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Bloodwit and infangthief

So what did the people of the Cinque Ports get in return for their annual shiplending? A pretty sweet deal, in fact. Here it is in the original Anglo Saxon legal speak:

  • Exemption from tax and tallage
    (tallage is usually property taxes)
  • Rights of sac and soc
    (jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases, from the Anglo Saxon soke)
  • Rights of toll and team
    (authority over the sale and movement of cattle)
  • Rights of bloodwit and fledwit
    (authority to punish those who shed blood or do a runner)
  • Rights of pillory and tumbril
    (authority to punish social ne’er-do-wells)
  • Rights of infangthief and outfangthief
    (authority to imprison or execute thieves and felons)
  • The right of mundbryce
    (the right to build sea defenses on private land)
  • Rights of waifs and strays
    (finders keepers)
  • Rights of flotsam, jetsam and ligan
    (the right to appropriate stuff that leaks from ships)
  • All freemen of the towns had the right to call themselves Barons of the Cinque Ports, but in practical terms the Barons were those appointed by the various mayors and councils to attend a coronation.

    The Barons of the Cinque Ports had the right, from time immemorial, to hold a canopy over the head of the king as he processed to his coronation and thereafter to dine with him at his right hand (though at the coronation of William and Mary in 1689, they were refused this seating arrangement and never got it back).

    “Aha!” sez you, “now I know what gives!”

    Uncle B informs me that time immemorial is an actual date in English law: 1189 AD. Anything before that is time immemorial, a matter of tradition, anything after that is assumed to be written down and attributable to somebody.


    Comment from Uncle Al
    Time: May 3, 2023, 7:39 pm

    Oh, thank you! I never new that about “time immorial” and it is a truly lovely little historical fact. Did you know that 1189 divided by 41 equals 29?

    Comment from S. Weasel
    Time: May 3, 2023, 8:22 pm

    Uncle Al, do you have one of them mathematical brains?

    Comment from Uncle Al
    Time: May 3, 2023, 10:48 pm

    Stoaty, my brain is mathier than average but that’s not saying much these days. I used to know people (most but not all males) mathier than I am but they seem scarce now.

    I have found a good way to get to sleep using my digital clock. I have it display the time in 24 hour mode instead of 12, and a few minutes of factoring the time (determining the set of prime numbers that, when multiplied together, produce the starting number) as though it were a decimal number puts me right out.

    11:46 p.m. = 23:46
    2,346 = 6 x 391 = 2 x 3 x 17 x 23

    I helps to know a few mental math tricks and to have memorized a larger than normal multiplication table, and to know squares up to around 50 or so.

    Comment from technochitlin
    Time: May 4, 2023, 2:39 pm

    I was told there would be no math!

    Comment from Uncle Al
    Time: May 4, 2023, 7:00 pm

    It seems I’ve killed another thread. I’m sorry; I don’t do it on purpose.

    Note to self: avoid significant digits except maybe big toes.

    Comment from technochitlin
    Time: May 5, 2023, 12:21 pm

    Just fooling with you, Uncle Al 😁

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