Medieval JusticePosted: June 11, 2012
How were people tried before the common law was introduced?
Before the common law was introduced people were tried by an ordeal by ducking, an ordeal by burning and an ordeal by cake. The ordeal by ducking is when they tie your hands and feet together and throw you in a river, if you float your guilty and they cut off your hands and feet but if your innocent you will sink, and die. Ordeal by burning is when you have to grip a white hot iron and take three paces then cover up the wound for three days, if it heals within that time you’re innocent but if it doesn’t then you are guilty and they cut off your hands and feet. Lastly, the ordeal by cake is simple and mostly chosen but many are found guilty from it. When you chose ordeal by cake you have to eat a piece of cake and if you choke you are guilty, and you die but if you don’t choke you are innocent and are set free.
What is Magna Carta and who was involved in the signing of the Magna Carta?
The Magna Carta is a document that outlines what the specific roles and what the specific rights of individual citizens are. Even the King has to follow these rights, and if he doesn’t allow people to have these different rights, then the nobbles can actually come in and take his power, by force if necessary, and claim all his castles. So all King John has to do is sign this document. If he does not sign it, he won’t have the support of the nobbles, which he needs. Later on, King John ended up abandoning the Magna Carta, starting a war that went on until he eventually died in 1225. Several more versions of the Magna Carta were created, until the final version was released by King Edward I in 1297.
How were people tried for witchcraft?
In medieval times a lot of people blamed witches for their mistakes. For example, if they had a disease or hurt themselves they would just blame witches, and most of them were just old innocent ladies. If they had a black cat they would be called a witch. If someone confessed to being a witch, they would be burned at the stake. If they did not confess to being a witch, they would be tortured till they confessed, then would be burned. Not all ‘witches’ were burned. Other punishments included: force fasting, exile, hanging, beheading, stoning, and gouging.