Skip to main content

Crime and Punishment

executioners axe

The pages of history have punishments that would make your skin crawl. From branding your face with a red hot iron for laziness, to chopping off hands, ears and even heads!

Historical punishments make detention look like a walk in the park!

Resource Information

We have designed the resources below to help your pupils learn, whether they are in the classroom or at home. They will also support and complement a visit.  

The crimes were just down right weird. Crimes included gossiping, having a different religion, reading banned books or even wearing a certain type of clothing!

The video below explores crimes and punishment from the 1500s to the 1700s and the objects in our collection that would have been used to punish these crimes. 

Download the Crime & Punishment Learners Pack (pdf, 1.2 MB) to keep exploring this gruesome topic!


If you are having trouble viewing the YouTube video on this page, it is likely because you have rejected those cookies that allow them to work. You can either adjust your cookie settings and accept the “Targeting cookies” or you can watch it on YouTube.

Curriculum links

  • KS2 History
  • KS2 Literature

Collection links

Visit our collection online to see an executioners block, thumb screws, scold’s bridle, and iron mask.




Learning packs and resources

Crime & Punishment Learners Pack (pdf, 1 MB)

Contact our communications team if you require documents in an alternative format.

Contact Information

Please contact us to make a booking or if you have any questions.

Email address


07785 692 443

Postal address

Education Team 
Royal Armouries Museum 
LS10 1LT 
United Kingdom