Tuesday, August 09, 2011

JPs and The Riot Act

The Riot Act disappeared from English law some years ago, but had remained unused for a very long time. The prescribed wording had to be read to the mob by one of a list of functionaries, often by a Justice of the Peace. How anyone was supposed to hear is hard to imagine, in the time before electronic amplifiers.

I can't remember where, but I recall reading of one incident where a Justice read the Act only to see the mob repair to his house and burn it down. Call me a coward if you like, but I think that would deter me from taking on the duty.

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