The United Kingdom began to update its legal system in 1965. Over two thousand laws have been repealed since then; here are some of the strange laws that are still in place today.
- Dying is illegal in the Houses of Parliaments – This has been voted as the most ridiculous law by the British citizens.
- In York it is perfectly legal to shoot a Scotsman with a crossbow upon seeing one, except for on Sundays. However any Scotsman caught drunk or with a weapon can still be shot on a Sunday, except with a bow and arrow. Similarly in Chester it is legal to shoot a Welsh person with a crossbow, as long as it is within the city walls and is done after midnight.
- Placing a postage stamp bearing the monarch’s head upside down on an envelope is considered as act of treason. Also, defacing or destroying anything bearing a likeness of the monarch is illegal, which means burning paper money, bending coins or tearing a stamp apart.
- The Library Offences Act of 1898 makes it illegal to gamble in a library. The law also prohibits abusive or obscene language. So I guess that would include online gambling on the computers too.
- Trespassing is illegal, except by huers and baulkers. An Act of 1603 comes from an ancient custom in Cornwall. People known as huers and baulkers would stand on the cliffs and shout to fishing boats, directing them toward schools of fish. The Act gives those on the cliffs the right of entry onto the lands of others, and a defence against trespassing.
- Beating or shaking carpets, mats or rugs is illegal. Doormats may be beaten, but not after eight in the morning. You’ve been warned!
- The Licensing Act of 1872 explains that operating a cow, horse or steam engine while intoxicated carries either a prison sentence or a fine. So no riding a cow while you’re drunk!
- By law it is legal for a pregnant woman to relieve herself anywhere she wishes, even a policeman’s hat!
- It is an executable offence to allow your pet to mate with a pet of the royal house without permission. So if you’re ever there with your dog, make sure they behave themselves!
- It is also illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day!
Well there are some stupid laws from the UK. I can proudly say I have broken four of the laws above :) If you know of any more please leave them in a comment!