There were several types of ordeal to determine whether a person was guilty or not. Prepare to be amazed!
1. Ordeal by fire - walking over hot ploughshares for a distance of 9 feet. Innocence determined by either total lack of injury, or if the injury was only festering after three days.
2. Ordeal by boiling water - suspect had to dip his hand into a pot of boiling water to retrieve a stone. Innocence determined by whether or not the burns had healed in three days.
3. Ordeal by cold water - suspect was submerged in a stream either in a barrel or with a millstone around his neck. Innocence determined by whether or not he survived!
4. Ordeal by cold water (witches only) - suspect is submerged as above, but sinks if guilty, floats if innocent.
5. Ordeal by cross - accuser AND accused stand either side of a cross with their arms out horizontally. The first one to lower his arms is the loser.
6. Ordeal by ingestion - bread and cheese blessed by a priest were administered. Guilty if the suspect choked.
7. Ordeal by poison (Nigeria) - fed a poisonous bean. If defendant vomited it up, they were innocent.
8. Ordeal by boiling oil (India) - as #2, but both accuser AND accused had to dip their hands in boiling oil. Whoever had uninjured hands afterwards was innocent.
9. Ordeal by turf (Iceland) - suspect had to walk underneath a piece of turf. If the turf fell on his head, he was guilty.
You may NOT use the contents of this site for commercial purposes without explicit written permission from the author and blog owner. Commercial purposes includes blogs with ads and income generating features, and/or blogs or sites using feed content as a replacement for original content. Full content usage is not permitted.
You Might Also Be Interested In
Which paid genealogy tool do you appreciate the most? What special features put it at the top of your list? How can it help others with th...
List the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree. Mahala EDWARDS 1815 and Mahala Edward...
This has to be my favourite address in my family history. Yonder Street, Ottery St Mary, Devon, England was where my MURCH ancestors ...
Imagine you are a lowly servant in a mediaeval palace, castle, or manor house. Christmas is coming - but during the twelve days of Christma...
Have you heard of the FamilySearch Wiki? I had, but assumed it was not much more than a blog. But actually it is so much more. You go ...
- ► 2015 (28)
- ► 2014 (54)
- A-Z Challenge 2013: Z is for Zachariah Hellier
- A-Z Challenge 2013: Y is for Yoke
- A-Z Challenge 2013: X is for eXtreme Genealogy
- A-Z Challenge 2013: W is for Wessex and Wyverns
- A-Z Challenge 2013: V is for Verderer, Vert and Ve...
- A-Z Challenge 2013: U is for Up-and-down Husbandry...
- A-Z Challenge 2013: T is for Teasel (or Teazel)
- A-Z Challenge 2013: S is for Secretary Hand
- A-Z Challenge 2013: R is for Rebecca Riots
- A-Z Challenge 2013: Q is for Quernstone
- A-Z Challenge 2013: P is for Plough Monday
- A-Z Challenge 2013: O is for Ordeal
- A-Z Challenge 2013: N is for Nuncupative Will
- A-Z Challenge 2013: M is for Mocavo
- A-Z Challenge 2013: L is for Lord of Misrule
- A-Z Challenge 2013: K is for Knobstick Wedding
- A-Z Challenge 2013: J is for Jagger
- A-Z Challenge 2013: I is for Indexing
- A-Z Challenge 2013: H is for Hue and Cry
- A-Z Challenge 2013: G is for Google Alerts
- A-Z Challenge 2013: F is for Farthing
- A-Z Challenge 2013: E is for Engross
- A-Z Challenge 2013: D is for Directories
- A-Z Challenge 2013: C is for Chatham Chest
- A-Z Challenge 2013: B is for Bawdy Court
- A-Z Challenge 2013: A is for Arlee
- ▼ April (26)
- ► 2012 (59)
- ► 2011 (53)