Could medieval people get bailed out of jail and were their any trials that they could survive?Posted: November 10, 2011
In medieval England the sheriffs had the
authority to release or hold criminals. Some sheriffs used the bail money for
their own gain the statue called Westminster (1275)stopped the sheriffs from
using the bail for themselves although the sheriffs, still had authority to let
people out with bail. The statue represents the crimes that people commit if it
is possible to bail or not.
Trial by Cold Water: The defendant must
drink a bit of holy water then be thrown in a pool of water if the water
‘accepted’ her as pure which means she sunk to the bottom then she was innocent,
but if she floated she was considered guilty. Modern myth is left to believe
that the person would drown but records say that the court officials normally
did not let this happen.
Trial by Hot Iron: The accused person would
be required to carry a bag of iron after being heated over a fire that would
weigh one pound. The defendant would carry the bag nine feet, depending on the
length of their foot; this means that if the person had a small foot they would
carry the bag a shorter length. If this crime was very serious, like if the
defendant killed a person in cold blood, or betray there lord, the weight of
the iron would be doubled or even tripled instead of one.
Trial by Hot Water: Boiling water would be
put into a big laundry cauldron. Then throw a stone into the bottom the accused
would have to retrieve the stone with their bare arm to prove they were
innocent. In serious cases the accused would have to put their bare arm in up
to the elbow.
If the charged was a priest he would be
faced with a special trial by ordeal called Trial by host
Trial by host: When a priest goes before
God in front of the altar and prays aloud that God would chock him if he were
not telling the truth. The priest would take a bite out of the host and if he
shows any sign of choking then he is found guilty chocked by super natural
power if not then he is found innocent saved by supernatural power.
So in conclusion there was only one that
you could die from and some people are not certain of this.