2. The mundbyrd[1] of the church shall be, like that of the king, 50s....

16. The word of a bishop or of the king shall be incontestible [even] without an oath.

17. The head of a monastery shall clear himself by the same form as a priest.

18. A priest shall clear himself by his own [unsupported] affirmation: [dressed] in his sacred garments, he shall declare before the altar, Veritatem dico in Christo; non mentior.[2] In the same way shall a deacon clear himself.

19. A [lesser] clergyman shall clear himself with three [oath-helpers][3] of his own rank. But he alone shall have his hand on the altar; the others shall merely stand by to support the oath.

20. A stranger (gest) shall clear himself by his own [unsupported] oath at the altar.[4] In the same way shall a king's thegn clear himself.

21. An ordinary freeman (ceorlisce man) shall clear himself at the altar with three oath-helpers of his own rank....

22. If any one accuses a bishop's or a king's servant (esne), the latter shall clear himself by the hand of the reeve,[5] so that the reeve shall either clear him or deliver him over [to the complainant] to be beaten....

25. If any one slays a man in the act of theft, let him[6] lie without wergeld.

26. If any one catches a freeman in the act of theft, the king shall determine one of three [penalties]: that he be slain, that he be sold beyond the sea, or that he redeem his life through [payment of] his wergeld. The one who catches and holds him shall have half of what he is worth; or, if he should be slain, he [who captured him] shall be paid 70s.

27. If a slave (þeuw) steals and it is proposed to redeem him, 70s. [shall be paid] if the king is willing [to spare him]....

28. If a man coming from afar, or a stranger, leaves the highway and then neither calls out nor blows a horn, he shall be considered a thief, to be slain or to be redeemed [by paying his wergeld].

(Anglo-Saxon) Ibid., I, 12 f.

[1] See above, p. 3, n. 6.

[2] Before Christ I speak the truth; I do not lie.

[3] "Literally "as a foursome" — counting himself one of the four.

[4] The dooms normally regard a stranger as a suspicious person (cf. art. 28, below). In this instance, however, a man of honourable rank, a guest rather than a vagabond, seems to be thought of, for he is treated like a king's thegn. The latter title becomes increasingly common in the dooms, designating in particular a noble retainer.

[5] That is to say, the reeve of the estate to which the servant is attached may take an oath to clear him.

[6] The slain thief, for whose death the kindred had no right to compensation.