Royal babies: There ought to be a law against it
Sunday 09 December 2012
As soon as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced they were expecting, Nick Clegg said the coalition would amend the law of succession, to allow the child to be third in line to the throne, regardless of its gender. It is far from the only archaic law that some say should be done away with. Here are 10 other legal curiosities, which according to the Law Commission's statute repeals team, make it illegal to:
* Enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour (thanks to a 1313 Statute).
* Fire a cannon within 300 yards of a dwelling house – an offence under section 55 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839.
* Beat or shake any carpet or rug in any street – an offence under section 60 of the 1839 Act.
* Keep a pigsty in front of your house, slaughter cattle in the street, or erect a washing line across the street – all outlawed in 1847.
* Be drunk in charge of a horse. Under an 1872 act, it is also an offence to be drunk in charge of a carriage, cow or steam engine.
* Handle salmon in suspicious circumstances – an offence under the Salmon Act 1986.
* Carry a plank along a pavement – an offence under section 54 of the 1839 Act. Other offences covered by the section include flying kites, playing annoying games and sliding on ice or snow in the street.
* Jump the queue in a London Tube ticket hall – under Transport for London by-laws, any person directed to queue by an authorised person, or a sign, must join the rear of the queue.
* Drive cows down the roadway without the permission of the Commissioner of Police – made an offence by the Metropolitan Streets Act of 1867.
* Deface money, though it's not illegal to destroy it, the Currency and Banknotes Act 1928, makes it an offence to deface a banknote.
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