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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 #195 on: February 04, 2009, 01:26:35 pm »

correct. But the Fehm-court which was held in them is the mere coinage of the lady's brain, and utterly unlike any thing real, unless it be the Holy Office, whose secret proceedings never could vie in justice or humanity with those of the Westphalian Fehm-courts. It is, moreover, not confirmed by any document, or even by the tradition of the place, and would be undeserving of notice were it not for the reason assigned above.

The similarity between the Fehm-courts and the Inquisition has been often observed. In the secrecy of their proceedings, and the great number of agents which they had at their devotion, they resemble each other; but the Holy Office had nothing to correspond to the public and repeated citations of the Fehm-courts, the fair trial given to the accused, the leaning towards mercy of the judges, and the right of appeal which was secured.

The most remarkable resemblance to the Fehm-tribunals is (or was) to be found among the negroes on the west coast of Africa, as they are described by a French traveller *. These are the Purrahs of the Foollahs, who dwell between Sierra Leone river and Cape Monte.

There are five tribes of this people, who form a confederation, at the head of which is a union of warriors, which is called a Purrah. Each tribe has its own separate Purrah, and each Purrah has its chiefs and its tribunal, which is, in a more restricted sense, also called a Purrah. The general Purrah of the confederation is formed from the Purrahs of the five tribes.

To be a member of the inferior Purrahs, a man must be thirty years of age; no one under fifty can have a seat in the general Purrah. The candidate


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