Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Arresting the Body

In 17th- and 18th-century England creditors could seize a debtor's corpse and refuse to release it for burial until the relatives made good on the debts. In 1700 the body of John Dryden was "arrested" in this way.

This ended in 1804 when Lord Ellenborough ruled, in the case Jones v. Ashburnham, that the practice was
contrary to every principle of law and moral feeling. Such an act is revolting to humanity, and illegal, and, therefore, any promise extorted by it could never be valid law.
Via Futility Closet.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

I could absolutely see this making a comeback in America. Someone dies in the hospital, the body isn't handed over until the hospital bills are paid up.