Text: Leges Inter Brettos et Scotos

Only a few fragments remain of this law, later (incorrectly) labeled Leges Inter Brettos et Scotos “The Laws of the Britons and the Scots.” It was codified during the reign of King David I (1124-53) for the kingdom of Scotland. The oldest manuscript was written in the thirteenth century in Latin, Norman French, and Scottish English. Several terms in these manuscripts are derived from terms in Brythonic and Gaelic law:

  • cró [Old Gaelic “body fine” (payment given in compensation for murder)]
  • galnes seems to be derived from Brythonic galanas, which has a similar meaning to cró
  • kelchyn probably has some relationship to Old Britonnic cylchyn “circuit”
  • enach [Old Gaelic “honour price”]
  • óg-thighearn [Old Gaelic “young-lord”]

Here is information about the cró:
The lord the king has ruled that the cró of the king of Scotland is 1,000 cows or 3,000 ores.
Item: The cró of the son of the king or of any earl of Scotland is 140 cows.
Item: The cró of the son of an earl is 100 cows.
Item: The cró of the son of a thane is 66 2⁄3 cows.
Item: The cró of the grandson of a thane or óg-thighearn is 44 cows and 21 2⁄3 pennies.
Item: All men who who are lower in status are called “carls” [rustica, churls]. The cró of a carl is 16 cows. The cró of every woman who has a husband is less than a third of that of her husband. If she does not
have a husband, her cró is the same as her brother’s.
The cró and galnes and enach of a woman is a third of her husband’s. […]
Item: The kelchyn of our lord the king is 100 cows.
Item: The kelchyn of a son of the king or of an earl is 66 2⁄3 cows. […]
If the wife of a freeman is slain her husband shall have her kelchyn and her kin shall have her cró and
Item: If a man be killed in battle, his lord shall have his kelchyn and his parents shall have his cró and
galnes, and the king shall have eight cows.

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