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Judicial combat

This brutal image is of trial by battle: whoever won was also deemed to have won the court case. In this example, Hamo le Strange lost his battle with Walter Blowberme and was hanged. The illustration is taken from a thirteenth century plea rollGlossary term - opens in a pop-up window from a meeting of the king's eyreGlossary term - opens in a pop-up window court in Hampshire and shows why Henry II's codification of the law proved popular. Although this document shows that outdated practices still continued into the thirteenth century, at the same time the new, uniform procedures and punishments did allow royal justice to expand throughout England.

Catalogue reference: KB 26/223 (date: 1249)

Judicial combat. Cat ref: KB 26/223
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