Swindlers and Suckers in Early Modern England

Frankfurter Rechtshistorische Abendgespräche

  • Datum: 26.04.2023
  • Uhrzeit: 18:15 - 19:45
  • Vortragende(r): Emily Kadens
  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • Ort: mpilhlt
  • Raum: Z01
Swindlers and Suckers in Early Modern England

While fraud might seem like a modern phenomenon somehow absent in a past golden age when people were honest, in fact scams and swindles have been an integral part of the human experience throughout the centuries. This talk will use the records of the English royal courts of equity to tell the story of several sophisticated frauds in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. These range from fake alchemists, to insurance scams, to the work of the serial fraudster Robert Swaddon (who even has a German connection). Because the equity courts used a fully written procedure patterned after Romano-canonical civil procedure, the resulting case files permit us to delve deeply into the specifics of the scams and to understand in detail how the fraudsters gained the trust of their victims.

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