Robin in the Hood

Trivia Time!

For the month of July, we’re asking which one of these things would make you an outlaw – in other words, which one was illegal in 12th century England? The answers are posted below. To see each week’s options, check out @RitHFestival on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Social Media Trivia Answer for July 10, 2021

B – selling bread underweight

The assizes of bread were a series of laws that all governed the price of bread which was measured by weight. The earliest versions of these laws in England were implemented under King Henry II (King Richard’s father!) Under this law, bakers could be fined if they were caught cheating their customers by overcharging or selling small loaves. In order to make sure they couldn’t be accused of ripping off their customers, bakers would add a small loaf as an extra when someone bought a dozen. This is thought to be the origin of the term “baker’s dozen”. 

In the middle ages, water wasn’t that safe to drink so most everyone (including children) drank mead which had a low alcohol content – enough to kill germs so it was safe. 

References:
https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/breadbeer.asp
https://www.wordorigins.org/big-list-entries/bakers-dozen

Social Media Trivia Answer for July 17, 2021

A – Returning a runaway serf who claimed to be free

Under King Henry II, common law was established which gave certain rights to its citizens. One of these was the Writ of Neifty which meant that the Sheriff couldn’t return a runaway serf if they claimed to be free; however, the Sheriff could still arrest you and have the courts decide if you were really “free”.

It’s often said that it was illegal to eat mincemeat pies at Christmas but no actual law has been found. It may have been frowned upon but it was not illegal. 

References:
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/lincoln-record-soc/vol2/xxxi-xxxvi#anchorn2
https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=873149ed-f8ff-43e8-994a-637e4c58be59

Social Media Trivia Answer for July 24, 2021

B – Wearing a suit of armour in the House of Parliament

The Statute forbidding the Bearing of Armour was enacted by King Edward II in the year 1313. This law prohibits people from wearing armour in the House of Parliament and is still in effect today!

Marrying someone below your rank was referred to as a morganatic or “left-handed” marriage.

This practice had implications for the family when it came to inheritance but it wasn’t illegal. 

References:
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/Edw2/7/0/section/wrapper1
https://www.britannica.com/topic/morganatic-marriage

Social Media Trivia Answer for July 31, 2021

A – Hunting a deer in the king’s forest

After the Norman Conquest, many of the forests, and all their contents,  were declared to be “the King’s land”. This meant that people could not hunt deer in what was considered the king’s forest – which included all of Sherwood! 

Most of the time killing a person was also illegal; however, if they had killed your family member then you had the right to revenge which was known as a “blood feud”. Although it was legal, it wasn’t all that common (especially by the 12th century) because there were other systems in place to achieve justice. 

References:
https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/inspire-me/obscure-medieval-laws/
https://earlyenglishlaws.ac.uk/reference/essays/forest-law/ 
https://www.britannica.com/topic/feud-private-war 
https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.2307/2851780

Robin in the Hood Medieval Festival