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Did You Know?

Headleys Solicitors has been providing specialist legal guidance and advice to Leicestershire individuals and businesses for 90 years. The team took an opportunity to reflect on some of the UK’s most peculiar yet factually true laws…

  1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.
  2. It is deemed to be an act of treason to put a stamp on a letter with the Monarch’s head facing upside down (Treason Felony Act 1848).
  3. It is illegal to gamble in a library (Library Offences Act 1898).
  4. It is illegal to keep a pigsty in front of your house (unless duly hidden) (Town Police Clauses Act 1847).
  5. UK residents may not beat a doormat after 8 o’clock in the morning, nor sing obscene songs or “wantonly disturb” people by ringing their doorbells (Town Police Clauses Act 1847).
  6. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King and the tail of the Queen. (This law which arises from the King’s Prerogative of 1322 does actually have some reasoning behind this in that women used to wear corsets made from whalebone, thus the Queen at any given time could claim the tail of the whale with the intention of having the bone made into corsets).
  7. It is still illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day thanks to that party pooper Oliver Cromwell.
  8. It is an offence to be intoxicated and in charge of a cow in Scotland.
  9. Also in Scotland the law decrees that you must allow anybody who asks to use your lavatory to do so.
  10. Seeking to borrow money from a stranger is deemed to be begging and therefore illegal under the Vagrancy Act 1824.
  11. Firing a cannon within 300 yards of a dwellinghouse.
  12. It is unlawful to be caught drunk in charge of a carriage, steam engine or horse. (Licensing Act 1872)