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Image caption Trial by water, here illustrated for a 1920s history book, was one of the two main forms of ordeal. It is 800 years since England first started using juries to determine guilt. Before then, court could literally be an "ordeal" for those wanting to prove their innocence. Ailward forced the lock on his neighbour's front door and entered - he was there to collect a debt he was owed. But, as Ailward searched the homestead, his neighbour Fulk returned and had him detained for theft. Ailward protested his innocence. But he would have to undergo an ordeal to prove it. He would be bound and cast into a pond. If he sank he would be innocent, if he floated - guilty. He floated. This wa... Tout l'article

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