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Vagrancy And Banishment

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Chapter Summary

Offenders identified as vagrants by the local magistrates were desperate outsiders without legal rights in the territory. In the course of the sixteenth century, almost a quarter of the vagrants banished from the territory ignored their sentence and subsequently faced conviction for returning to the territory illegally. As the examination of the town council's attempts to purge their domain of vagrants through banishment has illustrated, the local authorities sought to use banishment not only to punish criminal behavior, but also to exclude criminalized deviants and outsiders from the urban community. The council policed inclusion in the community carefully and sought to bar marginals, especially the alien poor, from residing within the city's walls. Through banishment the local authorities removed the marginal and the criminal from the community, both physically and socially. Thus, expulsion served to mark and to regulate the social and spatial boundaries of the Ulmer territory.

Keywords:alien poor; banishment; local magistrates; offenders; sociospatial boundaries; urban community; vagrants



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