Battle, trial by

The resolution of conflict between two people could be achieved by a legal fight, a trial or ordeal, however small the dispute - even over a chicken. Peasants fought with staves, the nobility with a sword. Members of the Church sought exemption from such conflicts. When charges were serious, the punishment, short of death, was equally serious and very unpleasant.

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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  • battle, trial by — an ancient form of alternative dispute resolution by which parties fought each other to the death. Champions could be substituted. It was abolished in England after the case of Ashford v. Thornton (1818) 1 B. & Ald. 405. In Scotland, it took… …   Law dictionary

  • Trial by combat — 1540s depiction of a 1409 judicial combat in Augsburg (Paulus Hector Mair, Munich cod. icon. 393) Trial by combat (also wager of battle, trial by battle or judicial duel) was a method of Germanic law to settle accusations in the absence of… …   Wikipedia

  • trial by battle — or trial by combat : a trial of a dispute formerly determined by the outcome of a personal battle or combat between the parties or in an issue joined upon a writ of right between their champions called also judicial combat, wager of battle * * *… …   Useful english dictionary

  • trial by combat — see trial by battle * * * trial by combat, a trial in which victory in combat between two disputing parties decides a case …   Useful english dictionary

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