It’s always fun learning about weird laws. Usually, you end up thinking, “Seriously? That was a thing? What were they thinking? Weird laws are almost as good as the stories of strange things people do in Florida and Germany.
England is no exception to the weird laws universe, and here are five excellent ones for today’s amusement.
No Betting in the Library
Want to bet your friend $5 that Jane Austin did not write a book translated into the tv movie that was on last night. Don’t do it. Gambling is not allowed in libraries under the Library Offenses Act of 1898.
Can it be assumed that libraries were once used as a place to play poker and drink ale? Time to look that up.
Members of Parliament May Not Wear Armor Inside Parliament Quarters
A statute codified in the 1313 Bearing of Armour Act is still in effect today, and wearing a full suit of armor into the Houses of Parliament is strictly forbidden. Edward II first implemented the statute to stop the violence between the two factions of parliament, the pro-royalist Lancastrians and the anti-royalist Earl of Glouchester’s party.
Oh, how fun would those fights have been to watch?
Beached Whales Need to Be Offered to the Reigning Monarch
Edward II was a busy monarch, decreeing in 1322 that the “head and spermaceti of a whale” would be given to the king. The finder of the beached whale got to keep the rest of the carcass.
How much fun would it be to go up to the Queen’s Guard and say, “I have a whale head and spermaceti for the queen, just as the law instructs.”?
Never Breed Your Corgi With One of the Queen’s
It’s tempting to win the Westminster dog show with some true royal corgi heritage, but it is illegal to let your pet mate with another from the royal household. Dreams now dashed, and there shall be no Westminster Legend Trophy anytime soon.
This law was punishable by death until 1965! Don’t take your corgi anywhere near that palace.
Do Not Walk Your Cows Down the Street in Daylight
Farmers or pet cow owners (who owns a pet cow?) are not allowed to walk their cows through the streets between 10 am and 7 pm. This law comes courtesy of an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom called the Metropolitan Streets Act 1867.
It is a well-known fact that pet cows get bored, especially in a small garden, and their owners should walk them. Not to mention, it is a cow and owner bonding experience.
You may take your cows down the streets of London if you have a note from the Commissioner of Police.
These are just five weird laws, and we didn’t even get into ten-year-olds and unclothed mannequins yet. The UK has some epic rules that make you grin when you read them. Go online, and you’ll find plenty more to fill your afternoon.