This chapter has traced the changes in the social backgrounds of violent offenders over more than three centuries in a single city. [...] The analysis in this chapter shows that the urban elite was still a relatively violent social group in the city until the middle of the sixteenth century, when the homicide rates had already been declining for more than a century. However, the situation changed radically between 1544 and 1643. The social elite withdrew from violent behaviour while the poorest quartile of the population became responsible for almost half of all violent offences. [...]

van Dijck, M.F. (2020). Violent classes? Interpersonal violence and social inequality in Mechelen, 1350-1700. In Inequality and the city in the Low Countries (1200-2020) (pp. 330–342). Retrieved from