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Home > Crime and Punishment in Durham > Crime and Criminals > Was being in debt a crime?

 Was being in debt a crime?

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Petition sent to the King by debtors housed in Durham Gaol.

Petition sent to King George III by debtors housed in Durham Gaol, 1794. (DUL ref: ADD MS 1130/4)


This source could also be used for the study of citizenship. Read it carefully (you might want to use the enlarged version or transcript) and then try to answer the following questions.

1. Are people imprisoned for being in debt today?

2. Why are 'debtors' treated differently today?

3. Do you think that people who can't pay off their debts should be imprisoned or punished in some other way? Why?




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