Juries and Anglo Saxon Law

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 5 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #15623

    rainrider
    Participant

    I am very interested in how and in what ways Anglo Saxon law and traditions influenced both later and modern law, both British and American. In particular I am interested in how the tradition of a jury trial started, and how it was different from the modern interpretation. As I understand this was an Anglo Saxon tradition and entered the culture sometime in the Dark Ages, though the means of introduction might not be clear in the records. In addition you have mentioned how stealing cattle and murder where held equivalent in some versions of Anglo Saxon law and I am curious if there are any record indicating how social classes might be differentiated from one another in terms of crime an punishment, as I understand that the typical punishment for murder during this period was payment of blood money. If this is true, it should be possible, within the limits of the available records, to see what the social separation of different persons may have been as it is broken down to pure economic terms.

  • #18341

    Liam
    Participant

    Had to do half a gcse on this haha juries were used by rome so they would've been used in britain long before the saxons. There were big differences in law for different classes, like if you killed a nobleman the wergild was 300 shillings a freeman was 100 shillings a slave was about twenty and a welshman was around six. But then saxon england was divided into lots of kingdoms so this probably varied. And bloodfueds were used as a main form of punishment until christianity was introduced when they used wergilds or bloodmoney. 

  • #18342

    Jamie
    Keymaster

    All excellent questions, and I'm planning on spending some time chatting about law and order in a future episode.  :)

  • #18343

    anonymous
    Participant

    All excellent questions, and I'm planning on spending some time chatting about law and order in a future episode.  :)

    "doink-doink" (I think that's how you spell the sound from the TV show)

  • #18344

    anonymous
    Participant

    Fiction writer, Michael Jecks, has done a ton of research on justice, juries, etc for his series set in the 1310s and 1320s England around juries.  It might be worth while to talk with him if you are really interested.  If you like to read historical fiction/mysteries, you might enjoy his books, but start at the beginning.

  • #18345

    Jamie
    Keymaster

    That might be a fun little side discussion once we get to the period.  And if he's not available, I'm sure there are PhD's and experts who have specialized in that area that we can try to track down.  I think the occasional discussion with someone could be a pleasant change of pace.  :)

  • #18346

    anonymous
    Participant

    I have to say I don't think that it is fair that killing a Welshman is a cheaper fine than killing a slave. 

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