Law in the Middle Ages

Topics: Court, Judge, Jury Pages: 2 (692 words) Published: December 12, 2006
Law In The Middle Ages

Ever wonder how life in the Middle Ages was? Whether its modes of punishment, the court system, Churches, or even medieval justice that played an important role for peasants, nobles, knights, and many more of the important people of the Middle Ages? During the middle ages there were laws people lived by and if broken they would either go to court or battle to survive. There is a variety of courts for different classes and also trials. First of all, there were two types of trials that a person faced for crimes that they committed. Trial by ordeal was when a person's innocence was tested by putting them in a dangerous position having them do a difficult test such as swallowing poison, pulling an object from boiling oil, walking over nine red-hot ploughs, carrying red-hot piece of iron over a certain distance. If a burn got infected or blistered the judges would rule that the person is guilty thus leading to the person's death.


The second type of trial that a person had to face was Trial by battle. Trial by battle was when two nobles fought, usually until one of them died. The winner was assumed innocent because God would only protect an innocent person. Only noblemen had the right to trial by battle everyone else would have just been ignored. Furthermore, noblewomen could choose any champion to fight on her behalf. Trial by ordeal and trial by battle were common ways of deciding if a person was innocent or guilty, but were outlawed later in the Middle Ages. Secondly, there were three types of courts Church, Manor, and Royal courts. Only church courts could judge bishops, deacons, priests, clerks, monks and nuns. The church gave out lighter sentences than royal courts and they also couldn't sentence death. All members of the clergy could read and write, therefore a literacy test sometimes were used to prove that a person worked for the church, and should be tried in the more lenient...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • The Middle Ages Essay
  • Middle Ages Essay
  • Essay about Middle Ages
  • law law Essay
  • Jews in the Middle Ages Essay
  • Review: Making of the Middle Ages Essay
  • Architecture of the Middle Ages Essay
  • Essay on Weddings of the Middle Ages

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free