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Night at the Museum - Speaker Series: Why Lightning Struck the Courthouse and other Court Quirks

Starting on May 02, 2024 5:00 pm
Colonists often came to the New World seeking an ideal society. Lewes, that paradise on earth, so rich with nature’s bounty, was the sought after “shining city by the sea”. But it came to pass that not every citizen was an “ideal” one. Soon petitions were being sent for permission and funding for a Court of Law. The Lewes Court heard cases recorded since 1677 while operating under the rules of British Law. The whipping post, that spectator sport and morality teacher, was one popular remedy. Stocks were also handy and effective. Fines and penalties were correctives, but it was the gallows that provided the final solution. The death penalty began in 1662 with the state’s first hanging and that official method of execution lasted until 1986. During the earlier years the Lewes Courts did prosecute some memorable cases that astonish our modern sensibilities.

Katherine Henn is a retired University history professor. She has lectured over the past decade for the LHS and is a current instructor for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Admission is included with museum ticket purchase. Museum entry is free for LHS members.