I never knew I was breaking the law, better hide that pigsty
21 November 2014 by Marketing Team
Over the years there have been some fairly peculiar laws, but nonetheless they all served a particular purpose. However, over the years these laws have been scrapped and replaced with more appropriate ones…Or have they?
Now this will not apply to all of us, but for those of you who keep pigs in your front gardens, I’m afraid you are breaking the law. Now personally we have never seen pigs in a front garden, it’s not the done thing in Essex. But it does seem like an ideal place to keep them, especially if you want the general public to bask in the quality of your pigs. However, the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 states “Every person who keeps any pigsty to the front of any street, not being shut out from such street by a sufficient wall or fence, or who keeps any swine in or near any street, so as to be a common nuisance”. So build a wall around those pigs and abide by the law.
And we hope you don’t shake of your prized rug in the street. You had better think twice if you do, as this is breaking the law. According to the Metropolitan Police Act 1839, “Every person who in any thoroughfare shall beat or shake any carpet, rug, or mat” is guilty of being a “nuisances”. So no more banging the dirt out your vehicles carpets or patting down your welcome mat.
Of course these laws were entirely relevant and important during their time. Take the existing “The King forbids the coming armed to Parliament” for example, a completely absurd law to us modern folk, but one which commenced during the 14th century. When parliament allowed two Knights of the Shire from each county to be present. So to prevent any arguments becoming a little too heated for the King’s liking, the law was passed making it illegal to don their armour or carry a weapon in parliament. Over time this law has become obsolete as it tends to be illegal to carry a weapon in general, let alone in Parliament. Although the idea of watching Monty Pythonesque, armour wearing MP’s argue on BBC Parliament does sound appealing. And for those lucky ones still in possession of a servant, you had better think twice about allowing them to climb the sill of any window in order to paint or clean it.
The above crimes are ones we would never consider, adding to the surprise and humor surrounding them. But what about the laws that actually make sense, yet we just assume them to be false? Like playing knock, down, ginger for example? A game which many of us have played either in our youth or slightly older when we should know better. Well according to the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, it is illegal to “wilfully and wantonly disturb any inhabitant, by pulling or ringing any door bell, or knocking at any door” and punishable by 14 days behind bars.
And the morale of this blog? There are many old laws in existence, but unless you are using pigs to keep your front lawn at reasonable length, you should be fine. Oh and before we forget, it is illegal to “use for trade an automatic rail-weighbridge to which there is affixed a disqualification sticker”, because we all do that…