Game Act 1775

(146 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

This act made it unlawful for anyone to trade in game. The aim of the Act was to stamp out the sale of game taken by poachers, but since it also made unlawful the sale of game legally taken, and therefore cut off legal supplies to innkeepers, alehousekeepers and victuallers, it drove them to purchase from poachers and thus caused an increase in poaching. The gentry responded by increasing the numbers of gamekeepers, and by pursuing poachers through civil prosecutions, which were more expensive and uncertain than criminal prosecutions but could result in much higher financial penalties, and if these went unpaid then longer periods in the debtor's prison. The increase in penalties, and in the clandestine demand, led poachers to …

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Editors. "Game Act 1775". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 August 2009
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]