Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Ears and Bankruptcy: some early debtor treatment

There are some interesting debtor treatments in the history of English law. From 1604 a debtor could be placed in the pillory for non-disclosure of his assets to the Commissioners in Bankruptcy.[1] He would then have his ear nailed to the pillory and cut-off.[2] Some early debtor ears have been kept for posterity (pictured) at KLS.


[1] See: An Act for the Better Relief of the Creditors against such as shall become Bankrupts 1604, 1 Jac. c. 15, and; An Act for the Further description of a Bankrupt and relief of creditors against such as shall become bankrupts and for inflicting corporal punishment upon the bankrupts in some special cases 1623, 21 Jac 1, c.19.

[2] Ibid.

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