Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bots #2 (More Kentish lawgiving)

Hlothhære and Eadric's (673-686) code provides early evidence of the need for something akin to the Bluewater shopping centre on the Kentish border, as Dark Age shopping in Greater London(-wic) seems to have required filling your ox-cart full of "true men" (metrosexuals not being permissable) to act as human receipts:

"If any Kentish-man buy a chattel in Lundenwic, let him then have two or three true men to witness, or the king's wic-reeve. If it be afterwards claimed of the man in Kent, let him then vouch the man who sold it to him to warranty, in the wic at the king's hall, if he know him, and can bring him to the warranty; if he can not do that, let him prove at the altar, with one of his witnesses or with the king's wic-reeve, that he bought the chattel openly in the wic, with his own property, and then let him be paid its worth; but if he can not prove that by lawful averment, let him give it up, and let the owner take possession of it. "

There must have been a queue at every altar in Kent of ceorlish men attempting to attest to all kinds of things. Consequently, Wihtræd (690-725) proclaimed: "Let the word of a bishop and of the king be, without an oath, incontrovertible." Blair could use a similar piece of legislation today.

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