In those days victims of robberies constantly compounded with felonies and paid blackmail to thieves, promising not to prosecute on the restitution of a portion of the stolen property.
A system began of making certain crimes, which previously had been only of spiritual cognizance, felonies (25 Hen.
C. 24 that no other person has power to pardon or remit any treasons or felonies whatsoever.
Stubbs says of it: "The law of dower, of advowson, of appeal for felonies, is largely amended; the institution of justices of assize is remodelled, and the abuses of manorial jurisdiction repressed; the statute De religiosis, the statutes of Merton and Gloucester, are amended and re-enacted.
Capital punishment was confined to treason and murder; the former was not to be attended by corruption of blood, drawing, or quartering; all other felonies were made punishable by confinement and hard labour, save a few to which was applied, against Jefferson's desire, the principle of retaliation.
The first constables appointed were 3000 in number, who, when sworn in, enjoyed all the powers of the old constables under the common law, for preserving the peace, preventing robberies and other felonies, and apprehending offenders.