Do you think downloading music illegally and speeding are the only two laws that you’ve broken lately? If that is the case, we’d like you to think again, since we’ll be walking you through some of the weirdest British laws.
When a country is as old as the United Kingdom, there’s always going to be a really extensive legal history. And this means that there are still some bizarre laws around as no one ever got round to revoking them.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of 10 strange laws that still exist in the UK.
Carrying A Plank Along A Footpath
Yes, you read that right. It is illegal to carry a plank on footpaths and this law has been around since the year 1839. The same Act even bars you from flying kites on the street, sliding on snow and playing irritating games.
Not Performing At Least 2 Hours of Longbow Exercise Per Week
As per the law enacted in the year 1541, Englishmen between 17 and 60 years of age had to have a longbow and exercise using it on a daily basis – at least 2 hours a week, to be precise! Well, this law is no longer being practised. It was ultimately revoked from the law book, but later than what you may think – it was there until 1960!
Shaking or Beating A Rug or Carpet in The Street
Shaking or beating a rug in the street is considered as an illegal act in the UK since the year 1839. But, you can shake a doormat, only if you’re doing it before 8 in the morning. On the other hand, it’s even against the law to sing offensive songs, slaughter cattle, ring the neighbour’s doorbell and run away, and have pigsty at the front of your home. So, if you’re thinking beating that rug after 8a.m., you better drop the idea!
Getting Drunk in A Pub
This law has been put into effect under 3 individual laws. In the 1872 Licensing Act, every person who’s found drunk in a pub has to pay a penalty, whereas in the 1893 Policing Act, property-owners are forbidden from allowing drunkenness. And in the 2003 Licensing Act, it is stated that selling alcohol to a person whose drunk is an offence, so is purchasing them a drink. If you’ve ever been to Britain, you’ll know that these laws are, certainly, unfailing followed.
Being Drunk While in Charge of a Horse
Paddling back to the year 1872, it was against the law to get drunk while you’re in charge of a horse. The law was applicable also when in charge of cows or whilst transporting overloaded firearm. Well, this seems to be pretty sensible, in fact!
Eating Mince Pie on Christmas Day
This might seem to be a bit too much, but this happened only once. In the year 1644, Christmas Day fell on an officially authorised fast day, which is why it was considered as illegal to have mince pie, though it wasn’t exclusively mentioned. However, under Oliver Cromwell, the UK did bar Christmas itself for a certain period of time, yet the law was later on revoked when the realm was re-established.
Jumping the Line Up in A Tube Ticket Hall
As long as there is a warning (or a staff) telling you to stand in line, jumping the queue is considered as unlawful under the Transport For London Byelaws. If you happen to jump the queue, you’ll be asked to join from the back.
Handling Salmon In An Apprehensive Situation
Apparently, under the Salmon Act of 1986, this is against the law. Unfortunately, the Law Commission didn’t mention what is considered as an apprehensive way to handle a salmon. Well, you check the actual law for yourself over here, but it wouldn’t be of much help!
Swans Are The Queen’s Property And Killing It Is An Act Of Disloyalty
Though the Queen calls dibs on every “unmarked, wild swan in the open water” (this has been going on since the 12th century!), not all of them are her property. In fact, she can claim only those that are on the Thames and certain tributaries. It is, of course, against the law to kill one, but isn’t really an act of disloyalty.
Well, these are some of the truly archaic laws and their existence is being majorly used to rejoice the olden times of the UK’s much envied official system. So, remember them and have a liberal dose of fun and humour recapping how ridiculous some of these laws truly are.