The hue and cry in medieval English towns


  • This article was joint winner of the 2012 Pollard Prize, awarded to the best paper delivered by a postgraduate student at an Institute of Historical Research seminar.


In the middle ages the hue and cry played a significant role in maintaining peace. Although it has been studied within the rural sphere, it is under-examined within the urban context. This article seeks to fill this void using the Norwich leet rolls. It considers the laws governing the hue, the circumstances in which it could be raised, the people who utilized it, and changes in usage over time. It concludes that the hue was subject to similar constraints in both city and country and postulates that it became increasingly feminized over the course of the fourteenth century.