History GCSE: Saxon Law - Courts

The organisation of Anglo-Saxon society into shires and hundreds is explained using the example of a shire court at Scutchhamer Knob in Berkshire

Early trials were based on oaths.

The lawyer Harry Potter discusses why oaths were effective in a religious society.

This short film is from the BBC series, The Strange Case of the Law.

Teacher Notes

Students could identify key words while watching this short film.

They could discuss the effectiveness of oaths.

How are oaths used in society today?

Why were prominent locations in the landscape chosen for the sites of courts?

Where would you set up a court in your area?

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching GCSE history and social studies. This topic appears in OCR, AQA, Edexcel, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 in Scotland.

More from The Strange Case of the Law:

Habeas Corpus and Slavery
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Henry II, Thomas Becket and the Church Courts
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John Lilburne and Habeas Corpus
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Saxon Law - Compensation
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Saxon Law - Punishments
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Star Chamber and the Rack
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The Bloody Code
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The Conventicle Act of 1664 and the Independence of the Jury
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The Founding of the Police Force
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The Jury
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The Petition of Right and Habeas Corpus
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Saxon Law - Trial by Ordeal
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