chapter  4
23 Pages


ByNancy Locklin

Chapter four, “Justice,” opens by reflecting on the position of Moricette’s father who was the retired seneschal , or seigneurial judge, for their jurisdiction. The Nayls tried to avoid the possibility of Moricette being hung for homicide. The case against Moricette was therefore initiated and pursued by the royal avocat in nearby Lanvollon with the help of a procureur from yet another jurisdiction. The Nayls tried to prevent the reading of a monitoire , or call for witnesses, and also disputed the right of the avocat or the procureur to enter their jurisdiction. The entire episode reveals the chaos of the judiciary just as courts across France were becoming modernized and standardized. Regardless, when sergeants came to arrest Moricette, she was gone and would remain a fugitive for 2 years. In her absence, Moricette was hung in effigy for the crime of homicide. The chapter addresses the changing definition of “homicide,” which at this time included the crime of “self-homicide,” and the gradual emergence of sympathy for suicides, as well as for those who were guilty of accidental manslaughter. The chapter concludes by describing how Moricette was captured when she returned to be at her father’s deathbed.