The death penalty was used to punish serious offences such
as murder, arson, forgery, as well as robbery of goods valued
at more than a shilling (5p). In England the method of execution
was normally by hanging, right from medieval times to its
abolition in 1965.
Trial by battle was introduced into England by the Normans
after 1066. In the case from 1249 sketched here, Walter Blowberme,
(on the left) had accused Hamo Stare (on the right) of a crime.
Hamo Stare claimed the right of proving his innocence by trial
by combat. However, he lost and was hanged - that's him on
Execution by beheading was reserved for those of noble or
royal birth who were convicted of treason.