der Heijden, Page 83).
Between 1700 and 1750 almost a quarter of the violence involved women (including fighting with another person and the destruction of property and belongings). Furthermore, women were responsible for 42 percent of the correction cases involving fighting. It may not come as a surprise that women were particularly prosecuted for fighting with and assaulting other women; about 30 percent of the fights involved another woman and usually, the fight took place in the neighborhood (Women, Violence and Urban Justice in Holland c. 1600-1838, Manon van der Heijden, Page 83). Based upon the concept of hypo agency and subsequently Pollak's "statistical fraud presumption", that I mentioned before, the numbers presented here are much higher. Compared to their minimum levels in the study of (general) crime statistics for New York State that I mentioned above, this is the same ratio and percentage for women's crime and female criminality in the middle ages. Thus, we can assume that the same principles of hypo agency and the statistical fraud presumption were valid in medieval Europe too (See Pollak, p. 5). Furthermore, it has been observed that modem crime rates show a marked rise in the participation of females during war years "when male manpower became depleted and women assumed many roles formerly reserved to men. This gives us both a glimpse into the reality of the disposability of men and the concept of chivalry which is not different from the dynamics and workings in the workplace where dangerous jobs are performed by men where women were spared of participation as far as it was possible in life-threatening situations – "Women and Crime in later Medieval England: an Examination of the Evidence of the Courts of Gaol Delivery, 1388 TO 1409 Kathleen E. Garay, Page 95)
Anyway, between 1750 and 1795, on average 35 percent of the cases brought before the correctional court concerned women. During this period, the judges of the Rotterdam court of correction dealt with 5,954 prosecutions, of which 2,065 involved female crimes. In some years, the female share in violence was much higher still, for instance, during the periods 1769-1771 and 1773-1776, women accounted for 44 percent of misdemeanor prosecutions (Women, Violence and Urban Justice in Holland C. 1600-1838, Manon van Heijden). The proportion to overall female crime in 1835 stood at 25 percent (Women, Violence and Urban Justice in Holland C. 1600-1838, Manon van Heijden). Also, in 1835 almost 60 percent of the charges against women brought before the court of correction involved violent crime. These accusations included both verbal and physical violence, although 86 percent concerned maltreatment, meaning physical violence (Women, Violence and Urban Justice in Holland C. 1600-1838, Manon van Heijden). "Furthermore, Ruitenbeek’s study reveals that the figures on female crime rates in the first quarter of the nineteenth century are quite similar to the prosecution trends that can be observed for the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Between ca. 1790 and 1835 women constituted on average 20 percent of those who appeared before the criminal court of Amsterdam" which means that already here women made a fifth of the serious offense that was brought to the criminal court and couldn’t be more hidden (Women, Violence and Urban Justice in Holland C. 1600-1838, Manon van Heijden). Likewise, between 1700 and 1800 the proportion of women in the Rotterdam fight books, for example, varied between 25 and 44 percent, and there was no long-term decline or rise in women’s share in violent crime throughout this period. because others doubted their financial soundness or because they were accused of theft or bankruptcy.75 Apparently, both in Amsterdam and Edinburgh women were fighting about both their sexual and their economic honor (Women, Violence and Urban Justice in Holland C. 1600-1838, Manon van Heijden).
In Amsterdam, female violence was in many cases directed at men; 44 percent of the victims of female aggression were male. Fights generally started with verbal violence and scolding, followed by pulling off of hats or caps and by hitting with the hands, a ladle, pan, or broom.76 The examination of witnesses reveals that female violence was often very serious; both men and women were seriously injured by the aggression of their female neighbor. It may be tempting to assume that women were mostly violent when acting as accomplices of male aggressors, but this was not the case in early nineteenth-century Amsterdam. In 67 percent of the cases involving female violent crime, women acted alone without any help from others. The fight books of Rotterdam (a total of 6,369 cases) reveal information about the locations of violent acts and it appears that most male and female violence was committed in public (outside the home). Overall, 89 percent of all violence occurred outside the home, although there were slight differences in this respect between men and women. In 95 percent of the cases, female violence occurred in a public space, in particular in the neighborhood, but also in the streets of other neighborhoods or taverns, coffeehouses, wine houses, and inns. In 1760 23-year old Johanna – a migrant from Flanders – was arrested because she started a fight after drinking a bottle of wine in a tavern in Rotterdam. The majority of the women who were prosecuted by the Amsterdam correctional courts were employed. Between 1811 and 1835, 62 percent of the female delinquents specified that they had an occupation at the time of their arrest. Furthermore, the women of Amsterdam were increasingly accused and convicted because of violence against their neighbors, and less often because they had committed property offenses or moral crimes such as prostitution or adultery.
These figures indicate that dominant household ideologies did not necessarily represent the public activities of men and women. In practice, women’s activities transcended the realm of the household. There may also be a more fundamental problem concerning the concept of separate private and public spheres. The paradigm of private and public spheres masks the fact that both men and women moved easily between so-called private and public spheres. In his work on gender in early modern England, Shoemaker rightly argues that such contrasts correlate imperfectly with actual gender-role differences. In Amsterdam, the female assault took place as often at home as in a public place, although female killers rarely committed their crime in public. Also, in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the proportion of indicted female crime varied from 20 to 44 percent, and in the vast majority of cases, female violence occurred in a public space. Likewise, between 1700 and 1750 approximately 40 percent of the prosecuted women were migrants who often traveled without parents, a husband, or other relatives. Additionally, around 40 percent of the women were married at the time of their arrest, though in practice these women appeared to live alone, and they often took care of the children that had resulted from the marriage.
Female Criminality between 1558 – 1700
The pattern in female homicide cases from the assize courts between 1558-1778 from the counties of Essex, Sussex, and Kent in England shows that women represent about 1/3 of accused homicides in each of these counties. 33 percent of homicides in Kent, 32 percent in Essex, and 29 percent in Sussex were committed by women, with 31 percent of homicides carried out by Women overall. Hence, in many cases, women were not responsible for crimes at all due to medieval law and the principle of female hypo agency, those figures, in reality, were even higher. Following this period, even the official numbers were higher as I showed in other posts by crosschecking the data with other sources, this analysis quite proves that the concept of gender symmetry in domestic violence including the murder of a spouse is not a modern phenomenon but was valid also in medieval times. However, by adding the murder of children that even in this time shows a rate of 80% of murders committed by mother and women and not by men and fathers shows that in the overall calculation the rate of domestic violence including murder perpetrated by women was significantly higher than that perpetrated by men. All in all, it also refutes the feminist notion of patriarchy and points to the existence of another social construct and society namely gynocentrism! The interesting thing here is how researchers manipulate their data and findings. Even if we take the numbers at face value then a third of all murders is not insignificant. The is still true id numbers were as they claim and more violence was perpetrated than men. However, researchers ignore the fact that women were responsible for more than 80% of child murder which turns their assumptions and conclusions on their heads. In a nutshell, this is the best-case scenario for feminist research. We should still not ignore the raw and empirical data but read the conclusions with a critical approach and draw our own. The picture that emerges then is completely different and show reality as it is not colored by feminist and gynocentric cherry-picking and selective interpretation of reality! (Women who murder in early modern England,1558-1700, page 14)
When women did commit murder, it was much more common for it to occur within the domestic sphere. Out of the 372 women accused of murder in this study, 90 percent were for murders committed within the household Women employed a variety of methods to commit murder. Strangulation was the most common method used by women when all forms of murder are considered. However, methods very often were specific to each form of murder. For example, suffocation and strangulation were most commonly used in infanticide cases, whilst poison was used more in cases of husband murder. Infanticide cases in particular display many methods that were specific to that form of murder. If were move infanticide cases, we can get a better picture of what methods women used in other forms of murder. Excluding the infanticide cases, the most striking difference is the dramatic fall in strangulation, which has dropped from the most common method to leave only three cases. Surprisingly, the most common methods used by women were very violent. About 60 percent of all murders committed by women was done by beating their victim to death. In this case, beating refers to kicking, punching, and hitting with objects like cudgels or broomsticks until the victim is dead. Poisoning and stabbing were the only other methods that occur in large numbers, with 13 percent poisoning their victims and 11 percent stabbing them. The conviction rate for women who murdered within this period was not very high. In this study, only about 47 percent of women who were indicted for murder was found guilty. But once they were found guilty, they were not often reprieved. 75 percent of the women convicted went on to be executed. On the other hand, 45 percent of women were found not guilty when they were indicted for murder. This shows that women were found guilty approximately half of the time, so perhaps Garthine Walker’s claim that women benefitted from chivalric attitudes on the part of judges and jurors was fairly accurate!
As I wrote, women were responsible for at least a third of all homicides on the grounds of domestic violence in England from 1558 to 1778. However, in practice and even without the murder of children and infants, due to medieval law and the concept of female hypo-agency, the number was even of a high degree of likelihood and close to gender symmetry. These graphs above show that children and infants accounted for the major casualties when it came to murder within the context of domestic violence - over 80%. The numbers are quite similar to modern figures, though slightly higher than they are today - about 71% of children and infants are murdered by the mother and not by the father, as a 2006 US study showed. The second-largest group of victims murdered by women is subordinate to a woman in the household. This figure is interesting because it again brings a shred of empirical evidence not only to women's violence but because it especially refutes the feminist claims of discrimination, enslavement, and the subordinate place of women in society, especially regarding men. Women were maybe more concentrating on the domestic sphere but they weren't in a subordinate position, hence, they controlled all of the finite and most important resources of the family including servants, subordinates, children (human resources), family finances, including those of the husband. So, not only did women have subordinates in the household, but they took advantage of this position of power making this group the second largest number of victims killed by women after children and infants The third-largest group of victims murdered by women was husbands. In the upcoming posts I will present further analyzes, segmentation, and graphs that will focus on all groups and of course specifically on this one. As a rule, both, this post and the previous ones, show that women's violence including murder has never been a marginal phenomenon, women have murdered no less than men and if there were differences, they were insignificant or such that couldn't eliminate women's violence and hence all feminist claims of violence as a patriarchal tool of oppression is nothing but a historical fallacy and falsely fabricated factoid. As always, the data shows a different picture of reality, far more complex and completely different from the fabricated propaganda that the feminist establishment has been feeding us regularly.
Eighteenth-century London and Paris: From 1674 – 1789 In London and Paris, roughly 60% of women accused of murder
In London and Paris, roughly 60% of women accused of murder were not convicted of any crime. Parisian women were more likely to be given a lesser sentence (branding, imprisonment, banishment) than London women, which could be reflective of the more sophisticated nature of the punitive infrastructure in Paris, in particular, the women’s penal institution of La Salpêtrière. However, once conviction had been handed down London women were more likely to receive a last-minute pardon (this was in theory impossible for Parisian convictions of premeditated murder). In both cities, therefore, capital conviction rates of 21.4% in London and 15.8% in Paris must be seen as the very maximum proportions of women who might have been executed. The 63% acquittal rate for London women was higher than the general acquittal rate for the London Old Bailey in this period at just 41.8%, although this overall rate included many crimes which did not carry the death penalty for which conviction may have been more likely (such statistics cannot be gauged for Paris). More importantly, the acquittal rate for women was higher than that for men accused of murder in both cities. In London, where male conviction rates also remained fairly stable, only 44% of accused male killers were acquitted. Even if taking the following numbers at face value where a higher percentage of men were found guilty of manslaughter (33%) than actually only the common disregard if acquitted women will revolve in a "similar" conviction rate of 22% of men who were sentenced to death. The false and manipulated statistic is only possible if you leave the many women murderers of the Hook. In Paris, male acquittal rates were also lower than female ones (46%) and Parisian men were also more likely to receive a lesser sentence (25%), however, unlike women accused of murder, these rates altered over the century with death sentences for male killers rising dramatically in the 1770s and 1780s.
Despite severe limitations in the London data, it seems that, in both cities, women accused of murder tended to be older than women accused of other crimes. The median age of female homicide defendants in Paris was 36 and in London was 30 Yet when younger women were indicted for murder in the Parisian Parlement (where enough age information exists to undertake further analysis), they were less likely to be acquitted (51% acquittal rate for women aged 20 to 29) and were more likely to be given a death sentence (22%) than older women. This is because according to medieval law it couldn't be blamed on the husband and second for younger women there were even fewer excuses in general than for older women. 35% of indicted London women were married, and 6% were widows, while in Paris 31% of defendants were married and 12% were widows. This implies that 59% of defendants in London and 57% of defendants in Paris were probably single women. Following the methods of Peter King, these can be compared with Laslett and Wall’s estimates that, in eighteenth-century Europe, 12% of women over nine were widows, 44% were married and 44% were single. This implies that married women were underrepresented and single women were overrepresented in murder accusations in both London and Paris. However, this is also probably reflective of the fact that London and Paris had higher Proportion of single women than national rates because of the rising urban demand for female labor, particularly in domestic service.
While similar proportions of married and single women were accused of murder in London and Paris, differences emerge between the two cities when marital status is cross-referenced with conviction rates. In London, single women were more likely to be acquitted than married women or widows. This could reflect emerging eighteenth-century understandings of single women as passive vulnerable victims rather than subversive threats within the urban space. While married women could also appropriate narratives of female passivity and victimization, such motifs took on a particular power in cases of single women at a time when understandings of the responsibility of authorities to protect their most vulnerable were gaining currency, seen in the creation of new Foundling and Magdalen hospitals. Such understandings were in direct contradiction to fears about the threat posed by independent young women living outside of male control as documented by Amy Masciola. This unresolved contradiction can be seen in both the judicial treatment and print coverage of single women accused of murder, leading to complex and often contradictory arguments in the court and on the page. The London tendency to favor single women was in contrast to Paris, where conviction and acquittal rates differed much less according to marital status, but where married women were slightly more likely to be acquitted than their single counterparts. Petrovitch has shown that, in Paris, trials of single women would often proceed more slowly than those against women with a family, allowing more time to secure a conviction. As domestic service became primarily a female occupation later in Paris than in London, where it had become almost fully feminized by the beginning of the century, it may also be that associated narratives of the vulnerability of the young urban woman took longer to influence conviction rates. In total, the Old Bailey Proceedings record 206 cases of women accused of involvement in a killing act for the period 1674-1790, including one woman, tried twice for the same crime, and one woman tried for two different murders. Catalog 450, dealing with a larger jurisdiction, lists 531 cases of women accused of involvement in killing for the period 1700-1790. In both cities, this excludes women who were tried for infanticide. Infanticide was treated as a separate crime in both judicial systems and has been heavily studied in the previous historiography and so will not be included in this analysis
Interestingly, by giving a detailed account of the profession of women accused of killing in the London Old Bailey, the research on female criminality in medieval times and Pre-Modern European history also reveals the distribution of occupation of women in that time. From a total of 206 cases, there were 77 known ones, where the occupation was mentioned and it is very interesting to investigate it in details as it not only refutes the notion that women were confined to the domestic sphere, not only that they never were chattels of anyone, specifically not their husbands but also some very surprising details as to the career choices women made and were allowed to make.
Occupation Number Percentage (where occupation is known)
Brothel Keeper/ prostitute 8 ___________________ 10.4%
Apprentice1 _________________________________ 1.3%
Servant 10___________________________________ 13.0%
Nurse/Midwife 10_____________________________ 13.0%
Victualler/landlady 15__________________________ 19.5%
Gentlewoman 4________________________________ 5.2%
Total 206 100%
First of all, if we look upon this data then the two categories with the highest percentages are the female manufacturer and landladies which were noblewomen. The landladies were women who rented land, a building, or an apartment to a tenant which means that women not only owned all of this property but could also do business with it. Being a manufacturer, again, does not only require property and capital, but those are traditionally and also still today (by career choices) male-dominated fields. Such data shows us that if women did take this choice, they were not restricted from entering those fields of expertise. Manufacturers among the females accused of murder accounted for 18.23% which is almost a fifth of all accused females. Landladies accounted for 15.19%. Together it made up 33.42% of all women accused of murder which is a third. If we add 7.8% of a female retailer which are women merchants and 5.2. of noblewomen which is a total 13%, it makes altogether 45% of the accused women of murder. Another important category is the 13% nurses and midwives which in older times must have been self-employed women, then almost 58% of the women accused of murder (almost 60%) were of higher status and/or independent.
Such an analysis not only shows us in general that women did work in medieval time and Pre – Modern times, that they weren't restricted to the domestic spheres, nor that they ever have been chattels of anything or anyone, but even more than this all of this also seems not to have been the motivator behind the phenomenon of female criminality and murder. On the contrary, 60% of women accused of murder were to varying degrees independent, in the position of power, and owned the necessary property and capital to execute it. Therefore, not only that women did the murder, not only that as I showed in previous posts murder committed by women was somewhere between the 30% and up to gender symmetry, but the main motivator was not self-defense or the poor conditions of women but the female abuse of power associated with those women's status. The bottom line is that the feminist movement was involved in the most deceiving but extremely effective propaganda campaign the world has ever seen. They convinced the entire humanity that it was men with a monopoly on political as well as economic power who were the oppressors of all women while using violence as a practical tool to maintain the system and exercise this power. However, the reverse was true and the empirical evidence emerging from research overthrows the false narrative and factoids as taught by the feminist media, the education system, or whatever other relevant institution.
Furthermore, in London, two-thirds of cases of female-perpetrated murder were the murders of men, which supports Garthine Walker's findings for Cheshire in disputing Spierenberg and McLynn’s characterization of female murderous violence as primarily targeted towards other women. At the same time, London women were almost equally likely to be sentenced to death for killing both genders which would seem to deny the possibility that the act of a woman killing a man was seen as a particularly horrifying form of subversion. Like women, London men were much more likely to be indicted for the murder of men than women: 81% of men accused of murder were accused of the murder of a man. But, unlike women, men were much more likely to be sentenced to death for the murder of a woman (31% of accusations) than of a man (20%). These findings become even more pronounced within the analysis of spousal murder. Unlikely, the modern feminist environment, Husband murder, the same as with wife murder, was undoubtedly seen and perceived as a heinous crime in both cities (Paris and London), carrying a capital conviction rate of 31.9% in Paris and 33.3% in London. Nevertheless, the treatment of female perpetrated murder in DV cased still appears to be mild in the middle ages and Pre-Modern European time when compared with the conviction rates for men killing their wives, thus, the feminist claim that husband murder was seen as a particularly serious crime, turns plain and simple out to be another falsely fabricated feminist factoid which has nothing to do with actual science.
Both in Paris and London, during the period between 1674 to 1789, wife murder formed a smaller proportion of murder accusations against men: 5% of male murder accusations in London and Paris just 2% which also resembles modern dynamics. Yet conviction rates were extremely high for those crimes compared to the same crimes committed by women: 53% of men accused of killing their wives in London were sentenced to death and 44% in Paris. As standing opposed to the manipulative feminist claims that such crimes may reflect the reality that wife murder was only prosecuted in particularly extreme cases, hence, not only in a certain context, those extremely high conviction rates as well as any other aspect, actually in all of its entirety, does demonstrate to us that the medieval courts were by no means lenient on wife but husband killers and they prosecuted men at the best of their ability while treating women with silk gloves. It also shows and refutes and refutes again the feminist concepts of DV, especially those as the faulty Duluth Model, from a historical point of view and at its very root level including the idea that violence is inherently a male phenomenon and all men use it as a patriarchal tool to oppress all women.
Likewise, and as we have seen, although being treated with silk gloves, husband murder was nevertheless, still undoubtedly persecuted in both cities, carrying a capital conviction rate of 31.9% in Paris and 33.3% in London. So, while the husband murdering was still perceived as a transgressive crime in both London and Paris and received high conviction rates, it was still almost only half of the conviction rates for men and most probably resulted as a result a concern for female not male life within the wider context of domestic violence thus was, therefore, a part and connected to a broader concern with spousal murder and condemnation of domestic violence. Although spousal murder formed an important part of female perpetrated murder, in the metropoles of London and Paris women’s murder was not restricted to the domestic space nor the nuclear family. Husbands were the most common victims of female homicide in both cities, but the richer London records demonstrate that women were also accused of murdering people with whom they shared a wide variety of relationships. While the relationship to the victim is unknown in 32% of cases in the proceedings, the most common victims of female homicide after husbands (19.1% of all cases excluding unknowns) were tenants (14.2% of cases), employees (9.9%), and acquaintances (9.9%) with children, the other stereotypical victim of women, coming in joint fifth alongside strangers (8.5%). Also, while previous historians have argued that women tended to kill within the home, 42% of London female-perpetrated murders were alleged to have taken place in public yards, in the street, or a public drinking house.
Female Criminality between 1663 – 1802
The Surrey cases at least do not suggest that women relied on their murderous attacks any more than did men on indirection, stealth, and excessive deception. Apart from three women accused of causing death by witchcraft, thirty-four other women were charged with murder, of whom fifteen were principals. Of these, three were accused of killing with knives; four had struck their victims on the head (with a club, poker, iron spit, and pewter drinking pot); one had used a pistol; two prostitutes were charged after throwing a client who objected too loudly to being robbed out of a second-floor window from which he was vainly trying to summon help, and at least two other women were accused of murder after the death of someone they had punched or kicked. Judges and juries went out of their way in the eighteenth century to find evidence that would justify acquittal and it was rare in Surrey for women to be found guilty of infanticide!
Nineteenth-century criminology studies show that murderesses used poison more often than any other method. For example, in one survey, it was shown that between 1875 and 1880, almost 7 out of every 10 offenders who used poison were women. Pollak attributes the predominant use of poison by women to the fact that by its very nature, poisoning is a crime of secrecy and cunning. However, an easier explanation is that it simply enabled women to overcome the physical barrier of being weaker than men by using cunning and deception. Although, the extensive use of poisoning is typical for Victorian women, otherwise all over history women used the more violent methods of murdering, like beating, strangulation, and so on, it can be that coupled with other elements this specific use was simple the preferred choice of women in that time.
Furthermore, it is interesting to mention, that in the Parliamentary debates surrounding the Sale of Poisons Bill, Earl Granville cited statistics on poisonings in London at that time. It was estimated that five hundred took place per year and that for every one poisoner detected, three or four escaped the notice of the Registrar General. It is clear that many poisoners remained at large in the Victorian era, and many unexplained deaths resulted. It is interesting to note that in the Parliamentary debates surrounding the Arsenic Act, it was suggested that the sale of poison be restricted to adult male purchasers only. This is so because too many "accidental" deaths had resulted from the sale of poison to female servants who were often sent to the store on behalf of their mistresses. This suggestion, however, was not incorporated into the final draft of the statute
It, therefore, seems that poison was the favorite choice of Victorian murderesses because it was easy to obtain and to administer without arousing suspicion. Also, as I also have already stated above, its use as a murder weapon required little effort or physical strength. As a result, the scarcity of known Victorian murderesses may have been partly due to their superior training in cunning and deception, as Pollak believed. A brief survey of the Old Bailey Sessions Papers in the years 1845-50, 187073, and 1881-85 disclose only one reported case of a female poisoner. The Newgate Calendar lists none. However, it seems unlikely that women were less criminal by nature in the latter age. Proof in poisoning cases almost always depends on circumstantial evidence; therefore, to reach a verdict, juries must make inferences. In the nineteenth century, these juries were composed of men, whose gynocentric sociomoral outlook dictated the direction in which these inferences were drawn. Hence, it was not the formal or written law that governed the fate of female (as well as male) prisoners, but the cultural stereotypes of the men who applied that law, it means that it was the narrative that dictated the interpretation of the written law and thus the outcome and this as I have said was gynocentric and misandrist. In other words, and as it is today, it's not the written law that is important and this is today as it was earlier gynocentric and also feminist which makes it even worse.
Also, the intensive Parliamentary debates revolving around the need for poison control in the nineteenth century show that the problem of deaths by poisoning was increasing in the Victorian era not decreasing. This also shows that authorities were aware and knew of these murders committed by women but didn't want to spend enough money, effort, and resources to investigate it and because male life is less valuable than females', they let women off the hook. Subsequently, the presumption of innocence was, therefore, stronger concerning women than men in these old days as it is also today and as the saying goes there is nothing new under the sun. This old presumption is still best accorded with the stereotypes of today. Even in cases where women were and are convicted today, the notion that they were somehow not fully responsible for their actions diminished their culpability. In older times it helped save their lives, in modern times, it just spares them jail time – no matter the crime they've committed. As a result, the fortunate female poisoner in the nineteenth century found herself in a unique position under the law, the same way her modern sister finds herself today - they could and still literally get away with murder or almost with any crime.
Holland and Germany
The percentage of female defendants fluctuated between 30 and 40 from 1687 to 1795. Likewise, about 30% of Bavarian offenders in the first half of the seventeenth century were women. Moreover, around 1700 their share had decreased to about 25%. Women tended to attack other women. Thus, the ratio of female crime in Amsterdam approached 50% at times, between the middle of the seventeenth century and the middle of the eighteenth. Furthermore, those statistics included among other child abandonment, theft, or smuggling. In Delft, for example, it was 36% between 1591 and 181011. This picture is confirmed in a recent study by Manon van der Heijden. Dutch evidence suggests that female crime was a constant phenomenon. Van der Heijden showed that between 1700 and 1750 women represented on average 35 percent of those brought before the criminal courts of Rotterdam. The information on the Rotterdam criminals included both the criminal sentence books in which felony cases were recorded and the correction books which consisted of misdemeanors, particularly violence. The latter was referred to as fight books (vechtboeken), though the records included a much wider variety of offenses, including felony cases. The figures on women’s share in the total number of offenses (the number of persons was lower) were slightly higher, on average 38 percent of the misdemeanors were committed by women.
Women were prosecuted for a variety of offenses: 33 percent of them for a moral offense; 23 percent for a crime related to property; 23% for a crime against public order; and 21 percent of female offenders for violence. Those moral offenses were not related to prostitution, but primarily to adultery and lesser extent fornication. The usual excuse that that fact that Rotterdam was an important town of the East Indian Company and thus had a significant impact on female crime, which like in Amsterdam, most adulterous women were left behind by their husbands who worked as a sailor for the company and thus decided to cheat is of no importance. Especially, because none of those pseudo excuses were applied to men with the role reserved and men are denied sex by wives for a longer time for different and less valid reasons. What about the proportions of female offenders in Rotterdam in the second half of the eighteenth century, the period about which Feeley has no information? New data on the fight books between 1750 and 1795 reveal that the proportion of women’s involvement in crime did not decline in the second half of the eighteenth century. It may not be a surprise that the figures on female crime rates continued to be stable in the years between 1750 and 1795 – considering the figures of the other towns in Holland – but it is remarkable when one looks at the nature of the offenses that were recorded in the fight books. Although in this period all crime categories were recorded in the fight books, 40 percent of the prosecuted persons had committed a crime related to violence. Surprisingly, women made up a substantial portion of
Between 1815 and 1835 women constituted on average 19.4 percent of those who appeared before the criminal court of Amsterdam. In the course of this period, the proportion of female criminals increased rather than declined: in 1815 only 14.5 of the accused were women, while in 1835 this had risen to 25.4 percent. The proportion of women who were subsequently prosecuted for crime increased as well: in 1815 only 17 percent of all trials had a female defendant, in 1835 the proportion of trials involving women had increased to 30.5 percent. So, in general. 1.5 to 2 ratio of 150 – 200% is the number of women left off the hook. Ruitenbeek also presents information about the records of the Court of Assizes of The Hague (1811-1838) whose jurisdiction covered felony cases in the south of Holland49. This court handled crimes such as theft and burglary, assault, homicide, manslaughter, infanticide, patricide, poisoning, and rape. Around 10 percent of the defendants were eventually acquitted, and released without punishment. Those who were convicted by the Court of Assizes received prison sentences that could range from a few months to 20 years, often in combination with a fine or scaffold punishment. Van Ruller examined the records of the SouthHolland Court of Assizes for the years between 1811 and 1838 during which he counted 3,704 defendants. The involvement of women in felony cases appeared to be rather high, as 19 percent (699 women) of the defendants were female. Most of these women (around 80 percent) were held because they had committed theft in combination with other offenses.
Moreover, around 20 percent of the defendants were prosecuted for violence and assault, and occasionally for manslaughter or murder. Much additional research needs to be done on the period between 1811 and 1838 to draw definitive conclusions. However, the present evidence suggests that there were extensive continuities in the proportion of female offenders amongst the various courts between c. 1750 and 1838. Anyway, between 1845 and 1877 the proportion of the imprisoned women varied between 9 percent in the 1850s and 14 percent in the 1860s and 1870s. The figures show a sharp decline after 1877 when the proportion of women in national prisons dropped to 8%, thus resembling the feminist campaign to acquit all female offenders. Besides, this also shows the sentencing gap and its prevalence and existence already in pre=modern times and the dynamic which led to its huge widening in our time. The Dutch case confirms the pattern of female crime as described by Peter King for England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and that we will be discussing immediately. Information on the occupational status of those women who were convicted reveals that there was no relationship between declining female crime rates and women’s participation in the labor market between 1815 and 1880, as 65 to 90 percent of female prisoners were employed by the time of their arrest.
Between 1700 and 1750 almost a quarter of the violence involved women (including fighting with another person and the destruction of property and belongings). Furthermore, women were responsible for 42 percent of the correction cases involving fighting. It may not come as a surprise that women were particularly prosecuted for fighting with and assaulting other women; about 30 percent of the fights involved another woman and usually the fight took place in the neighborhood (WOMEN, VIOLENCE AND URBAN JUSTICE IN HOLLAND C. 1600- 1838, MANON VAN DER HEIJDEN, Page 83). In Amsterdam (1811-1838), many women started a fight to defend their honor because they felt insulted by others, although it was not necessarily their sexual honor they were defending. They were just as much triggered into starting a fight when their financial or economic reputation was at stake. Many women felt offended because others doubted their financial soundness or because they were accused of theft or bankruptcy. Both in Amsterdam and Edinburgh women were fighting about both their sexual and economic honor (WOMEN, VIOLENCE AND URBAN JUSTICE IN HOLLAND C. 1600-1838, MANON VAN DER HEIJDEN). Most violence occurred in the streets and was started for a variety of reasons: annoyance about garbage or noise; disagreement about transactions and money; drunken quarrels in inns about the price of tobacco, wine, or beer; accusations of adultery, etc. A good example is that of a landlady from Rotterdam who rented rooms to sailors of the East India Company. In 1750, she was sentenced to a fine of 12 guilders for attacking a male competitor on the quay when they waited for the ships to arrive (Women, Violence, and Urban Justice in Holland C. 1600-1838, Manon van der Heidjen).
In Amsterdam, a female assault took place as often at home as in a public place, although female killers rarely committed their crime in public. Spierenburg found that in only one of the female homicide files was the scene of the crime a public place. The fight books of Rotterdam (a total of 6,369 cases) reveal information about the locations of violent acts and it appears that most male and female violence was committed in public (outside the home). Overall, 89 percent of all violence occurred outside the home, although there were slight differences in this respect between men and women. In 95 percent of the cases, female violence occurred in a public space, in particular in the neighborhood, but also in the streets of other neighborhoods or taverns, coffeehouses, wine houses, and inns. In 1760 23-year old Johanna – a migrant from Flanders – was arrested because she started a fight after drinking a bottle of wine in a tavern in Rotterdam. The majority of the women who were prosecuted by the Amsterdam correctional courts were employed. The Rotterdam records of the court of correction began to list the defendants’ occupation in the eighteenth century; most women were in domestic service, or they worked as needlewomen, cleaners, or seasonal workers. These women were probably not very different from the violent women found by Spierenburg in Amsterdam. Between 1811 and 1835, 62 percent of the female delinquents specified that they had an occupation at the time of their arrest. Furthermore, the women of Amsterdam were increasingly accused and convicted because of violence against their neighbors, and less often because they had committed property offenses or moral crimes such as prostitution or adultery. These figures indicate that dominant household ideologies did not necessarily represent the public activities of men and women. In practice, women’s activities transcended the realm of the household. There may also be a more fundamental problem concerning the concept of separate private and public spheres. The paradigm of private and public spheres masks the fact that both men and women moved easily between so-called private and public spheres. In his work on gender in early modern England, Shoemaker rightly argues that such contrasts correlate imperfectly with actual gender-role differences.
As the data of Rotterdam and Amsterdam between 1700 and 1838 clearly show, both men and women-led public lives; within neighborhoods, on the streets, and at markets, in workplaces, churches, places of public entertainment, and through contact with institutions for community facilitation. In many ways and many places, the private lives and public roles of both men and women were very much entwined. Neighborhoods, in particular, were places where private and public spheres largely overlapped, and where women had more opportunities to play an active role in quarrels and fights.99 Family, work, religion, and neighborhood did not signify separate spheres, either private or public, but rather blurry spheres in which various private and public interests were mixed. Between 1700 and 1750 approximately 40 percent of the prosecuted women were migrants who often traveled without parents, a husband, or other relatives. Thus, it is more evidence for the high degree of female freedom and women nor being confined to their homes. Family and the domestic sphere. Around 40 percent of the women were married at the time of their arrest, though in practice these women appeared to live alone, and they often took care of the children that had resulted from the marriage. In Rotterdam between 1700 and 1800, on average 35 percent of the fighters were women, and the correctional court of Amsterdam between 1811 and 1835 produced similar figures. Most of them were working, and did not depend on the income of a husband, father, or other relatives!
Thus, between 1700 and 1750 almost a quarter of the violence involved women (including fighting with another person and the destruction of property and belongings). Furthermore, women were responsible for 42 percent of the correction cases involving fighting. It may not come as a surprise that women were particularly prosecuted for fighting with and assaulting other women; about 30 percent of the fights involved another woman and usually the fight took place in the neighborhood (WOMEN, VIOLENCE AND URBAN JUSTICE IN HOLLAND C. 1600-1838, MANON VAN DER HEIJDEN, Page 83). In the screenshot which depicts the female violence in Rotterdam, Holland, in 1715 - 1750, provided by the Judicial Archives we learn that:
1) Women compromised more than a third of all crime cases!
2) A quarter of all the violent crimes!
3) Almost half of the fighting!
A modern criminologist has asserted that the apparent imbalance between male and female participation rates in twentieth-century criminal activity is based upon a "statistical deception". Poliak submits that modem women are quite as likely as men to commit the crime – (0. Poliak, The Criminality of Women, New York 1961). There is no question that Pollak is correct with his assertion about the "statistical fraud". Yet, he is wrong to assume that this is only a modern phenomenon. Why? Because based upon the concept of hypo agency and subsequently Poliak's "statistical fraud presumption", the numbers presented here are much higher than ones we're usually offered by the mainstream media, academia, and the public discourse. The study here which is based upon empirical data regarding female crime statistics in Holland and that was obtained from the judicial archives, indicates and reveals a different picture. It overthrows the usual feminist false narrative, propagated by its state apparatus and that is feeding us with its propaganda machine. What we can see is that this is the same ratio for women's crime and female criminality, both in the middle ages as well as in modern times. Therefore, we can assume that the same principles of hypo agency and the statistical fraud presumption were valid in medieval Europe too. In the bottom line, the data I've revealed here regarding female violence in the 18th century compromises only the minimum rate for female violence in this time while the true numbers, both historically as well as in the present time, are much higher and more significant than we've seen in the chart above
Anyway, back to Heijden's research, it is also important from a different aspect namely in that it delivers the final blow to the feminist nonsense of patriarchy and women being solely homemakers, dependent on the oppressive, exploitative, and tyrant husband, is found on page 96 of van der Heijden's research.
She writes: "The records of the correctional courts of Rotterdam and Amsterdam between 1700 and 1835 show that almost all the women who were tried – even more than the men – committed their crimes in public; in the streets in or outside their neighborhoods, in wine houses, coffee houses and inns".
And maybe the most important conclusion from all of the research is his following statement:
"Most of them were working, and did not depend on the income of a husband, father or other relatives".
The bottom line is unequivocal and can be summed up in the following way: all of the evidence we brought here means that the women's and feminist movement was engaged in the most deceiving and dishonest propaganda campaign the world has ever seen. They brainwashed the whole of humanity that it was men with a monopoly on political power who were the oppressors of women when the reverse was true.
I have brought here some highlights from van der Heijden's research which is a part of a broader meta-study I will be posting later and it refutes all of those feminist lies. This is contrary to the official narrative and everything taught by the education system which by adopting the feminist re-writing of history lies to us all. The evidence brought here constitutes a definitive kill-shot on the patriarchy theory and shows that women were the privileged sex also in pre-modern European history.
We further read: "Information on the occupational status of those women who were convicted reveal that there was no relationship between declining female crime rates and women’s participation in the labor market between 1815 and 1880, as 65 to 90 percent of female prisoners were employed by the time of their arrest.
Fact 1: The female decline is what Pollak defined as "statistical Fraud" or "Statistical Deception". This statistical deception is the result of the rise of the feminist movement which sought to give a free pass for all female criminals and its anti-male propaganda, by the early twentieth century the misandrist environment justified data manipulation policies, the creation of bogus statistics, and the misrepresentation, both of the official as well as historical data. This manipulated and "cooked" data is the one we know today and which falsely shows a lower proportion of female involvement in crime and is presented to us in all criminology courses as standing at the rate of 9%. As we have seen this lower percentage in a historical anomaly and a fallacy that can't be possible. As we know from the research and even from extracted numbers from the official data itself female criminality today is almost identical to the higher rates of the Old Bailey. Based on feminist propaganda which is refuted by the Old Bailey itself, female criminals are just left off the hook. It was also confirmed in the Hedderman research. I will bring more data on female criminal activity from the old Bailey archives but meanwhile, you can check it here for yourself.
Fact 2: I have quoted Manon van der Heijden as stated in another research (Women, Violence and Urban Justice in Holland", that "Most of them (female offenders) were working, and did not depend on the income of a husband, father or other relatives". In this research Manon van der Heijden reveals that no less than 65% of the female offenders and up to 90% were working women already in the 19th century much earlier than the feminist movement could bring any significant change. First of all, many of those offenders were low-class women which means the upper-class women either worked or chose not to do so by their own free will and not through male dominance, governance, and coercion because otherwise low-status women couldn't stand a chance to do so. These lower-status women worked in hired and paid jobs while higher status women could either afford to work outside the home, run their business enterprise (as possible from the 16th century), or as traditionally most women did work in their domestic sphere. The only difference was that those upper-class women had just more options. The bottom line is that contrary to the false feminist narrative women always work and almost 100% of them – either employed in paid jobs or the domestic sphere if they could afford it and were affluent enough to do so.
In London, between 1674-1789, two-thirds of cases of female-perpetrated murder were the murders of men, which supports Garthine Walker's findings for Cheshire in disputing Spierenberg and McLynn’s characterization of female murderous violence as primarily targeted towards other women. At the same time, London women were almost equally likely to be sentenced to death for killing both genders which would seem to deny the possibility that the act of a woman killing a man was seen as a particularly horrifying form of subversion. Like women, London men were much more likely to be indicted for the murder of men than women: 81% of men accused of murder were accused of the murder of a man. But, unlike women, men were much more likely to be sentenced to death for the murder of a woman (31% of accusations) than of a man (20%). As I said, despite the lenient treatment of women, husband murder was still undoubtedly perceived and persecuted in both cities, carrying a capital conviction rate of 31.9% in Paris and 33.3% in London. So, while the husband murdering was still seen as a transgressive crime in both London and Paris and received high conviction rates, it was still almost only half of the conviction rates for men and most probably resulted as a result a concern for female not male life within the wider context of domestic violence thus was, therefore, a part and connected to a broader concern with spousal murder and condemnation of domestic violence. Although spousal murder formed an important part of female-perpetrated murder, in the metropoles of London and Paris women’s murder was not restricted to the domestic space nor the nuclear family. Husbands were the most common victims of female homicide in both cities, but the richer London records demonstrate that women were also accused of murdering people with whom they shared a wide variety of relationships. While the relationship to the victim is unknown in 32% of cases in the proceedings, the most common victims of female homicide after husbands (19.1% of all cases excluding unknowns) were tenants (14.2% of cases), employees (9.9%), and acquaintances (9.9%) with children, the other stereotypical victim of women, coming in joint fifth alongside strangers (8.5%).
England in the 17th and 18th century
Even in the Old Bailey, dependent on the time, women accounted for at least a fifth of all serious crimes (ranging from violent assault, theft, coining, murder, and many more). Twentyone percent (21%) of the defendants tried between 1674 and 1913 were women. However, this figure has undergone a significant chronological change. From the 1690s to the 1740s women accounted for around 40% of the defendants. And in the first decade of the 18th century even over half the defendants. This was the higher rate of female criminality in the Old Bailey. In the early nineteenth century, the rate returned to 22% of defendants. It shows that the rate of female criminal activity ranged from a little bit more than a fifth to over half of the crimes over a decade of almost three centuries. Records from the Old Bailey in London suggest the percentage of female defendants fluctuated between 30 and 40 from 1687 to 1795 (How violent were Women? Court Cases in Amsterdam, 1650-1810, Pieter Spierenburg)
With the rise of the feminist movement which seeks to give a free pass for all female criminals and its anti-male propaganda, by the early twentieth century, the misandrist environment justified data manipulation policies, the creation of bogus statistics, and the misrepresentation, both of the official as well as historical data. This manipulated and "cooked" data is the one we know today and which falsely shows a lower proportion of female involvement in crime and is presented to us in all criminology courses as standing at the rate of 9%. As we have seen this lower percentage in a historical anomaly and a fallacy that can't be possible. As we know from the research and even from extracted numbers from the official data itself female criminality today is almost identical to the higher rates of the Old Bailey. Based on feminist propaganda which is refuted by the Old Bailey itself, female criminals are just left off the hook. It was also confirmed in the Hedderman research. "Moving beyond the pre-trial stages, an analysis of the northern Gaol delivery books, Kent indictments, and OBP revealed a total of 1747 married women who were tried for theft-related offenses, coining, and murder. Of these, juries acquitted or discharged 1026, convicted 379, and delivered partial verdicts to 313, while the remaining twenty-nine verdicts were either not specified or fell into the “other” category. By letting almost 60% of female criminals and offenders of the hook by acquitting, these figures certainly argue for the assumption which is also true in general that married women too escaped the treatment as men, were dealt more leniently with in comparison to men although they did not escape prosecution and conviction completely".
Of the 104 coining cases in the Old Bailey, seventy-five (72.12%) involved a husband and wife accused together. In almost half of the cases (41,33%) juries did not deliver the same verdicts for husbands and wives, usually acquitting the wife, while in forty-four (58.67%) of these cases they did so. It shows that other than if it was not possible, the judicial system did everything to let the women get off the hook. For the most part, the number of accusations against married women followed the general pattern of crime Ninety of the 153 married women (59%) condemned of theft, murder, and coining at the Old Bailey between 1674 and 1760 were executed. This statistic was used for the typical feminist manipulation and the claim that the percentage shown here is higher than the general statistics for the Old Bailey. Using V.A.C. Gattrell's figure that between 1701 and 1760 there were 939 capital convictions and 379 executions in London, which works out to an execution rate of 40.36 percent, the claim was that that the number of married women executed in London during this period was higher than the overall execution rate. This is classic statistical manipulation as suggested by Pollak disregarding the tens of percentages, somewhere around 60% of women, acquitted and left off the hook. The 60% of the 153 women mentioned above are not 60% 0f the 100% of women criminals, it's even not 60% but 60% 0f the 40% brought to justice. If we calculate this according to the true data so the figure is somewhere between 20 to 25 which is much below the average. This figure demonstrates that the argument that married women were discharged without punishment or that they received milder punishments than their male or single counterparts are completely right and it shows how this deception works. Married women were still executed despite their unique legal status
Kent indictments from 1640-1688 and the Old Bailey records from 1674-1760 reveal a total of 1747 cases in which a married woman was accused of a theft-related offense, coining, or murder. The overall statistics demonstrate that juries did not uniformly acquit married women. Juries acquitted or discharged 1026 (58.73 percent) of the married women accused of theft, coining, or murder between 1640 and 1760. The acquittal rates for the various crimes differed, with the highest for murder at 68.97 percent. Married women's acquittal rate was high (as compared to the acquittal rates of other groups of offenders), but their criminal liability was not entirely erased. While Juries convicted 379 married women of theft, murder, and coining as in comparison to the women acquitted, these numbers do not show the same treatment of women criminals as in comparison to men but that even if not completely acquitted women still had much less criminal liability following the rules of female hypo agency. Of the sixty-two married women within the relevant sample, forty were accused without their husbands in the northern depositions and Gaol delivery books. Juries convicted 16.6 % of these women and acquitted 54.8% while the rest received partial verdicts.
Between 1674 and 1760, Old Bailey juries in our source base acquitted 81.63% of the married women accused of theft-related offenses with their husbands, and 48.48% of married women accused without their husbands. At the same time, they also acquitted 47.28% of the husbands who were accused of their wives, which is higher than the overall male acquittal rate of 31.13%. This means an acquittal rate that is twice as higher for married women than married men and an acquittal rate that is 1.5 times higher for single women than men. Of the twenty-two cases of married women accused of petty treason at the Old Bailey between 1674 and 1760, juries acquitted eight (36.36%), convicted seven (31.82%), and delivered partial verdicts in the remainder. Under the common law, the offense of petty treason was codified in the Treason Act 1351. Under this Act, petty treason was an aggravated form of murder. Although it has to do with the murder, this was still considered a high conviction rate for women. This high conviction rate of women accused of petty treason perhaps reflects the violent nature of the offense. The conviction rate for petty treason was slightly higher than that of murder, which stood at 25%, and significantly higher than infanticide. Married women did not normally have a reason to hide their pregnancies, and the perceived lack of motive certainly contributed to the low conviction rate of married women in infanticide cases.
In London, for example, ninety-seven married women were condemned for theft, coining, and murder between 1674 and 1760. Of these, thirty-nine (40%) were executed. A reading of the Ordinary of Newgate’s Accounts reveals a further fifty-six offenders whose life story indicates that they were married at the time of the offense but whose OBP entry does not indicate they were married. Of these, five women were reprieved while the remainder were executed. These numbers indicate that a total of 153 married women were convicted of theft, coining, and murder at the Old Bailey and sentenced to death between 1674 and 1760; of these, ninety married women were executed.8 These numbers only refer to London. Unfortunately, the northern circuit does not have comparable sources and it is difficult to determine how many of the offenders were executed. Fortunately, there is a set of sources that discusses the criminal lives of married women outside of London – the petty treason pamphlets. It is important to note that the northern Gaol delivery books contain gaps between 1640-1656 and 1676-1716. Even with these gaps, the Gaol delivery books contain records of 160 married women accused of theft, coining, or murder. However, the Gaol delivery books do not contain any information about the cases besides the name of the accused and his or her verdict. To gain a better understanding of the specific circumstances of each case, this study cross-listed the Gaol books with the depositions examined in the previous chapter. This provided a sample of eighty-three married women who had matching depositions and Gaol delivery entries. This sample was then analyzed to determine possible reasons behind why a jury chose to convict or acquit accused married women. While these reasons are largely speculative, coverture seems to have played both an explicit and implicit role in the northern assize circuit, although it was often only a backdrop to the larger reasons behind a jury‟s decision concerning a particular offender's fate.
The 160 married women accused of theft, murder, and coining in the northern gaol delivery books indicate that married women were present in the early modern criminal justice system. Before analyzing the reasons behind a jury‟s decision in these cases, it is necessary to determine larger patterns of married women. Also, these 160 married women accused of theft, murder, and coining in the northern Gaol delivery books indicate that married women were present in what was perceived as men's criminality. As previously stated, the northern assize Gaol delivery books contain gaps between 1640-1656 and 1676-1717. To account for these missing years, this study used the Kent indictments from 1640-1688 and the Old Bailey records from 1674-1760, which revealed a total of 1747 cases in which a married woman was accused of a theft-related offense, coining, or murder.4 The overall statistics demonstrate that juries did not uniformly acquit married women. Juries acquitted or discharged 1026 (58.73%) of the married women accused of theft, coining, or murder between 1640 and 1760. The acquittal rates for the various crimes differed, with the highest for murder at 68.97 percent. These numbers ultimately reveal that the defense of marital coercion, or at least assumptions about coverture, created a situation in which married women's acquittal rate was high (as compared to the acquittal rates of other groups of offenders), but their criminal liability was not entirely erased. Juries convicted 379 married women of theft, murder, and coining. Of the eighty-three married women in the sample, sixty-two were accused of theft. Of these, eleven involved husbands and wives together. According to the legal treatises, juries could only apply the defense of marital coercion in these eleven cases. Juries acquitted nine of the eleven married women accused of their husbands and delivered partial verdicts in the remaining two cases. This is a striking acquittal rate of 81.81%. While the deponents did not specify coercion in these cases, the husband's criminal identity seems to have covered his wife's, following the principles set out in the defense itself. In contrast, juries acquitted or discharged 54.8%of the married women accused without their husbands. These numbers speak to the prevalence of a married woman's lack of criminal liability in certain theft-related offenses, especially when she was accused together with her husband. The presence or absence of a husband played a large role in a jury's determination of guilt, but coverture was not absent from any of these sixty-two theft cases.
The separation of husband and wife in these ten cases draws attention to the effect that the presence or absence of a husband had on the treatment of married women in the criminal courts. Of the sixty-two married women within the relevant sample, forty were accused without their husbands in the northern depositions and Gaol delivery books. Juries convicted 16.6%of these women and acquitted 54.8% while the rest received partial verdicts. The other serious offense was murder. Of the eighteen married women accused of murder in the source base, juries convicted four. An analysis of the OBP between 1674 and 1760 reveals a total of 1371 married women accused of theft, coining, or murder. While the OBP does not contain a full record of the criminal trials at the Old Bailey, they offer more insight into these events than any other source; it is in the OBP that one can see if and when the defense of marital coercion applied. Studying accusations of theft before the Old Bailey, Lynn MacKay found that “women were almost twice as likely to be found not guilty or to have their sentences reduced as were men who pleaded distress or who asked for mercy.” (Married Women, Crime, and Questions of Liability in England, 1640-1760 by Marisha Christine Caswell) The defense of marital coercion was present in fifty-six of the 294 theft trials at the Old Bailey involving a married woman accused with her husband. In London, between 1674-1789, two-thirds of cases of female-perpetrated murder were the murders of men, which supports Garthine Walker's findings for Cheshire in disputing Spierenberg and McLynn’s characterization of female murderous violence as primarily targeted towards other women. At the same time, as Table 1.6 shows, London women were almost equally likely to be sentenced to death for killing both genders which would seem to deny the possibility that the act of a woman killing a man was seen as a particularly horrifying form of subversion. Like women, London men were much more likely to be indicted for the murder of men than women: 81%of men accused of murder were accused of the murder of a man. But, unlike women, men were much more likely to be sentenced to death for the murder of a woman (31% of accusations) than of a man (20%).
Welsh women murdered men more than women, even when the victim was an adult. 59% of women’s victims were male, but if the suspect’s children are excluded from the figures, the number increases slightly to 64.8%. Their methods were also far from ‘trivial’, as shown below. Poison has long been considered a distinctly feminine method of murder. Reginald Scot claimed in the sixteenth century that ‘women were the first inventors and the greatest users of poisoning and more materially addicted and given thereunto than men’. The use of poison by women has also received lengthy scholarly consideration. Francis Dolan remarked that poison was ‘the early modern housewife’s method of choice’ because it was a ‘stealthy, tidy, non-confrontational method...[which] relies on more cunning than physical strength’.72 By resorting to such means, women manipulated their spouse’s reliance on them for care and nourishment. Anne-Marie Kilday has more recently argued that poisoning was a distinctly gendered crime, showing that Scottish women turned to it more frequently than any other method.74 In Wales, poisoning was not used solely by women. Over half of the victims of poisoning were male and only one was a child. As Kerry Segrave has argued, ‘the more helpless a victim is, the more likely it is that the woman will kill aggressively’. The majority of suspected female murderers (24.6%) strangled or suffocated their victims, using a rope or ribbon in some cases to enhance their strength. A further 19.7% attacked using a blunt object. The objects used were common, general-use household items such as chamber pots, iron hammers, sticks, and wooden rods. They were also fully capable of killing without a weapon, using only their bare hands to inflict their fatal blow. Jane Morris ‘did strike beat and kick’ Richard Jones with both her hands and feet, causing ‘several mortal strokes, wounds, and bruises upon the head, back, belly, sides and other parts of the body’. He died two days later as a result of his injuries.
The methods of murder women adopted varied by age and sex of the victim. Children were most commonly asphyxiated, a method which required the attacker to have superior strength. It could also be easily explained away as overlaying or sudden inexplicable death, with little evidence of an attack. Burning and drowning were comparatively rare but were also always directed at children. Over half of adult males were beaten, either with or without the use of a weapon, and only one woman used a firearm against an adult. Poison, which could easily have been administered to an unknowing child, was rarely used to this end. Quicker, and seemingly less agonizing, methods were favored for minors, where women’s physical superiority was assured. Of the 68 female murder suspects, the indictments were returned ignoramus for 21 (31.8%), and 33 of the 37 (89.2%) who stood before a trial jury were acquitted. Six women were not tried; four because they were deemed to be insane, one woman was never apprehended and another committed suicide. Two women had their charges reduced to manslaughter by the grand jury and were subsequently found guilty and imprisoned. Only four guilty verdicts (10.8%) were returned against female murderers in the 100 years under study. This figure is, however, slightly inflated as two of the murders which returned a guilty verdict were committed by one woman. The punishment for one woman is not recorded, and it is unclear whether she was hanged for her crime. A second woman had her death sentence commuted and her life spared by the judge. Between 1730 and 1830, therefore, only one woman was hanged for murder, and it is almost certain that this was on account of the severity of the double-murder which she committed. In comparison, the indictments of just over one-quarter of male murder suspects were returned as ‘no true bill’ by the grand jury, and a further 198 (39.1%) were acquitted or subsequently not prosecuted. At least 177 men (34.9%) were found guilty or received partial verdicts (namely for manslaughter). Of these, 58 (32.8%) appear to have been hanged, with a further four receiving the death sentence, but later pardoned and transported for life.
Women were found guilty of murder only in very rare, exceptional cases, in this instance where two individuals were murdered and the accused freely confessed, thus allowing little room for any doubt.162 Eighty-eight percent of the women were acquitted by either the grand or trial juries. More than 75% of the women accused of homicide in the Surrey Assizes between 1660 and 1800 were discharged or acquitted, compared with half of the men. In contrast, in Scotland, 60% of women accused of murder were convicted, and two-thirds were hanged. Some historians have argued that women received particularly lenient treatment by the courts. G. R. Elton claimed that there was often instinctive chivalry, or if you like embarrassment, which was a common reaction of that day when confronted with women who broke the rules’. Carol Weiner similarly argued that ‘women reaped informal protection from the relative leniency of law-enforcement officials towards their sex’.167 Barbara Hanawalt has stated that ‘male jurors did not take women’s role in crime seriously or thought that, if caught, women deserved special considerations’.168
Women most often killed familiar parties, with Welsh women murdering their children in greatest numbers. There is little evidence of ‘same-sex’ violence, as they fatally attacked both males and females. When acting with another individual, women most commonly appeared alongside men, but not necessarily their spouse. The methods of murder chosen were rarely non-confrontational or underhand, which is partly explicable through the young age of many of their victims. The defendants would have had superior strength, even without the use of a weapon. To assist in the act, or to speed up the process, various household objects were sometimes used to enhance their strength. Their actions should not automatically be considered as passive or helpless. In contrast to their gender stereotypes, many women appear to have acted out of anger or provocation, or a desire for material or sexual gain. Even in their roles as aiders or inciters of murder, they appear to have been far from submissive (Aspects of Female Criminality in Wales, c.1730-1830: Evidence from the Court of Great Sessions, Catherine E. Horler-Underwood)
It has been argued that women committed more crimes against the person in urban than in rural areas. 83% of such crimes committed by women in Surrey occurred in urban parishes and only 17% in rural areas, whereas for men the urban-rural distribution was 68.5% to 32.5%. A similar discrepancy has been noted between the number of female murders committed to urban (68%) and rural (32%) areas of Scotland. Despite these perceptions, there are no obvious geographical patterns in the location of female-perpetrated murders in Wales, with the numbers indicted across the country being broadly similar. Ten female suspects were indicted in Breconshire and Cardiganshire, each comprising 14.7% of the total. This was closely followed by Glamorganshire (13.2%), Caernarfonshire, and Pembrokeshire (10.3%). This mirrors the pattern for men’s murders, with the largest numbers committed in Pembrokeshire and Denbighshire (12%), followed by Glamorganshire, Carmarthenshire, and Cardiganshire (11%).
In the Essex Assizes between 1560 and 1709, women constituted 42% of those accused of killing a relative, 59% of women’s victims were male, but if the suspect’s children are excluded from the figures, the number increases slightly to 64.8%. The majority of suspected female murderers (24.6%) strangled or suffocated their victims, using a rope or ribbon in some cases to enhance their strength. Sarah Owen tied ‘a certain piece of linen tape...in and about the neck’ of her infant son, of which he instantly died. A further 19.7% attacked using a blunt object. The objects used were common, general-use household items such as chamber pots, iron hammers, sticks, and wooden rods. Women were found guilty of murder only in very rare, exceptional cases, in this instance where two individuals were murdered and the accused freely confessed, thus allowing little room for any doubt. 88% of the women were acquitted by either the grand or trial juries. More than 75% of the women accused of homicide in the Surrey Assizes between 1660 and 1800 were discharged or acquitted, compared with half of the men. In contrast, in Scotland, 60% of women accused of murder were convicted, and two-thirds were hanged.
57 women were suspected of infanticide in the sample periods of 1730-45 and 1770-85. It is not possible to determine the verdicts for six of these women, and a further four were not prosecuted. Of the remaining 47 suspects, the grand jury returned an ignoramus verdict in 12 cases (25.5%). Thirty-four women stood before a trial jury: 29 were acquitted (85.3%) and only five were found guilty (14.7%). The punishment of one of the women is unknown, two women were pardoned and transported for life, one had her death sentence reprieved and was imprisoned, and two were hanged for their actions. Only 5.7% of the suspects who stood trial for infanticide in this period suffered the death penalty, all of which occurred before 1740. The low conviction rate for infanticide has also been noted in studies of early modern England. Only 20.9% of suspects in Surrey were found guilty by the trial jury in the period 1660-1802, and only 9 of the women who stood trial were hanged. On the Northern Circuit between 1720 and 1810, out of 200 infanticide suspects, six were found guilty and two were hanged. Similarly, out of 64 prosecutions for infanticide in Durham, Northumberland, Newcastle, and Berwick, there were only seven convictions.
The 1624 act was replaced in 1803 by a statute which made proof of murder a requirement for conviction. The statute also empowered juries to return the lesser verdict of concealment, punishable by a maximum of two years imprisonment. This altered the treatment of suspects considerably. In the period 1805-20, 33 women were suspected of infanticide. The grand jury returned an ignoramus verdict for 51.6% of the suspects, over three times as many as sample one, despite the number of cases being smaller. 15 women stood before a trial jury. A guilty verdict was returned in 60% of the cases, though these were for the lesser offense of concealment and not infanticide. It is not possible to determine the punishment of one of the nine women, but the remaining eight were imprisoned for periods of between two months and two years. Where it is possible to determine how the infants died, it is apparent that 11 percent were drowned, 4.1% were abandoned and 4.1% were beaten. One female child had her throat cut and a male child was discovered with several lacerations to the face. The majority (75.3%) of the victims showed signs of strangulation or suffocation.150 Asphyxiation required little physical exertion against the tiny bodies and enabled a greater disassociation from the act than a more overtly violent method. The act itself, unlike the spilling of blood, left little incriminating evidence and did not require the concealment of a weapon. Where marks on the neck were evident, they could potentially be attributed to the umbilical cord had wrapped around the infant’s neck or difficulties during labor. Suffocation left few physical marks, making it hard to prove whether the child had been born alive or dead. Over 40% of the cases involving suspected strangulation or suffocation were thrown out by the grand jury
In contrast, Kilday has argued that Scottish women were ‘atypically brutal in the committal of infanticide’ and that ‘bloodshed was the norm, rather than the exception’. She has shown that in only 19% of infanticide cases were no discernible ‘marks of violence’ discovered on the body of the victim. Being rooted in "extreme" violence was imperative for the most obvious inability for a free pass for women thus to guilty verdicts rather than releasing them and as in contrast to the seemingly less brutal nature of infanticide in Wels. This is why Jury in Wels could use the situation as an excuse to let women get free but had no choice In Scotland to convict 60% of them. Despite the frequency with which women committed assault in groups, their violence was still only targeted at a single individual. Only 22 indictments (4.9%) refer to more than one victim, with over 71% of the victims being male. If we consider only the women who were indicted for assault alone, and not in a group, then the pattern remains the same: 58.1% of their victims were men. Scottish women attacked men and women in relatively equal numbers, while in Amsterdam between 1650 and 1810 women targeted their violence at each other.
Female assault suspects came from a range of social backgrounds. The majority (44.7%) were from the lower-middling orders, with their husbands most commonly recorded as yeomen. A further 31.6% of the women were married to men in skilled professions, such as butchers and tailors and 16.5% could be described as laborers. There is some change over time, with the percentage of suspects of freehold status decreasing, but those of skilled and laboring status increasing significantly. The low number of married women indicted in sample three makes it difficult to draw any firm conclusions regarding the changing status of the suspects, though the change may be partly reflective of the particular social upheavals of these groups during the French Wars, with which the figures coincide. Tradesmen and craftsmen were especially vulnerable to economic fluctuations, and the high taxes and prices of these years drove many into poverty. Assessed taxes trebled and the new income tax came into effect in 1806. The involvement of women of this status in rioting will be discussed in the following chapter, but of 181 males appearing before the Great Sessions in Montgomeryshire and Carmarthenshire between 1792 and 1813 suspected of assault, property destruction, and rioting, some 56 were artisans.
The response of the suspect to the indictment charged against them had important implications for how the case progressed. There appear to be significant gendered and chronological differences in the pleas recorded. In the 45-year sample, 71.1% of the female suspects either submitted to the indictment or pleaded guilty to the crime. If the samples are considered individually then the trend is particularly noteworthy. In period 1730-45, 35.3% of the women indicted for assault pleaded not guilty to the crime, with 64.7% pleading guilty or submitting to the charge. By 1805-20 not a single woman pleaded her innocence. The number of known pleas is very small, with only 11.3% of pleas recorded in the final sample, but the pattern is nevertheless interesting. In comparison, in the same 45-year sample, 49.8% of men pleaded guilty to assault or submitted to the charge; a percentage considerably lower than that recorded for female suspects. Chronologically, an inverse pattern is evident with men being more likely to plead not guilty by the end of the period under study. In the period 1730- 45, 34.7% of male suspects declared their innocence to the crime, but by 1805-20 53.2 percent did so.
As argued above, financial limitations rendered the trial procedure difficult as there were often substantial costs involved in the calling of witnesses to support a defense. As a result, a number of those accused had little choice but to submit or plead guilty to the indictment. This limitation had the greatest impact upon men because even if some women pleaded guilty with hoped to get a lighter sentence, some men haven’t had a different situation, yet, the majority of women escaped punishment in cases of typical female offenses, just giving up on expensive investigation procedures, letting them go in cases of poisoning, suffocation, etc. And of course, poor laboring men, having to feed the family, would have done this to, the same way the wife would have chosen to take this course of actions (Aspects of Female Criminality in Wales, c.1730-1830: Evidence from the Court of Great Sessions, Catherine E. Horler-Underwood)
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3. Criminology, Research Focus, Karen T, Froeling, Editor
4. Criminality, Deviance, and Conformity in Women, Ngaire May Naftalin
5. Women and Crime in Later Medieval England: an Examination of the Evidence of the Courts of Gaol Delivery, 1388 TO 1409 Kathleen E. Garay
6. Crime and the Courts in England, 1660-1800 by J. M. Beattie
7. Criminological Research Bulletin New Serries, NO. 1, Otto Pollak
8. The Pattern of Crime in England 1660-1800 Author(s): J. M. Beattie
9. “What are you? – A Woman I suppose”: Women in the 18th Century British Courts by Jessica A. Gibson
10. Perceptions of the Murderess in London and Paris, 1674-1789, Anna Clare Jenkin
11. Women, Violence and Urban Justice in Holland c. 1600-1838, Manon van der Heijden
12. Married Women Crime and Questions of Liability in England, 1640 – 1760, by Marisha Christine Caswell
13. How violent were women? Court cases in Amsterdam, 1650-1810, Pieter Spierenburg
14. Continuity or Change? Female Crime in the 19thCentury Netherlands, Manon van der Heijden et Valentijn Koningsberger
15. Women, violent crime and criminal justice in Georgian Wales, by Katherine D. Watson
16. Female Criminality in York and Hull 1830-1870, by Susan Elizabeth Grace, M.A., Cert. Ed.
17. Female Poisoners of the Nineteenth Century: A Study of Gender Bias in the Application of the Law Randa Helfield
18. London’s Female Thieves, 1700-1710, Nichole Garbrough
19. Aspects of Female Criminality in Wales, c.1730-1830: Evidence from the Court of Great Sessions, Catherine E. Horler-Underwood
20. Women who murder in Early Modern England, 1558-170, Laura Spence