most people in this country pay little attention to observing the Sabbath
(Sunday in the Christian faith). We shop, play and watch sport, go to
the cinema and only a minority go to Church. However, it has not always
been this way. This brief extract from a local newspaper recounts the
punishment of a number of boys for breaking the Sabbath. Read the source
carefully and then try to answer the following questions to see what
it tells you about crime in the nineteenth century. A transcript
of the source is available and a worksheet has been provided for you
to record your answers.
does the newspaper article say about the boys?
do you think that this means? Think about the 'crime' and the 'punishment'
mentioned in the source.
reading the source, do you think that breaking the Sabbath was a crime?
If so, was it considered serious?
Religious Census of 1851 revealed that less than half of the population
attended Church. Clearly not everyone was going to church. Does this
affect your understanding of the term 'breaking the Sabbath'?
else could 'Sabbath breaking' include? Do you think it more likely that
this kind of behaviour would be treated as a crime?
'exposed' means being put in stocks. What does this tell us about the
way in which 'Sabbath breaking' was seen at the time?
Why not move on to the next source to find out more about highway
robberies in 19th century Durham?