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30
votes
1answer
4k views

What were sandbags used for in medieval duels?

I was hesitant whether to ask this question in history or Shakespeare stack exchange, but I eventually decided it is more of a historical question. In the play "King Henry The Sixth" there is a ...
18
votes
2answers
719 views

How did Quebec transition from French Law to English Law?

When Britain conquered Quebec at the end of the Seven Years War, Quebec began a transition between French law and English law. How did that transition occur?
15
votes
1answer
868 views

Why is the charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations signed “HOWARD”?

Why is the charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations signed "HOWARD"? Note also that the Charter of Connecticut is likewise signed "By Writ of Privy Seal, HOWARD". But, the keeper of the ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

What are the “ancient liberties” of the City of London?

I recently learned that three clauses of the Magna Carta are still part of UK law — the liberties of the English Church, the privileges of the City of London, and the right to trial by jury. I think ...
11
votes
3answers
426 views

Was the king of England able to execute a high rank noble and his family between 1216 and 1688?

After signing the Magna Carta, was the king of England able to execute a noble and his family and escheat their property to the crown by his own will up to 1688? For example in the cases such as Lèse-...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How was ownership of property managed during the Black Death, when so many original owners had died?

Historically, in the UK if a property owner died intestate with no heirs, the property ownership went to the Crown under an escheat. During the Black Death, in the 12th century, the population of ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What were the Government Press Prosecutions of 1858 and why did they occur?

In the second chapter of On Liberty, John Stuart Mill mentions in a note the "Government Press Prosecutions of 1858". He further writes that "The offence charged was not that of criticising ...
8
votes
3answers
369 views

Why was Charles I not pressed by *peine forte et dure* to force him to plead to treason in front of the High Court?

Why was Charles I not pressed by peine forte et dure to force him to plead to treason in front of the High Court of Justice for the trial of King Charles I? Under English common law, peine forte et ...
8
votes
1answer
492 views

Were travelling judges paid in medieval England?

During the reign of Henry II (1154-89), some key changes in the English judicial system took place. One of these was the introduction of travelling judges: In 1166, Henry issued a Declaration at ...
7
votes
1answer
210 views

What was the procedure for prosecuting criminals in England between the World Wars?

I'm doing some research on court procedures during the '20's and '30's in England. I understand that at that time there was a Director of Public Prosecutions, and some of the resources I have found ...
6
votes
3answers
869 views

Was either side legally in the right in the Hundred Years War?

Legalistically speaking which side was right in the Hundred Years War. My view is that the Salic law combined with the principle that nobody can transmit a right greater than he himself can possess (...
6
votes
2answers
270 views

What unknown laws were mentioned in earlier Coronation Oaths of England?

In 1688, the English Parliament passed the Coronation Oath Act, establishing a new Coronation Oath for monarchs of England. This Coronation Oath, with some modifications, is still used in the United ...
6
votes
2answers
774 views

How did Tenures Abolition Act of 1660 change feudalism in England?

The Tenures Abolition Act of 1660, according to Wikipedia, "changed the nature of feudal land tenure in England". It: .. replaced various types of military and religious service tenants owed to the ...
6
votes
1answer
365 views

When did the Ecclesiastical courts in England lose the authority to mete out punishments such as imprisonment and execution?

In 1401, the ecclesiastical courts in England were given the power to burn heretics. In modern times the ecclesiastical courts have no control over anyone who does not belong to the Church of England, ...
4
votes
1answer
381 views

Bail bonds in UK Victorian period

If you were arrested in Victorian England, and the offense was 'bailable' (i.e. too severe) you could get bail and not be stuck behind bars until your trial. In the period, did you have to hand over ...
4
votes
1answer
213 views

What is the year of Ethelred the Unready's Laws of London?

I refer to De Institutis Lundonie (Laws of London) by Ethelred the Unready (or Æthelred II) (Google Books). According to Britannia and Jerome Arkenberg, it is of the year 978. According to this book,...
3
votes
1answer
271 views

Why weren't the Barons of the Court of Exchequer Barons as peers?

The first sentence at Chief Baron of the Exchequer The Chief Baron of the Exchequer was the first "baron" (i.e., judge) of the English Exchequer of Pleas. bemused me: Why were these judges were ...
3
votes
1answer
297 views

Was simply addressing the English monarch wrongly ever a punishable crime?

When addressing the Queen today, the correct form is "your/her Majesty" and for example not "your Royal Highness", or certainly not just "hey Lizzie". As far as I, understand failure to use the ...
2
votes
1answer
378 views

In England in 1700, would defending property with lethal force be illegal at all?

My limited understanding is that without an extensive police force and good communications, much of what modern people would leave to police was handled directly. If so, were any questions asked of a ...
2
votes
1answer
311 views

When did England make a statute that barred foreigners from inheriting the throne?

According to Iain Moncreiffe in his book The Highland Clans, he says this. “By the fourteenth century it had become common law (in both England and Scotland) that a person who was not born in the ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

How did wills work in times of Oscar Wilde?

Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest contains the following lines (shortened as marked for this purpose) in its third act: JACK. I beg your pardon for interrupting you, Lady ...
2
votes
0answers
116 views

At what age could you hold custody of another in 12th century England?

My question is as stated in the title. My reason for asking is that I know girls could marry at twelve, and boys at fourteen. I am wondering at what age could each have legal custody of another? I ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Chancery vs Common Pleas vs Exchequer vs King's Bench

Please explain with simple words. I'm interested only in their jurisdictions and functions: How did these 4 main courts' differ? What did the King's Bench cover? Parliament.uk distinguishes only ...
1
vote
0answers
98 views

Why were Law Lords created peers of different ranks?

I cross-referenced the men below with List of law life peerages to check that these Law Lords were created life peers, and didn't inherit peerage. Most Law Lords are created as Barons, but note the ...
-3
votes
1answer
560 views

What caused medieval England to be freer than other countries at the time?

I have read that medieval England was an outlier in terms of personal freedoms in the middle ages. Can this be reliably traced to the cultural influence of the Saxons, or the Normans, or anyone else? ...