Mail theft

During the 18th century, hanging was a common form of Capital punishment. Over 200 crimes were punishable by death. These ranged from matters of national security, like treason to smaller crimes like stealing food. Theft of the mail, still a criminal offence today, was punishable by death until the 1830s. The last postman hanged for postal crimes was John Barrett on 13 February 1832. The death penalty was abolished in an Act of 1835, which replaced it with transportation to the colonies to serve prison sentences for periods from seven years to life.