For learning. For inspiration. Or just for fun.
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
The Law of the Innocents : St Adamnán worked tirelessly to secure protection, rights and dignity for the women of Ireland.
The Law of the Innocents

Based on A Book of Cornwall, by Sabine Baring-Gould, and the Cain Adamnain, 9th century Irish treatise on the Law of Adamnán.

St Adamnán was Abbot of Iona, an island on the west coast of Scotland, in the 7th century. The traditional culture of what was still in many places a pagan land had treated women as disposable property.

IN 7th century Ireland, the lot of women was unenviable. Serving women were a form of coinage: fines were calculated in cumals, or maidservants, each equivalent to three milk-cows.

A woman spent much of the day almost naked in a waist-high pit dug into the floor, supporting the spit while the meat roasted; at supper-time she stood holding a candle, dripping hot fat, to light the men’s feast, and then was banished to a hut outside the enclosure, as a first defence against attack.

In time of war, women were conscripted for the front line, whipped forward from behind by the men.

At the Synod of Birr in 697, Adamnán’s prolonged campaign finally brought bishops, monks and princes together to sign the ‘Law of the Innocents’.

The first such law anywhere in the world, it made the killing of women and their children a criminal offence, disqualified them from armed service, and gave them dignity and standing in the home.

Based on A Book of Cornwall, by Sabine Baring-Gould, and the Cain Adamnain, 9th century Irish treatise on the Law of Adamnán.

More like this

Lives of the Saints (95) History (405) Scottish History (11) Scotland (6) Anglo-Saxon History (44) Bible and Saints (110)

Picture: © John Reavy, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
A view across the scattered islands of the coast of Iona, the ancient holy island of the Celtic saints. Adamnán was Abbot of Iona from 679 to 704.

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: High Tiles Games with Words

Numbers Game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
By
Elfric of Eynsham
Elfric, Abbot of Eynsham in the reign of Æthelred the Unready, reflects on two appearances of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
Gideon prepares to drive the Midianites out of Israel, but first he has to make it a fair fight.
The rest of Britain was paying dearly for job security and high wages in Britain’s agriculture industry.
The story of the once magnificent Temple in Jerusalem, the city God chose for Israel’s capital.
Mild-mannered Grace Darling persuaded her father to let her help him rescue the survivors of a shipwreck.
Five young women cared enough about a man’s wedding-day to make the smallest of sacrifices, and received the best of rewards.