The Dooms of Æthelberht, King of Kent, 560-616CE

These are the dooms which King Æthelberht established in the days of Augustine.

Of church-frith.

The property of God and of the church, twelvefold; a bishop's property, elevenfold; a priest's property, ninefold; a deacon's property, sixfold; a clerk's property, threefold; churchfrith, twofold;. . .

If the king calls his leod to him, and any one there do them evil, (let him compensate with) a twofold bot, and fifty shillings to the king.

If the king drink at any one's home, and any one there do any lyswe, let him make two-fold bot.

If a freeman steal from the king, let him pay ninefold.

If a man slay another in the king's tun, let him make bot with fifty shillings.

If any one slay a freeman, fifty shillings to the king, as drihtinbeah.

If the king's ambihtsmith, or laadrinc, slay a man, let him pay a half leodgeld.

The king's mundbyrd, fifty shillings.

If a freeman steal from a freeman, let him make threefold bot; and let the king have the wite and all the chattels.

If a man lie with the king's maiden, let him pay a bot of fifty shillings.

If she be a grinding slave, let him pay a bot of twenty-five shillings. The third (class) twelve shillings.

Let the king's fedesl be paid for with twenty shillings

If a man slay another in an eorl's tun, let him make bot with twelve shillings.

If a man lie with an eorl's birele, let him make bot with twelve shillings.

A ceorl's mundbyrd, seven shillings.

If a man lie with a ceorl's birele, let him make bot with six shillings; with a slave of the second (class), fifty scaetts; with one of the third, thirty scaetts.

If any one be the first to make an inroad into a man's tun, let him make bot with six shillings; let him who follows, with three shillings; after, each, a shilling.

If a man furnish weapons to another where there is strife, though no evil be done, let him make bot with six shillings.

If wegreaf be done, let him make bot with six shillings.

If the man be slain, let him make bot with twenty shillings.

If a man slay another, let him make bot with a half leodgeld of 100 shillings. . . .

If a freeman lie with a freeman's wife, let him pay for it with his wergeld, and provide another wife with his own money, and bring her to the other.

If any one thrust through the riht hamscyld, let him adequately compensate.

If there be a feahfang, let there be fifty sceatts for bot.

If there be an exposure of the bone, let bot be made with three shillings.

If there be an injury of the bone, let bot be made with four shillings.

If the outer hion be broken, let bot be made with ten shillings.

If it be both, let bot be made with twenty shillings.

If a shoulder be lamed, let bot be made with thirty shillings.

If an ear be struck off, let bot be made with twelve shillings.

If the other ear hear not, let bot be made with twenty-five shillings.

If an ear be pierced, let bot be made with three shillings.

If an ear be mutilated, let bot be made with six shillings.

If an eye be (struck) out, let bot be made with fifty shillings.

If the mouth or an eye be injured, let bot be made with twelve shillings.

If the nose be pierced, let bot be made with nine shillings.

If it be one ala, let bot be made with three shillings.

If both be pierced, let bot be made with six shillings.

If the nose be otherwise mutilated, for each let bot be made with six shillings.

If it be pierced, let bot be made with six shillings.

Let him who breaks the chin-bone pay for it with twenty shillings.

For each of the four front teeth, six shillings; for the tooth which stands next to them four shillings; for that which stands next to that, three shillings; and then afterwards, for each a shilling.

If the speech be injured, twelve shillings. If the collar-bone be broken, let bot be made with six shillings.

Let him who stabs (another) through an arm, make bot with six shillings.

If a thumb be struck off, twenty shillings. If a thumb nail be off, let bot be made with three shillings. If the shooting [i. e. fore] finger be struck off, let bot be made with eight shillings. If the middle finger be struck off, let bot be made with four shillings. If the gold [i. e. ring] finger be struck off, let bot be made with six shillings. If the little finger be struck off, let bot be made with eleven shillings.

For every nail, a shilling.

For the smallest disfigurement of the face, three shillings: and for the greater, six shillings.

If any one strike another with his fist on the nose, three shillings.

If there be a bruise, a shilling; if he receive a right hand bruise, let him [the striker] pay a shilling.

If the bruise be black in a part not covered by the clothes, let bot be made with thirty scaetts.

If it be covered by the clothes, let bot for each be made with twenty scaetts.

If the belly be wounded, let bot be made with twelve shillings; if it be pierced through, let bot be made with twenty shillings.

If any one be gegemed, let bot be made with thirty shillings.

If any one be cear-wund, let bot be made with three shillings.

If any one destroy (another's) organ of generation, let him pay with three leud-gelds; if he pierce it through, let him make bot with six shillings; if it be pierced within, let him make bot with six shillings.

If a thigh be broken, let bot be made with twelve shillings; if the man become halt, then the friends must arbitrate.

If a rib be broken, let bot be made with three shillings.

If a thigh be pierced through, for each stab six shillings; if (the wound be) above an inch, a shilling; for two inches, two; above three, three shillings.

If a sinew be wounded, let bot be made with three shillings.

If a foot be cut off, let fifty shillings be paid.

If a great toe be cut off, let ten shillings be paid.

For each of the other toes, let one-half be paid, like as it is stated for the fingers.

If the nail of a great toe be cut off, thirty scaetts for bot; for each of the others, make bot with ten scaetts. . . .

If a man buy a maiden with cattle, let the bargain stand, if it be without guile; but if there be guile, let him bring her home again, and let his property be restored to him.

If she bear a live child, let her have half the property; if the husband die first.

If she wish to go away with her children, let her have half the property.

If the husband wish to have them, (let her portion be) as one child.

If she bear no child, let her paternal kindred have the fioh and the morgengyftt.

If a man carry off a maiden by force, let him pay fifty shillings to the owner, and afterwards buy (the object of) his will of the owner.

If she be betrothed to another in money, let him make bot with twenty shillings.

If she become gaengang, thirty-five shillings; and fifteen shillings to the king.

If a man lie with an esne's wife, her husband still living, let him make two-fold bot.


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