Harsh Justice

Our ancestors had to deal with a lot of problems but a major one was ensuring safe reliable supplies of food. This is why markets were established within walking distance of all citizens. In Britain, selling underweight food -especially the staple of grain or bread – was punished with a ducking or heavy fines. The following shows how dangerous food fraud could be elsewhere. This is from The Caledonian Mercury of December 1774:

By letters from an English gentleman at Constantinople to his friend in London, there is advice, that 2 bakers of that city were lately sentenced by the Cady or Magistrate, in the quarter they lived, to lose their right hands by the executioner, and afterwards be hanged in the market place, for adulterating bread, and selling it short of the legal standard.

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