This video covers: An explanation of a gemot, witan and a Hundred Court together with some of the punishments handed out to those found guilty.
In the early Saxon times we never wrote down our laws they were just passed on from one person to another. Now though all laws and punishments are written down. Our laws are made when the King holds a meeting called a gemot with a group of important men, called a witan. It’s at this gemot that laws and punishments are discussed. The laws made by the King and his Witan are written down in the dooms and they also write down what the punishment should be for each crime. Now if you are caught for a crime such as steeling a duck could find yourself in front of a Hundred Court where the officials of the court would decide if you are guilty or not. You can bring people to speak on your behalf these people are called oath-helpers. If you’re found guilty, the punishments can be severe such as having a hand chopped off or even your nose or toes cut off. Trial by water is fun to watch whereby the accused person is thrown into a river. If he floats he’s guilty if he sinks he’s innocent and you have to get him out before he drowns.