The Black Act was passed by the Parliament of Great Britain in 1723, in response to a series of raids by two groups of poachers, known as the Blacks. The Blacks gained their name from their habit of blacking their faces when undertaking poaching raids. The Black Act introduced the death penalty for over 50 criminal offences, including being found in a forest while disguised. It was an extremely severe piece of legislation. Following a criminal law reform campaign in the early 19th century, it was largely repealed on 8 July 1823, when a reform bill introduced by Robert Peel came into force.