Published: 2nd June 2015
It’s been 800 years since Bad King John signed the Magna Carta at Runnymede. We already know about the British Library’s impressive exhibition, but, if you’re looking for something less high brow, then why not head over to City Hall, where the London Dungeon is celebrating in its usual gory style?
To commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the London Dungeon is staging a courtroom show and putting some of the most ludicrous laws of the past 800 years in the dock. These include the bizarre offences of handling a salmon in a suspicious manner, and carrying a plank of wood on the pavement.
The ludicrous laws will be tried by Judge Lord Wendy Farqhuar, though hemight turn out to be just as crazy as the laws themselves! Farqhuar is a notorious hanging judge, so defendants might find themselves heading towards the gallows of Tyburn. Thankfully, ‘taking the drop’ will lead you to the Drop Dead Drop Ride to Doom, a thrilling vertical free fall ride and the start of your London Dungeon adventure.
London Dungeon’s social media followers voted the 1872 law, which made it an offence for a landlord to allow drunkenness in their pub as the most ludicrous. But is that really so silly? After all, no one likes an overly drunk person wandering around the beer garden when they’re trying to enjoy a pub lunch.
Here’s the full list of the 12 most ludicrous laws. Which do you think’s the silliest? Tell us in the comment box at the bottom of the page.
1. It is an offence for a pub landlord to allow drunkenness in their pub – in other words it is illegal to be drunk in a pub! (1872)
2. It is illegal to handle a salmon in suspicious circumstances (1986)
3. It is against the law to carry a plank along a pavement (1839)
4. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour (1313)
5. It is illegal to beat or shake any carpet or rug in any street. However, beating or shaking a doormat is allowed before 8am (1839)
6. Under this same law it is illegal for any person to fly a kite or slide on ice or snow whilst in the street (1839)
7. Any dead whale or sturgeon found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the Monarch (1322)
8. It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing (2006)
9. In London, it is illegal for a person (knowingly) with the Plague to ride on a bus (1984)
10. It is illegal to keep a pigsty in front of your house – unless duly hidden (1847)
11. It is an offence to be intoxicated and in charge of a horse or cow (1872)
12. No person shall import into England potatoes which he knows to be or has reasonable cause to suspect to be Polish potatoes (2004)