Hark to who's talking - the king of contradiction and repetition.
> -- or look it up,
Just like you do - not?
> instead of wasting all our time.
"Our"? I didn't realise I was talking to Brenda. How goes it, Yer Maj?
Here are your past lessons on literacy in the law courts and
elsewhere. This is me on 5/12/2010:
"Court records show that yeomen used benefit of clergy to escape
severe punishment when convicted. That means they could read. Some of
them may simply have memorised the
relevant biblical passage, but the magistrates had the option of
asking them to read another section if they suspected fakery".
Me on 1/6/2012:
The Act for the Advancement of True Religion in 1543 forbad the
following to read the Bible:
'no woman, nor artificers, apprentices, journeymen, serving-men under
the degree of yeomen, nor no husbandmen, or labourers...'
If none of them could read, what was the point of this clause?
Did not the author of The Cobler of Canterburie in 1590 write of his
'When the Farmer is set in his chair turning (in a winter's evening)
the crab in the fire, here he may hear, how his son can read, and when
he hath done, laugh while his belly aches'.
Did not John Rhodes write of his publication The Countrie Man's
'If therefore it happens to light into hands that are wise and
learned; know this that I doe not count it so fit a book for thee as
for the Scholler of pettie Schooles the poor Countrieman and his
Did not Thomas Nashe complain in 1592?
'The pride of peasants sprung up of nothing......some such obscure
upstart gallants, as without desert or service, are raised from the
plough to be checkmate with Princes..'
Some random examples from the annals of the courts:
Richard Rawlinson husbandman and horse-thief, escaped the death
penalty by benefit of clergy (Mercy and Authority in the Tudor State.
Krista J. Kesselring).
In 1430 John Carpenter, a Sussex husbandman, murdered his young wife
and the authorities feared he would escape hanging by claiming benefit
of clergy (Identity and Insurgency in the late Middle Ages. Simon
All this proves you wrong.
Me on 8/6/2012:
"In 1538, Thomas Cromwell ordered all parish churches to possess an
English bible so that the local people could "most commodiously resort
to the same and read it." No persons excluded. Just five years later,
the Act for the Advancement of True Religion forbad access to the
'lower classes'. Why? Because the 'privilege' had, according to the
Act, been "abused" by the "lower sorte" who "have therbye growen and
increased in divers naughtie and erronyous opynions". (from Reading
Material in Early Modern England: Print, Gender, and Literacy. Heidi
It was banned because some of your 'peasants' had read it and started
to get.....IDEAS, you know, like the nobs were selling them a pup.
You won't know this, but a good deal of anti-riot legislation was
passed in Tudor times. The 'lower orders' were thought by the
legislators to be potentially rebellious if not controlled. An Act of
1553 - forbidding unlawful assembly and such like - included penalties
for "setting up and casting of any bills, or writing" which might
incite the mob to violence. Obviously, the lawmakers knew that certain
of the 'peasants' could pen and/or read placards or libels - say, akin
to those posted at the Dutch church in 1592. And that wouldn't do at
> > Of course some faked their claim to literacy and if the
> > magistrate was suspicious, he'd give them another text to
> > read.
> That is NOT what this text states,
Yes it bloody well does, are you sight-impaired as well as daft?:
"If the defendant who claimed benefit of clergy was particularly
deserving of death, courts occasionally would ask him to read a
different passage from the Bible; if, like most defendants, he was
illiterate and simply had memorized Psalm 51, he would be unable to
establish the defence and would be put to death."
The magistrate could ask for a different passage to be read if he
thought the defendant had merely memorised Psalm 51 rather than that
he was truly literate.
> nor is it historically true.
What isn't? That passage? If so, why have you quoted it?
>Your reading ability is failing rapidly.
That thing between your lugholes is failing rapidly.
> > However sometimes magistrates turned a blind eye to the
> > fakery - they didn't always think the defendant deserved to
> > die for some petty crime.
> They ROUTINELY turned a blind eye.
No they bloody didn't. What are you basing that on? It would depend on
factors like whether you had an enlightened judge and/or the defendant
was previously of good character and unlikely to reoffend - stuff like
"Until 1575, pleas for benefit of clergy were submitted prior to the
commencement of the trial in the lay court. However, under a new
statute introduced in that year, an accused person could plead benefit
of clergy even after being convicted by the lay court, so long as
sentence had not yet been passed.This did not nullify the conviction,
but it did give the lay court the opportunity of imposing a lesser
sentence. Under these circumstances, the reading test became something
of an arbitrary criterion; judges could be lenient or strict in their
expectations of what was an acceptable level of reading, depending on
their view of the desirability or otherwise of imposing the death
penalty in the specific case". (From One End of the Earth to the Other
by Jeremy I. Pfeffer).
Did you get that?...."judges could be lenient....in their expectations
of what was an acceptable level of reading....."
> The death penalty was there to scare potential offenders.
> But when it did not work in that respect, the
> legal system was left with few options. Prison
> sentences were rare --
I think long ones were, not so much shorter ones - they'd usually be
coupled with another punishment such as a whipping or a go on the
pillory. But as I've already said, sentences often weren't carried out
so by default the convicted would serve lengthy jail terms anyway.
They'd simply be forgotten and die in prison or if lucky they might
eventually get a pardon or obtain money to buy their way out or just
get quietly released after a certain amount of time had passed.
> prison was far too expensive (as Anglo-Saxon countries are finding
> out again) and the Americas and other colonies
> did not yet provide convenient places for dumping
> troublesome or unwanted souls.
> > But the point is, just because some faked it doesn't mean
> > they all did.
> The faking was ROUTINE.
Where's your evidence for that? Oh yes, in your imagination.
> You cannot use 'evidence' from the use of the 'neck verse' to show that there
> was a high (or any significant) level of literacy.
I haven't - your reading ability is failing rapidly. It shows that not
ALL of the 'lower classes' were illiterate as you always claim. If you
are saying they ALL faked it, provide some evidence. You won't.
> >>>> When they were, the clerks often got the names "wrong" -- the
> >>>> quotes are necessary, since who was to say
> >>>> (for example) how a surname should be spelt.
> >>> What are on about? There was no consistency in spelling by
> >>> anybody of words or names back then.
> >> There was, of course, SOME consistency. A reader
> >> could usually tell when the writer meant 'dog' as
> >> against 'cat', or 'sheep' as against 'cow', or 'hawk' as
> >> against 'handsaw'.
> > That doesn't make for consistency, it simply means that
> > spelling wasn't so variable that the reader didn't know what
> > was meant.
> Consistency and variability are the two ends of
> this ONE spectrum. There was SOME consistency.
You'll be able to give some examples then, won't you? You won't.