Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Anglo Saxon Dooms

Anglo-Saxon Dooms (Laws) - Pertaining to Women

I thought I might post a few Anglo-Saxon Laws or Dooms that pertain to women. It will be followed by a brief Glossary of Terms.

The Laws of Æthelberht, King of Kent, 560-616 A.D.
10. If a man lie with the king's maiden, let him pay a bot of fifty shillings.
11. If she be a grinding slave, let him pay a bot of twenty-five shillings. The third (class) twelve shillings.
14. If a man lie with an eorl's birele, let him make bot with twelve shillings.
16. If a man lie with a ceorl's birele, let him make bot with six shillings; with a slave of the second (class), fifty scaetts; with one of the third, thirty scaetts.
31. If a freeman lie with a freeman's wife, let him pay for it with his wergeld, and provide another wife with his own money, and bring her to the other.
77. If a man buy a maiden with cattle, let the bargain stand, if it be without guile; but if there be guile, let him bring her home again, and let his property be restored to him.
78. If she bear a live child, let her have half the property; if the husband die first.
79. If she wish to go away with her children, let her have half the property.
80. If the husband wish to have them, (let her portion be) as one child.
81. If she bear no child, let her paternal kindred have the fioh and the morgengyftt.
82. If a man carry off a maiden by force, let him pay fifty shillings to the owner, and afterwards buy (the object of) his will of the owner.
83. If she be betrothed to another in money, let him make bot with twenty shillings.
84. If she become gaengang, thirty-five shillings; and fifteen shillings to the king.
85. If a man lie with an esne's wife, her husband still living, let him make two-fold bot.

Laws of King Alfred 871 - 901AD
Of fornication with a nun
8. If any one carry off a nun from a minster, without the king's or the bishop's leave, let him pay a hundred and twenty shillings, half to the king, half to the bishop and to the church-hlaford who owns the nun. If she live longer than he who carried her off, let her not have aught of his property. If she bear a child, let not that have of the property more than the mother. If any one slay her child, let him pay to the king the maternal kindred's share; to the paternal kindred let their share be given. . . .

The Laws of King Edmund I, 939-946 A.D.
Of nun's fornication and of adultery.

4. He who commits fornication with a nun, let him not be worthy of a consecrated burial place (unless he make bot), any more than a manslayer. We have ordained the same respecting adultery.

bot = remedy, compensation
eorl = earl, nobleman
ceorl = churl, peasant
scaetts = money, payment
fioh = fee, money
morgengyftt = morning gift, gift from husband to wife on the morning after marriage
esne = serf, labourer, working class
gaengang = pregnant (return)
birele = cupbearer, steward

minster = monastery

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey, what if a woman carries of a sexy monk?