- - - Chapter 1 - - -

- The Times: before 600 A.D. -

The settlement of England goes back thousands of years. At first, people hunted and gathered their food. They wore animal skins over their bodies for warmth and around their feet for protection when walking. These skins were sewn together with bone needles and threads made from animal sinews. They carried small items by hooking them onto their belts. They used bone and stone tools, e.g. for preparing skins. Their uncombed hair was held by thistlethorns, animal spines, or straight bone hair pins. They wore conical hats of bound rush and lived in rush shelters.

Early clans, headed by kings, lived in huts on top of hills or other high places and fortified by circular or contour earth ditches and banks behind which they could gather for protection. They were probably dug with antler picks and wood spades. The people lived in rectangular huts with four wood posts supporting a roof. The walls were made of saplings, and a mixture of mud and straw. Cooking was in a clay oven inside or over an open fire on the outside. Water was carried in animal skins or leather pouches from springs lower on the hill up to the settlement. Forests abounded with wolves, bears, deer, wild boars, and wild cattle. They could more easily be seen from the hill tops. Pathways extended through this camp of huts and for many miles beyond.

For wives, men married women of their clan or bought or captured other women, perhaps with the help of a best man. They carried their unwilling wives over the thresholds of their huts, which were sometimes in places kept secret from her family. The first month of marriage was called the honeymoon because the couple was given mead, a drink with fermented honey and herbs, for the first month of their marriage. A wife wore a gold wedding band on the ring finger of her left hand to show that she was married.

Women usually stayed at home caring for children, preparing meals, and making baskets. They also made wool felt and spun and wove wool into a coarse cloth. Flax was grown and woven into a coarse linen cloth. Spinning the strands into one continuous thread was done on a stick, which the woman could carry about and spin at anytime when her hands were free. The weaving was done on an upright or warp-weighted loom. People of means draped the cloth around their bodies and fastened it with a metal brooch inlayed with gold, gems, and shell, which were glued on with glue that was obtained from melting animal hooves. People drank from hollowed- out animal horns, which they could carry from belts. They could tie things with rawhide strips or rope braids they made. Kings drank from animal horns decorated with gold or from cups of amber, shale, or pure gold. Men and women wore pendants and necklaces of colorful stones, shells, amber beads, bones, and deer teeth. They skinned and cut animals with hand-axes and knives made of flint dug up from pits and formed by hitting flakes off. The speared fish with barbed bone prongs or wrapped bait around a flint, bone, or shell fish hook. On the coast, they made bone harpoons for deep-sea fish. The flint axe was used to shape wood and bone and was just strong enough to fell a tree, although the process was very slow.

The king, who was tall and strong, led his men in hunting groups to kill deer and other wild animals in the forests and to fish in the streams. Some men brought their hunting dogs on leashes to follow scent trails to the animal. The men threw stones and spears with flint points at the animals. They used wood clubs to beat them, at the same time using wood shields to protect their bodies. They watched the phases of the moon and learned to predict when it would be full and give the most light for night hunting. This began the concept of a month. Circles of stone like Stonehenge were built with alignments to paths of the moon.

If hunting groups from two clans tried to follow the same deer, there might be a fight between the clans or a blood feud. After the battle, the clan would bring back its dead and wounded. A priest officiated over a funeral for a dead man. His wife would often also go on the funeral pyre with him.

The priest also officiated over sacrifices of humans, who were usually offenders found guilty of transgressions. Sacrifices were usually made in time of war or pestilence, and usually before the winter made food scarce.

The clan ate deer that had been cooked on a spit over a fire, and fruits and vegetables which had been gathered by the women. They drank water from springs. In the spring, food was plentiful. There were eggs of different colors in nests and many hare to eat. The goddess Easter was celebrated at this time.

After this hunting and gathering era, there was farming and domestication of animals such as horses, pigs, sheep, goats, chicken, and cattle. Of these, the pig was the most important meat supply, being killed and salted for winter use. Next in importance were the cattle. Sheep were kept primarily for their wool. Flocks and herds were taken to pastures. The male cattle, with wood yokes, pulled ploughs in the fields of barley and wheat. The female goat and cow provided milk, butter, and cheese. The chickens provided eggs. The hoe, spade, and grinding stone were used. Thread was spun with a hand-held spindle which one hand held while the other hand alternately formed the thread from a mass and then wound it around the spindle. A coarse cloth was woven and worn as a tunic which had been cut from the cloth. Kings wore tunics decorated with sheet gold. Decorated pottery was made from clay and used to hold liquids and for food preparation and consumption. During the period of "lent" [from the word "lencten", which means spring], it was forbidden to eat any meat or fish. This was the season in which many animals were born and grew to maturity. Wood carts with four wheels were used to transport produce and manure. Horses were used for transportation of people or goods. Wood dug-out boats and paddles were used to fish on rivers or on the seacoast.

Clans had settlements near rivers. Each settlement had a meadow, for the mowing of hay, and a simple mill, with round timber huts, covered with branches or thatch or turf supported by a ring of posts. Inside was a hearth with smoke going up through a hole in the roof, and a cauldron for cooking food. There was an upright loom in the darkness. The floor was swept clean. At the door were spears or bags of slingstones ready for immediate use. The King lived in the largest hut. Gullies outside carried off excess water. Each hut had a garden for fruit and vegetables. A goat or cow might be tied out of reach of the garden. There was a fence or hedge surrounding and protecting the garden area and dwelling. Buckets and cauldrons which had originated from the Mediterranean were used. Querns with the top circular stone turned by hand over the bottom stone were used for grinding grain. There were ovens to dry and roast grain. Grain was first eaten as a porridge or cereal. There were square wood graneries on stilts and wood racks on which to dry hay. Grain was stored in concealed pits in the earth which were lined with drystone or basketwork or clay and made airtight by sealing with clay or dung. Old pits were converted into waste dumps, burials, or latrines. Outside the fence were an acre or two of fields of wheat and barley, and sometimes oats and rye. Wheat and rye were sown in the fall, and oats and barley in the spring. Sowing was by men or two oxen drawing a simple scratch plow. The crops were all harvested in the summer. In this two-field system, land was held by peasants in units designed to support a single extended family. These fields were usually enclosed with a hedge to keep animals from eating the crop and to define the territory of the settlement from that of its neighbors. Flax was grown and made into linen cloth. Beyond the fields were pastures for cattle and sheep grazing. There was often an area for beehives. This was subsistence level farming.

Pottery was given symmetry when formed with use of a wheel and heated in increasingly hot kilns. From kilns used for pottery, it was noticed that lumps of gold or copper ore within would melt and assume the shape of what they had been resting on. These were the first metals, and could be beaten into various shapes, such as ornaments. Then the liquid ore was poured into moulds carved out of stones to make axes and daggers, which were reheated and hammered to become strong. Copper-tipped drills, chisels, punches and awls were also made.

The bodies of deceased were buried far away from any village in wood coffins, except for kings, who were placed in large stone coffins after being wrapped in linen. Buried with them were a few personal items, such as copper daggers, flat copper axes, and awls [small pointed tool for piercing holes in leather, wood, or other soft materials.]. The deceased was buried in a coffin with a stone on top deep in the earth to keep the spirit of the dead from coming out to haunt the living.

It was learned that tin added to the copper made a stronger metal: bronze. Stone hammers, and bronze and iron tools, were used to make cooking pots, weapons, breast plates, and horse bits, which were formed from moulds and/or forged by bronze smiths and blacksmiths from iron extracted from iron ore heated in bowl- shaped hearths. Typically one man operated the bellows to keep the fire hot while another did the hammering. Bronze was made into sickles for harvesting, razors for shaving, tweezers, straight hair pins, safety pins for clothes, armlets, neck-rings, and mirrors. Weapons included bows and arrows, flint and copper daggers, bronze swords and spears, stone axes, and shields of wood with bronze mountings. The bows and arrows probably evolved from spear throwing rods. Kings in body armor fought with chariots drawn by two horses. The horse harnesses had bronze fittings. The chariots had wood wheels, later with iron rims. When bronze came into use, there was a demand for its constituent parts: copper and tin, which were traded by rafts on waterways and the sea. When iron came into use, there were wrought iron axes, saws, adzes [ax with curved blade used to dress wood], files, ploughshares, harrows [set of spikes to break clods of earth on plowed land and also to cover seed when sewn], scythes, billhooks [thick knife with hooked point used to prune shrubs], and spits for hearths. Lead was mined. There was some glassmaking of beads. Wrought iron bars were used as currency.

Hillforts now had wooden palisades on top of their banks to protect the enclosed farmsteads and villages from stock wandering off or being taken by rustlers, and from attacks by wild animals or other people. Later a rampart was added from which sentries could patrol. These were supported by timber and/or stone structures. Timbers were probably transported by carts or dragged by oxen. At the entrances were several openings only one of which really allowed entry. The others went between banks into dead ends and served as traps in which to kill the enemy from above. Gates were of wood, some hung from hinges on posts which could be locked. Later guard chambers were added, some with space for hearths and beds. Sometimes further concentric circles of banks and ditches, and perhaps a second rampart, were added around these forts. They could reach to 14 acres. The ramparts are sufficiently widely spaced to make sling-shotting out from them highly effective, but to minimize the dangers from sling-shotting from without. The additional banks and ditches could be used to create cattle corridors or to protect against spear-thrown firebrands. However, few forts had springs of water within them, indicating that attacks on them were probably expected to be short. Attacks usually began with warriors bristling with weapons and blowing war trumpets shouting insults to the foe, while their kings dashed about in chariots. Sometimes champions from each side fought in single combat. The Celts took the heads of those they killed to hang from their belts or place on wood spikes at the gates. Prisoners, including women and children, might become slaves. Kings sometimes lived in separate palisades where they kept their horses and chariots.

Circles of big stones like Stonehenge were rebuilt so that the sun's position with respect to the stones would indicate the day of longest sunlight and the day of shortest sunlight. Between these days there was an optimum time to harvest the crops before fall, when plants dried up and leaves fell from the trees. The winter solstice, when the days began to get longer was cause for celebration. In the next season, there was an optimum time to plant seeds so they could spring up from the ground as new growth. So farming gave rise to the concept of a year. Certain changes of the year were celebrated, such as Easter, named for the Goddess of the Dawn, which occurred in the east (after lent); May Day celebrating the revival of life; Lammas around July, when the wheat crop was ready for harvesting; and on October 31 the Celtic eve of Samhain, when the spirits of the dead came back to visit homes and demand food or else cast an evil spell on the refusing homes; and at which masked and costumed inhabitants representing the souls of the dead paraded to the outskirts of the settlements to lead the ghosts away from their homes; and at which animals and humans, who might be deemed to be possessed by spirits, were sacrificed or killed perhaps as examples, in huge bonfires [bonefires] as those assembled looked out for spirits and evil beings.

There was an agricultural revolution from the two-field to the three-field system, in which there were three large fields for the heavy and fertile land. Each field was divided into long and narrow strips. Each strip represented a day's work with the plough. One field had wheat, or perhaps rye, another had barley, oats, beans, or peas, and the third was fallow. These were rotated yearly. There was a newly invented plough that was heavy and made of wood and later had an attached iron blade. The plough had a mould-board which caught the soil stirred by the plough blade and threw it into a ridge alongside the furrow dug by the plough blade. This plough was too heavy for two oxen and was pulled by a team of about eight to ten oxen. Each ox was owned by a different man as was the plough, because no one peasant could afford the complete set. Each freeman was allotted certain strips in each field to bear crops. His strips were far from each other, which insured some very fertile and some only fair soil, and some land near his village dwelling and some far away. These strips he cultivated, sowed with seed, and harvested for himself and his family. After the harvest, they reverted to common ownership for grazing by pigs, sheep, and geese. As soon as haymaking was over, the meadows became common grazingland for horses, cows, and oxen. Not just any inhabitant, but usually only those who owned a piece of land in the parish were entitled to graze their animals on the common land, and each owner had this right of pasture for a definite number of animals. The faster horse replaced the ox as the primary work animal. Other farm implements were: coulters, which gave free passage to the plough by cutting weeds and turf, picks, spades and shovels, reaping hooks and scythes, and sledge hammers and anvils. Strips of land for agriculture were added from waste land as the community grew. Waste lands were moors bristling with brushwood, or gorse, heather and wanton weeds, reed-coated marshes, quaking peat-bogs, or woods grown haphazard on sand or rock. With iron axes, forests could be cleared to provide more arable land.

Some villages had a smith, a wheelwright, and a cooper. There were villages which had one or two market days in each week. Cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, calves, and hare were sold there. London was a town on the Thames River under the protection of the Celtic river god Lud: Lud's town. It's huts were probably built over the water, as was Celtic custom. It was a port for foreign trade. Near the town was Ludhill.

Flint workers mined with deer antler picks and ox shoulder blade shovels for flint to grind into axes, spearheads, and arrowheads. Mine shafts were up to thirty feet deep and necessitated the use of chalk lamps fuelled by animal fat with wicks of moss. The flint was hauled up in baskets.

Common men and women were now buried in tombs within memorial burial mounds of earth with stone entrances and interior chambers. A man's weapons and shield were buried with him and a woman's spindle and weaving baton, and perhaps beads or pottery with her. At times, mounds of earth would simply be covered over piles of corpses and ashes in urns. In these mass graves, some corpses had spear holes or sword cuts, indicating death by violence. The Druid priests, the learned class of the Celts, taught the Celts to believe in reincarnation of the soul after death of one body into another body. They also threw prized possessions into lakes and rivers as sacrifices to water gods. They placed images of gods and goddesses in shrines, which were sometimes large enough to be temples.

With the ability to grow food and the acquisition of land by conquest by invading groups, the population grew. There were different classes of men. The freemen were eorls [noble freemen] or ceorls [ordinary free farmers]. Slaves were not free. Freemen had long hair and beards. Slaves' hair was shorn from their heads so that they were bald. Slaves were chained and often traded. Prisoners taken in battle, especially native Britons taken by invading groups, became slaves. A slave who was captured or purchased was a "theow". An "esne" was a slave who worked for hire. A "weallas" was a Welsh slave. Criminals became slaves of the person wronged or of the king. Sometimes a father pressed by need sold his children or his wife into bondage. Debtors, who increased in number during famine, which occurred regularly, became slaves by giving up the freeman's sword and spear, picking up a slave's mattock [pick ax for the soils], and placing their head within a lord's or lady's hands. They were called wite- theows. The original meaning of the word lord was "loaf-giver". Children with a slave parent were slaves. The slaves lived in huts around the homes of big landholders, which were made of logs and consisted on one large room or hall. An open hearth was in the middle of the earthen floor of the hall, which was strewn with rushes. There was a hole in the roof to let out the smoke. Here the landholder and his men would eat meat, bread, salt, hot spiced ale, and mead while listening to minstrels sing about the heroic deeds of their ancestors. Richer men drank wine. There were festivals which lasted several days, in which warriors feasted, drank, gambled, boasted, and slept where they fell. Physical strength and endurance in adversity were admired traits.

Slaves often were used as grain grinders, ploughmen, sowers, haywards, woodwards, shepherds, goatherds, swineherds, oxherds, cowherds, dairymaids, and barnmen. Slaves had no legal rights. A lord could kill his slave at will. A wrong done to a slave was regarded as done to his owner. If a person killed another man's slave, he had to compensate him with the slave's purchase price. The slave owner had to answer for the offences of his slaves against others, as for the mischief done by his cattle. Since a slave had no property, he could not be fined for crimes, but was whipped, mutilated, or killed.

During famine, acorns, beans, peas, and even bark were ground down to supplement flour when grain stocks grew low. People scoured the hedgerows for herbs, roots, nettles, and wild grasses, which were usually left for the pigs. Sometimes people were driven to infanticide or group suicide by jumping together off a cliff or into the water.

Several large kingdoms came to replace the many small ones. The people were worshipping pagan gods when St. Augustine came to England in 596 A.D. to Christianize them. King AEthelbert of Kent [much later a county] and his wife, who had been raised Christian on the continent, met him when he arrived. The King gave him land where there were ruins of an old city. Augustine used stones from the ruins to build a church which was later called Canterbury. He also built the first St. Paul's church in London. Aethelbert and his men who fought with him and ate and lived in his household [gesiths] became Christian. A succession of princesses went out from Kent to marry other Saxon kings and convert them to Christianity.

Augustine knew how to write, but King AEthelbert did not. The King announced his laws at meetings of his people and his eorls would decide the punishments. There was a fine of 120s. for disregarding a command of the King. He and Augustine decided to write down some of these laws, which now included the King's new law concerning the church.

These laws concern personal injury, killing, theft, burglary, marriage, adultery, and inheritance. The blood feud's private revenge for killing had been replaced by payment of compensation to the dead man's kindred. One paid a man's "wergeld" [worth] to his kindred for causing his wrongful death. The wergeld [wer] of a king was an unpayable amount of about 7000s., of an aetheling [a king-worthy man of the extended royal family] was 1500s., of an eorl, 300s., of a ceorl, 100s., of a laet [agricultural worker in Kent, which class was between free and slave], 40-80s., and of a slave nothing. At this time a shilling could buy a cow in Kent or a sheep elsewhere. If a ceorl killed an eorl, he paid three times as much as an eorl would have paid as murderer. The penalty for slander was tearing out of the tongue. If an aetheling was guilty of this offense, his tongue was worth five times that of a coerl, so he had to pay proportionately more to ransom it. The crimes of murder, treachery to one's own lord, arson, house breaking, and open theft, were punishable by death and forfeiture of all property.

- The Law -


1. [Theft of] the property of God and of the church [shall be compensated], twelve fold; a bishop's property, eleven fold; a priest's property, nine fold; a deacon's property, six fold; a cleric's property, three fold; church frith [breach of the peace of the church; right of sanctuary and protection given to those within its precincts], two fold [that of ordinary breach of the public peace]; m….frith [breach of the peace of a meeting place], two fold.

2. If the King calls his leod [his people] to him, and any one there do them evil, [let him compensate with] a two-fold bot [damages for the injury], and 50 shillings to the King.

3. If the King drink at any one's home, and any one there do any lyswe [evil deed], let him make two-fold bot.

4. If a freeman steal from the King, let him repay nine fold.

 5. If a man slay another in the King's tun [enclosed dwelling
    premises], let him make bot with 50 shillings.

 6. If any one slay a freeman, 50 shillings to the King, as drihtin
    beah [payment to a lord in compensaton for killing his freeman].

7. If the King's ambiht smith [smith or carpenter] or laad rine [man who walks before the King or guide or escort], slay a man, let him pay a half leod geld.

8. [Offenses against anyone or anyplace under] the King's mund byrd [protection or patronage], 50 shillings.

9. If a freeman steal from a freeman, let him make threefold bot; and let the King have the wite [fine] and all the chattels [necessary to pay the fine]. (Chattels was a variant of "cattle".)

10. If a man lie with the King's maiden [female servant], let him
    pay a bot of 50 shillings.

11. If she be a grinding slave, let him pay a bot of 25 shillings.
    The third [class of servant] 12 shillings.

12. Let the King's fed esl [woman who serves him food or nurse] be
    paid for with 20 shillings.

13. If a man slay another in an eorl's tun [premises], let [him]
    make bot with 12 shillings.

14. If a man lie with an eorl's birele [female cupbearer], let him
    make bot with 12 shillings.

15. [Offenses against a person or place under] a ceorl's mund byrd
    [protection], 6 shillings.

16. If a man lie with a ceorl's birele [female cupbearer], let him
    make bot with 6 shillings; with a slave of the second [class], 50
    scaetts; with one of the third, 30 scaetts.

17. If any one be the first to invade a man's tun [premises], let
    him make bot with 6 shillings; let him who follows, with 3
    shillings; after, each, a shilling.

18. If a man furnish weapons to another where there is a quarrel, though no injury results, let him make bot with 6 shillings.

19. If a weg reaf [highway robbery] be done [with weapons furnished by another], let him [the man who provided the weapons] make bot with 6 shillings.

20. If the man be slain, let him [the man who provided the
    weapons] make bot with 20 shillings.

21. If a [free] man slay another, let him make bot with a half
    leod geld [wergeld for manslaughter] of 100 shillings.

22. If a man slay another, at the open grave let him pay 20
    shillings, and pay the whole leod within 40 days.

23. If the slayer departs from the land, let his kindred pay a
    half leod.

24. If any one bind a freeman, let him make bot with 20 shillings.

25. If any one slay a ceorl's hlaf aeta [loaf or bread eater; domestic or menial servant], let him make bot with 6 shillings.

26. If [anyone] slay a laet of the highest class, let him pay 80
    shillings; of the second class, let him pay 60 shillings; of the
    third class, let him pay 40 shillings.

27. If a freeman commit edor breach [breaking through the fenced
    enclosure and forcibly entering a ceorl's dwelling], let him make
    bot with 6 shillings.

28. If any one take property from a dwelling, let him pay a three-
    fold bot.

29. If a freeman goes with hostile intent through an edor [the
    fence enclosing a dwelling], let him make bot with 4 shillings.

30. If [in so doing] a man slay another, let him pay with his own
    money, and with any sound property whatever.

31. If a freeman lie with a freeman's wife, let him pay for it with his wer geld, and obtain another wife with his own money, and bring her to the other [man's dwelling].

32. If any one thrusts through the riht ham scyld [legal means of
    protecting one's home], let him adequately compensate.

33. If there be feax fang [seizing someone by the hair], let there
    be 50 sceatts for bot.

34. If there be an exposure of the bone, let bot be made with 3

35. If there be an injury to the bone, let bot be made with 4

36. If the outer hion [outer membrane covering the brain] be
    broken, let bot be made with 10 shillings.

37. If it be both [outer and inner membranes covering the brain],
    let bot be made with 20 shillings.

38. If a shoulder be lamed, let bot be made with 30 shillings.

39. If an ear be struck off, let bot be made with 12 shillings.

40. If the other ear hear not, let bot be made with 25 shillings.

41. If an ear be pierced, let bot be made with 3 shillings.

42. If an ear be mutilated, let bot be made with 6 shillings.

43. If an eye be [struck] out, let bot be made with 50 shillings.

44. If the mouth or an eye be injured, let bot be made with 12 shillings.

45. If the nose be pierced, let bot be made with 9 shillings.

46. If it be one ala, let bot be made with 3 shillings.

47. If both be pierced, let bot be made with 6 shillings.

48. If the nose be otherwise mutilated, for each [cut, let] bot be made with 6 shillings.

49. If it be pierced, let bot be made with 6 shillings.

50. Let him who breaks the jaw bone pay for it with 20 shillings.

51. For each of the four front teeth, 6 shillings; for the tooth which stands next to them 4 shillings; for that which stands next to that, 3 shillings; and then afterwards, for each a shilling.

52. If the speech be injured, 12 shillings. If the collar bone be
    broken, let bot be made with 6 shillings.

53. Let him who stabs [another] through an arm, make bot with 6
    shillings. If an arm be broken, let him make bot with 6 shillings.

54. If a thumb be struck off, 20 shillings. If a thumb nail be off, let bot be made with 3 shillings. If the shooting [fore] finger be struck off, let bot be made with 8 shillings. If the middle finger be struck off, let bot be made with 4 shillings. If the gold [ring]finger be struck off, let bot be made with 6 shillings. If the little finger be struck off, let bot be made with 11 shillings.

55. For every nail, a shilling.

56. For the smallest disfigurement of the face, 3 shillings; and
    for the greater, 6 shillings.

57. If any one strike another with his fist on the nose, 3

58. If there be a bruise [on the nose], a shilling; if he receive a right hand bruise [from protecting his face with his arm], let him [the striker] pay a shilling.

59. If the bruise [on the arm] be black in a part not covered by
    the clothes, let bot be made with 30 scaetts.

60. If it be covered by the clothes, let bot for each be made with
    20 scaetts.

61. If the belly be wounded, let bot be made with 12 shillings; if
    it be pierced through, let bot be made with 20 shillings.

62. If any one be gegemed [pregnant], let bot be made with 30

63. If any one be cear wund [badly wounded], let bot be made with
    3 shillings.

64. If any one destroy [another's] organ of generation [penis], let him pay him with 3 leod gelds: if he pierce it through, let him make bot with 6 shillings; if it be pierced within, let him make bot with 6 shillings.

65. If a thigh be broken, let bot be made with 12 shillings; if the man become halt [lame], then friends must arbitrate.

66. If a rib be broken, let bot be made with 3 shillings.

67. If [the skin of] a thigh be pierced through, for each stab 6 shillings; if [the wound be] above an inch [deep], a shilling; for two inches, 2; above three, 3 shillings.

68. If a sinew be wounded, let bot be made with 3 shillings.

69. If a foot be cut off, let 50 shillings be paid.

70. If a great toe be cut off, let 10 shillings be paid.

71. For each of the other toes, let one half that for the
    corresponding finger be paid.

72. If the nail of a great toe be cut off, 30 scaetts for bot; for
    each of the others, make bot with 10 scaetts.

73. If a freewoman loc bore [with long hair] commit any leswe
    [evil deed], let her make a bot of 30 shillings.

74. Let maiden bot [compensation for injury to an unmarried woman]
    be as that of a freeman.

75. For [breach of] the mund [protection] of a widow of the best class, of an eorl's degree, let the bot be 50 shillings; of the second, 20 shillings; of the third, 12 shillings; of the fourth, 6 shillings.

76. If a man carry off a widow not under his own protection by right, let the mund be twofold.

77. If a man buy a maiden with cattle, let the bargain stand, if it be without fraud; but if there be fraud, let him bring her home again, and let his property be restored to him.

78. If she bear a live child, she shall have half the property, if
    the husband die first.

79. If she wish to go away with her children, she shall have half
    the property.

80. If the husband wish to keep them [the children], [she shall
    have the same portion] as one child.

81. If she bear no child, her paternal kindred shall have the fioh [her money and chattels] and the morgen gyfe [morning gift: a gift made to the bride by her husband on the morning following the consummation of the marriage].

82. If a man carry off a maiden by force, let him pay 50 shillings to the owner, and afterwards buy [the object of] his will from the owner.

83. If she be betrothed to another man in money [at a bride
    price], let him [who carried her off] make bot with 20 shillings.

84. If she become gaengang [pregnant], 35 shillings; and 15
    shillings to the King.

85. If a man lie with an esne's wife, her husband still living,
    let him make twofold bot.

86. If one esne slay another unoffending, let him pay for him at
    his full worth.

87. If an esne's eye and foot be struck out or off, let him be
    paid for at his full worth.

88. If any one bind another man's esne, let him make bot with 6

89. Let [compensation for] weg reaf [highway robbery] of a theow
    [slave] be 3 shillings.

90. If a theow steal, let him make twofold bot [twice the value of
    the stolen goods]."

- Judicial Procedure -

The King and his freemen would hear and decide cases of wrongful behavior such as breach of the peace. Punishment would be given to the offender by the community.

There were occasional meetings of "hundreds", which were 100 households, to settle wide-spread disputes. The chief officer was "hundreder" or "constable". He was responsible for keeping the peace of the hundred.

The Druid priests decided all disputes of the Celts.

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