Nose-holding in English law

From the annals of legal history, I present unto you this little gem on slander:

In the Norman Custumal it is written that the man who has falsely called another ‘thief’ or ‘manslayer’ must pay damages, and, holding his nose with his fingers, must publicly confess himself a liar.

(Pollock and Maitland, The History of English Law, p. 537)

 [I confess, I have some questions about the implementation, humiliation, and ramifications of this as punishment. But who am I to judge? I haven’t even tried it yet. So let’s look at people who have:

1. Is it to say, like, ‘P.U.! I’m a stinky liar!’, like this man:


2. Or is it something more… ancient? painful? amusing? TO BE CONTINUED!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s