History

Anglo-Saxon law code, issued by King Cnut [ 1016–35]

Cnut’s Oxford code, 1018

The Oxford Code drafted by Archbishop Wulfstan of York

Cnut’s Oxford code is English law before Magna Carta

Relation between the Danes and the English

Prologue
Introduction
IN NOMINE DOMINI

Ðis is seo gerædnes þe witan geræddon. be manegum godum bisnum. asmeadon. And þæt wæs geworden sona swa cnút cyngc. mid his witena geþeahte. frið freondscipe. betweox denum englum. fullice gefæstnode. heora ærran saca. ealle getwæmde.

[1] Þonne is þæt ærest þæt witan geræddan. þæt hi ofer ealle oðre þingc ænne god æfre wurðodon. ænne cristendom anrædlice healdan. cnut cyngc. lufian. mid rihtan. mid trywðan. eadgares lagan. geornlice folgian.

[1.1] And híg gecwǽdan þæt hi furðor on æmtan smeagan woldan. þeode þearfe mid godes filste. swa hi betst mihton.

[1.2] Nu wille we swutelian. hwæt us mæg to ræde for gode. for worlde. gime se þe wille.

[1.3] Uton swiðe georne fram sinnan acirran. ure misdæda geornlice betan. ænne god rihtlice lufian wurðian. ænne cristendom anrædlice healdan. ælcne hæðendom georne forbugan.

[2] And uton godes cirican. griðian friðian. gelomlice secan us silfan to þearfe.

[2.1] Ælc cirice is mid rihte. on cristes agenan griðe. And ælc cristen man ah micele þearfe. þæt he on ðam griðe micele mæðe wite. Forðam godes grið is. ealra griða selost. to geearnianne. geornost to healdenne. þar nihst cynges.

[2.2] Ðonne is swiðe rihtlic. þæt godes ciricgrið. binnon wágum. cristenes cynges handgrið stande efen unwæmme

[3] And witena gerædnes is þæt man rihte laga upp arǽre. And æghwilce unlaga georne afille. And þæt man awéodige. awyrtwalige. æghwilc unriht. swa man geornost mæge. of þisan earde. arære up godes riht.

[3.1] heonan forð læte manna gehwilcne. ge earmne ge eadigne. folcrihtes wurðe beon.

[4] And witena gerædnes is. þæt þeah hwa agilte. hine silfne deope forwyrce. þonne medemige man þa stéore. swa hit for gode sy gebeorhlic. for worlde aberendlic.

[4.1] And geþence swiðe georne. se ðe domes geweald áge. hwæt he æt us sylf gyrne þonne he þus cweðe. Et dimitte nobis debita nostra. sicut & nos dimittimus.

[5] And witena gerædnes is. þæt man cristene men for ealles to litlum huru to deaðe ne forræde. ac elles geræde man friðlice steora folce to ðearfe. ne forspille. for litlum godes handgeweorc. his agenne ceap. þe he deore gebohte.

[6] And witena gerædnes is. þæt man cristene men. ealles to swiðe of earde ne sille. ne on hæðendom huru ne gebrýnge. ac beorge man georne. þæt man þa sawla ne forfare þe crist mid his agenum life gebohte.
[7] And witena gerædnes is. þæt man eard georne clænsian onginne. on æghwilcon ende manfulra dæda æghwar geswice. gif wiccan oððe wigleras. morðwirhtan oððe hórcwenan. ahwar on lande wurðan agitene. fise hi man georne ut of þisan earde. oððe on earde forfare hi mid ealle buton hi geswican. þe deoppor gebetan.
[8] And witena gerædnes is. þæt wiðersacan utlagan godes. manna. of earde gewitan buton hi gebugon. þe geornor gebetan.

[8.1] And þeofan þeodscaðan to timan for wurðan. buton hig geswican.

[9] Manslagan manswaran. hadbrican. æwbrican. gebugan gebetan. oððe of cyððe mid synne gewitan.
[10] Liceteras leogeras. riperas reaferas. godes graman habban buton hig geswican.

[10.1] And se ðe eard wille rihtlice clænsian unriht alecgan. rihtwisnesse lufian. þonne mot he georne þillices styran. þillic ascunian.

[11] And witena gerædnes is þæt hi willað. þæt ælces hades men georne gebugan. ælc to ðam rihte þe him to gebyrige. huruþinga. godes þeowas. biscopas. abbodas. munecas. minicena. canonicas. nunnan to rihte gebugan. regollice libban. dæges. nihtes oft gelome. clipian to criste. for eal cristen folc þingian georne.

[11.1] And ealle godes þeowas we biddað lærað. huruþinga sacerdas. þæt †hi gode hiran clænnesse lufian. beorgan him silfum wið godes irre. wið ðone weallendan bryne þe wealleð on helle.
[11.2] Fulgeorne hi †witan þæt hi nagan mid rihte þurh hæmedþingc. wifes gemánan. se ðe þæs geswican wille. clænnesse healdan. hæbbe he godes miltse. to worldwurðscipe sy he þegenlaga wyrðe.

[11.3] And æghwilc cristen man eac. for his drihtenes ege. unrihthæmed georne forbuge. godcunde laga rihtlice healde.

[12] we lærað we biddað. on godes naman beodað. þæt ænig cristen man binnon six manna sibfæce on his agenum cynne æfre ne wifige. ne on his mæges lafe†. þe swa neahsib wære.

[12.1] Ne on ðæs wifes nydmagan þe he silf ær hæfde. ne on his gefæderan. ne on gehalgodre nunnan.

[12.2] Ne on álǽtan ænig cristen man ne wifige æfre.

[12.3] Ne ænig forligeru ahwar ne begange.

[12.4] Ne na má wifa hæbbe þonne án. ac beo be þare anre. þa hwile þe heo libbe. se þe wille godes laga giman mid rihte. wið hellebryne beorgan his sawle.

[13] gelæste man godes gerihta georne. rihtlice æghwilce geare.

[13.1] þæt is sulhælmessan huru. xv. niht ofer eastron.

[13.2] geoguðe teoðunge be pentecosten.

[13.3] eorðwæstma be ealra halgene mæssan.

[13.4] romfeoh be petres mæssan.

[13.5] leohtgescot þriwa on geare.

[13.6] sawlsceat is rihtast þæt man gelæste. æt ðam openum græfe.

[13.] And gif man ænig lic of rihtre scriftscire. elles hwar lecge. gelæste man þone sawlsceat swa ðeah into ðam mynstre. þe hit to hyrde.

[14] And ealle godes gerihta friðige man georne. ealswa hit þearf is. freolsa fæstena healde man rihtlice.

[14.1] Sunnandæges freols healde man georne. swa þarto gebirige. cipincga. folcgemota. huntaðfara. worldlicra weorca. on ðam halgan dæge geswice man georne.

[14.2] And sancta marian freolstida wurðige man georne. ærost mid fæstene siððan mid freolse.

[14.3] And to æghwilces apostoles heahtide. fæste man georne buton philippus. iacobus freolse. ne beode we nán fæsten. forðam eastran dæges freolse.

[14.4] elles oðre freolsa fæstena. healde man georne. swa swa þa heoldon þa ðe betst heoldon.

[14.5] And ymbrenfæstena. swa swa sanctus gregorius angelcynne silf gedihte.

[14.6] And sancte eadwardes mæssedæg. witan habbað gecoran þæt man freolsian sceal. ofer eall englaland. on. xv. kalendas. Aprilis.

[14.] And fæste man ælce frigedæg. buton hit freols sy

[15] And ordol aðas syndon tocwedene freolsdagum. rihtymbrendagum. and fram adventum domini. oð octabas epiphania. fram septuagessima. oð .xv. niht ofer eastron.

[15.1] And beo þam halgan [tidan] ealswa hit riht is. eallum cristenum mannum sibb som gemæne. ælc sacu totwǽmed.

[15.2] And gif hwa oðrum scule. borh oððe bote. æt worldlican þingan. gelæste hit him georne. ær oððe æfter.

[16] And sy ælc wuduwe þe hy silfe mid rihte gehealde. on godes griðe on ðæs cynges.

[16.1] And sitte ælc. xii. monað wereleas. ceose siððan þæt heo silf wille.

[1] And æghwilc cristen man do swa him þearf is. gime his cristendomes georne. gewunige gelomlice. to his scrifte. unforwandodlice his synna gecyðe. geornlice bete. swa swa him man tæce.

[1.1] gearwige eac to huselgange. huru þriwa on geare. gehwa hine silfne. þe his agene þearfe understandan cunne swa swa him þearf sy
[18] And word. weorc. fréonda gehwilc. fadige mid rihte. að wed. wærlice healde.
[19] æghwilc unriht awurpe man geor[n]e of þisan earde þæs ðe man don mæge. lufige man godes riht. heonan forð georne. wordes dæda. þonne wurð us godes miltse þe gearuwre.
[20] Wytan eac ealle ymbe friðes bote. ymbe féos bote. smeagan swiðe georne.
[20.1] Swa ymbe fryðes bote. swa beo þam bóndan selost. þam þeofan sy laðost.
[20.2] And swa ymbe feos bote. þæt an mynet gange ofer ealle þas þeode. buton ælcon false.
[21] And gemeta gewihta rihte man georne. ælces unrihtes heonan forð geswice.
[22] And burhbota bricbota. aginne man georne.
[23] And fyrdunga eac swa á þonne þearf sy. for gemǽnelicre neode.
[24] And smeage man symle on ælce wisan. hu man firmest mæg ræd aredian þeode to þearfe. and rihtne cristendom swiðost aræran. æghwilce unlaga geornost afillan. forðam þurh þæt hit sceal on earde godian to ahte. þæt man unriht alecge. rihtwisnesse lufige. for gode. for worlde.
[25] And se ðe unlaga arære. oððe undom deme heonan forð. for læððe. oððe feohfange. beo se wið þone cyngc. cxx. scillinga scildig. buton he geladige. þæt he na bet ne cuðe.
[26] And se ðe rihte lage rihtne dom forsace. beo se scildig wið ðone þe hit age.
[26.1] Swa wið cyningc. cxx. scillinga [120 shillings].
[26.2] Swa wið eorl. xl. scillinga.
[26.3] Swa wið hundred† .xxx. scillinga.

[26.4] Swá wið ælc þara gif hit swa gewurðe on engla lage.

[27] And se ðe [on] denelaga. rihte laga wirde. gilde he lahslite.
[28] And git we willað myngian freonda gehwilcne. ealswa us neod is. gelome to donne. þæt† gehwa hine silfne georne beþence. þæt he fram sinnum georne gecirre. oðrum mannum unrihtes stire. þæt he† ofer ealle oðre þingc lufige. his drihten. þæt he oft gelome. hæbbe on gemynde. þæt mannum is mæst þéarf oftost to gemunnenne. þæt is þæt hi rihtne geleafan habban on ðone soðan god. þe is waldend wirhta. ealra gesceafta. þæt hi rihtne cristendom rihtlice healdan. þæt hi godcundum lareowum. geornlice hyran. godes larum lagum. rihtlice filigan.
[29] And þæt hi godes circan. æghwar georne griðian friðian. mid leohte lacum gelome hig gegretan. híg silfe þar georne gebiddan.
[30] And þæt hi godes gerihta. æghwilce geare. mid rihte gelæstan. freolsa fæstena. rihtlice healdan.
[31] And þæt hi sunnandæges cypinga. folciscra gemota. georne geswican.
[32] And þæt hig godes þeowas. symle werian. wurðian.
[33] þæt hi godes þearfan frefrian fedan.
[34] And þæt hi wuduwan steopcild. to oft ne ahwǽnan. ac georne hi gladian.
[35] And þæt hi ælþeodige men. feorran cumene. ne tyrian. ne tynan.
[36] þæt hi oðrum mannum unriht ne beodan ealles to swiðe. ac manna gehwilc oðrum béode. þæt riht sy. þæt he wille þæt man him beode. be þam þe hit mæð sy.


Categories: History

Tagged as: