Written by Ellis Ian Fields

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Topics: Law

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

image for Ancient Laws Scrapped In Statutes Overhaul
Keep your musket primed!

A law passed in 1696 to raise funds for rebuilding St Paul's Cathedral after the Great Fire of London is one of 800 obsolete Acts to be wiped from the statute books this summer.

The provisions - some dating back to the 14th century - will be repealed under the Statute Law (Repeals) Bill. They include a 1710 act ro raise coal duty to pay for 50 new churches in London and laws governing the British railway network in India.

But some laws left untouched have surprised legal commentators.

"It seems a little out-dated to let 'any sundry gentleman of this parish to enjoy congress with a nanny goat found wandering loose on College Green so long as she be not tethered,'" reckons EIF News & Features' legal affairs correspondent Bailiwick Alimony.

"However, I suspect that continuing to allow a 'goodly, trustworthy English yeoman' to 'discharge a musket toward a devilish Scotchman or Celtic fellow' ... 'close to any hostelry within the walls of London' is probably far-sighted in view of Mr Salmond's propsals to seek Scottish independence."

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