Waltham Black Act

Related Overviews

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868—1928) architect, decorative artist, and watercolour painter

James Mackintosh (1765—1832) political writer and politician

Robert Peel (1788—1850) prime minister


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • British History


Quick Reference


The statute of 9 Geo. I c. 22 has long been held up as a specimen of draconian 18th‐cent. legislation. It originated in response to an outbreak of organized poaching in Windsor Forest and near Waltham (Hants), and declared that to go abroad in woodland areas in disguise or with blackened face was a felony without benefit of clergy and punishable by death. The gangs were so intimidating that more and more offences were specified until the Act became a compendium of rural disorder—cutting down trees, maiming cattle, setting fire to ricks, breaking down fish‐ponds, writing threatening letters, and shooting at people. It was abolished, largely at the instigation of Mackintosh and Peel, in 1823.

Subjects: British History.

Reference entries