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:

smell-bad-holding-nose.jpg

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

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