In the past, many routine for modern people actions and things turned out to be illegal in England. Arguments for the ban at that time may have seemed logical, but in most cases, now, they would be considered quite absurd and impractical. We have prepared top-10 such prohibited things.
Top 10 usual things that were previously banned in England
10. Football. Today football is the favorite sport of millions of people, but not for the King Edward II. The English king could not put up with football. More precisely, not football itself, but the game which his restless subjects played at market squares. After all, at that time the rules of the game were not clearly established. Football of that times resembled modern rugby and, accordingly, caused a lot of injuries and broken windows.
9. Sale of wine in bottles. The invention of a coal furnace in the 17th century made it possible to produce thicker glass. This meant that the wine that used to be stored in clay pots could be stored in glass bottles from then. But at that time, the wine bottles still did not have a standard size. Some of them contained 600 ml and the other 800 ml. Perhaps this was because the glassblowers had different possibilities of the lungs in different areas. This made it difficult to sell wine in bottles, because buyers could not determine how much wine they would eventually get. This led to the fact that several countries, including England, issued laws prohibiting the sale of wine in bottles.
8. Travels alone. One of the main disadvantages of the first traffic rules was inconsistency. The rules differed from city to city and even from street to street. The inconsistency and complexity of the rules eventually caused more accidents. In 1861, finally, a set of general traffic rules was issued, one of which was that the vehicle should be managed by: the driver, the stove-worker, who put coal into the engine (gas engines in the 1860s were just started to emerge), and a man with a red flag and lantern, who had to follow a car on foot in order to warn everyone ahead of the car approaching.
7. Christmas. Although this may seem strange, but between 1644 and 1660, Christmas in England was banned by Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England. Cromwell, along with the Puritan parliamentarians, believed that the general joy and holidays, observed during Christmas, were acts of sin and insults for God. The celebration of Christmas was a punishable crime. Even eating of Christmas dishes, such as a meat pie and pudding, was banned. In 1660 this law, fortunately, was canceled.
6. Cleaning (beating) the carpet on the street. This strange ban entered the list of prohibited activities in accordance with the law of 1847. If someone violated the ban, it resulted in 14 days in prison and a fine of 200 pounds sterling. The law forbade to clean (beat) a dirty carpet on any street.
5. To offer "royal fish" to the monarch. Even today, all whales and sturgeons caught in British waters or washed ashore (dead or alive) automatically become the property of the ruler of the British Empire thanks to the law adopted by King Edward II in 1324. By law, such fish is offered to the ruling monarch whenever it was caught or found on beaches. The fisherman once caught a very rare sturgeon in the British waters, which was estimated to weigh about 140 and cost more than 8,000 pounds sterling. He offered it to the Queen Elizabeth II, who told him that he could keep it for himself. But not everyone is so lucky. Another story happened to several fishermen who caught a large sturgeon and called the palace to offer it to the queen. No one answered there for a couple of days, and the fishermen decided to make dinner for themselves. But, unexpectedly, they called back from the palace and kindly agreed to accept the fish.
4. Blocking sunlight to a neighbor. "The right for light" is another controversial English law, which was contained in the code of laws of 1832. If a window or any other hole in the house served as a source of sunlight for 20 years, then a neighbor who owns any land or building nearby has no right to build, expand or repair a building if it blocks the sunlight. Before the adoption of the law, it was very difficult to implement such right, as there were no legislative acts providing a natural right for light. And it was possible to live like this - with a perfect view from the window on the wall.
3. Coffee houses. In 1675, Charles II issued a law to put an end to the coffee shops. According to him, too many people spent the whole day in coffee shops, doing nothing, and only spreading gossips about the government. Also it was forbidden to sell coffee, chocolate, sorbet and tea from any store or home. By the way, because the coffee houses were the center of gossips and rumors, a term for men who sat there all day long and did nothing was invented - "a politician from a coffee house". The law was adopted on December 29, 1675, but on January 8 of the same year it was abolished.
2. Potatoes. In ancient times, potatoes were considered not the best food. Opponents of potatoes considered it poisonous and, generally, the focus of evil. In France, potatoes were recognized as the cause of leprosy, syphilis, scrofula, premature death and impotence. It was also accused of destroying the soil in which it grew up. The potatoes got to England, when Sir Walter Raleigh, an English researcher, planted it on his estate. Later he offered it as a present to the Queen Elizabeth I, who invited several noble gentlemen and landowners to a banquet with potatoes on the menu. Unfortunately for all who were present, chefs threw edible potato tubers, and served the leaves and stems to the table, which exactly turned out to be poisonous. Many eventually were poisoned, and the potatoes were again accused of unsuitability for consumption and banned in the palace.
1. Appropriating swans. In the Middle Ages, swans were considered a special delicacy dish. Only aristocratic families could afford it, and even they could do it not always. Naturally, the royal family - the highest aristocracy of the kingdom - made sure that the feasting tables did not become depleted. Before, in the 12th century, all swans living in the basin of the Thames, in Middlesex, Berkshire, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire counties were declared Crown property. No arbitrariness - everything, as it should be: the relevant law was considered and adopted by the parliament. So it is illegal for ordinary people to appropriate swans. Until the XIX century, swans remained the beautyfication of the royal table. And now it just helps to keep accounting and protection of these noble birds.