The 1858 Bradford sweets poisoning was the arsenic poisoning of more than 200 people in Bradford, England, when sweets accidentally made with arsenic were sold from a market stall in the town.
Law & taxation
The Arsenic Act 1851 (14 & 15 Vict c. 13) was passed by the United Kingdom Parliament in 1851, during the reign of Queen Victoria in response increasing public concern over accidental and deliberate arsenic poisonings.
A beerhouse was a type of public house created in the United Kingdom by the 1830 Beerhouse Act, legally defined as a place “where beer is sold to be consumed on the premises”.
Benefit of clergy was the legally enshrined right of any clergyman facing prosecution for a felony in a royal court to have the case heard instead in an ecclesiastical court.
The Benefit of Clergy Act, 1575 removed the right of those charged with rape or burglary to claim benefit of clergy, and so to be tried in an ecclesiastical court.
A tax on bricks was introduced in Great Britain in 1784 during the reign of King George III, to help pay for the American War of Independence. I was abolished in 1850.
Burning was a legal punishment imposed on women found guilty of high treason, petty treason or heresy. Over a period of several centuries, female convicts were publicly burnt at the stake, sometimes alive, for a range of activities including coining and mariticide.
There were three Burying in Woollens Acts passed during the 17th century, to support the domestic woollen trade in the face of increasing competition from foreign imports
The Capital Punishment Amendment Act 1868 (31 & 32 Vict. c.24) received Royal Assent on 29 May 1868, putting an end to public executions for murder in the United Kingdom.
Formally known as The Prisoners Temporary Discharge for Ill Health Act, the Cat and Mouse Act of 1913 was intended to deal with the public outcry resulting from the treatment of suffragettes who went on hunger strike while in prison.
The Combination Acts were passed by the Tory government of William Pitt the Younger in response to its fear of unrest or revolution among the working classes. They banned workers from combining to form trade unions and prevented them from striking, calling for shorter hours or increased pay.
An Act passed by the Rump Parliament in 1650, making fornication, adultery and incest secular offences.
De heretico comburendo (2 Hen. IV c. 15), was a law passed in 1401 during the reign of King Henry IV, allowing heretics to be burned alive.
The Diseases Prevention (Metropolis) Act (46 & 47 Vict c 35) was an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom passed in 1883, during the reign of Queen Victoria.
Two taxes on glass were introduced in England during the 1690s, the first on glass itself and the second on windows.
An Act of the Parliament of Great Britain to give copyright protections to the producers of engravings.
The Inland Revenue Act 1880 (43 & 44 Vict. c. 20), also known as the Free Mash-Tun Act, full title An Act to repeal the duties on Malt, to grant and alter certain duties of Inland Revenue, and to amend the Laws in relation to certain other duties, was a United Kingdom Act of Parliament passed in 1880 during the reign of Queen Victoria.
The Insolvent Debtors (England) Act (53 Geo. 3 c 102) was an Act of Parliament passed by the United Kingdom Parliament in 1813, during the reign of King George III. It was enacted in response to the demands on the prison system imposed by the numbers of those being incarcerated for debt, and some concern for their plight.
A statute passed during the reign of King Richard II to restrict the hunting of game to the wealthier members of society by forbidding the ownership of hunting dogs, ferrets etc. to anyone earning less than forty shillings a year.
The Lieber potentialis is a set of 7th-century ecclesiastical laws applied to women – and only women – perfoming acts such as divination, raising storms, or murder by the use of magic.
The Locomotive Acts of 1861, 1865 and 1878 set the United Kingdom’s first speed limits for road-going vehicles; powered passenger vehicles were at the time known as light locomotives, as they were invariably powered by steam.
The Making of Bread, etc. Act 1800 (41 Geo. III c. 16), also known as the Brown Bread Act or the Poison Act, was a British Act of Parliament that prohibited millers from producing any flour other than wholemeal flour.
The manorial courts were the lowest courts of law in England during the feudal period. They had a civil jurisdiction limited both in subject matter and geography.
The Metropolitan Houseless Poor Act 1864 (27 & 28 Vict c. 116) was a short-term piece of legislation that imposed a legal obligation on Poor Law unions in London to provide temporary accommodation for “destitute wayfarers, wanderers, and foundlings”
The Mines and Collieries Act 1842 (5 & 6 Vict. c. 99), usually known as the Mines Act 1842 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that prohibited all females and boys under ten years of age from working underground in coal mines.
The Punishment of Incest Act 1908 (8 Edw. 7 c. 45) made it illegal for the first time in England and Wales for a man to engage in sexual intercourse with any female he knew to be his grand-daughter, daughter, sister, half-sister, or mother.
The Act against Seditious Words and Rumours (23 Eliz. Cap. II), also known as the Statute of Silence, was passed by the parliament of Queen Elizabeth I in January 1581, introducing a series of increasingly gruesome punishments for speaking or publishing anything that the Queen did not wish to hear.
The Witchcraft Act 1735 (9 Geo. II c. 5), sometimes referred to as the Witchcraft Act 1736 owing to dating complexities, repealed the earlier statutes concerning witchcraft throughout Great Britain including Scotland, which had its own legal system.
Until the passage of Henry VIII’s Act of 1542 witchcraft was dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts rather being seen as a secular felony. It is unknown what triggered the perceived need for such a law, but it undoubtedly suited Henry’s agenda of wresting power from the Catholic Church.