Northampton, Assize of

1176. Ten years after the Assize of Clarendon, this assize repeated many of the earlier ordinances and criminal measures, while increasing some penalties. For example, if someone accused of robbery failed the ordeal of water, the punishment was increased from the loss of the right foot, to the loss of right foot and right hand. The robber was also required to leave the kingdom within 40 days. This was deemed in the interests of 'stern justice'. Other measures offered protection to various groups of people and property rights, e.g. of widows, and claims for inherited land in another's possession.

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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  • Abjure the realm — Permanent exile. The sentence to leave the kingdom was applied to many who had sought *sanctuary. Once the 40 days sanctuary was over, a criminal was given the chance to abjure the realm. The guilty person was assigned a port to leave the kingdom …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

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