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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1744 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #180 on: February 04, 2009, 01:23:26 pm »

assessors be able to come to a decision, the matter was put off till the next court-day.

But if the assessor undertook the finding of the verdict, it lay with himself whether he should do so alone, or retire to take the opinion of the other assessors and the by-standers. To give the verdict due force it must be found sitting, otherwise it might be objected to. Whether or not the assessor was bound to decide according to the majority of voices is uncertain. When the verdict had been found the assessor appeared with his colleagues before the tribunal, and delivered it to the count, who then passed sentence. What the penalties were for different offences was a secret known only to the initiated; but, if they were of a capital nature, the halter, as was intimated by the one which lay before the count, was the instrument of punishment.

Should the accused not have appeared, and been in consequence outlawed, he was forfehmed by the following awful curse: it was declared that "he should be excluded from the public peace, from all liberties and rights, and the highest un-peace, un-grace, and halter be appointed for him; that he should be cut off from all communication with any Christian people, and be cursed so that he might wither in his body, and neither become any more verdant, nor increase in any manner; that his wife should be held to be a widow, and his children orphans; that he should be without honour and without right, and given up to any one; that his neck should be left to the ravens, his body to all beasts, to the birds of the air and the fishes in the water; but his soul should be commended to God," &c. &c.

If he continued a year and a day under the sentence of outlawry, all his goods then fell to the

p. 369


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