Compurgator

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Compurgator One who bears testimony or swears to the veracity or innocence of another. See Purgation; also Wager of law, under Wager. "All they who know me . . . will say they have reason in this matter to be my compurgators ."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n compurgator In early English law, a person, usually a kinsman or a fellow-member in a guild, called in defense of a person on trial.
    • n compurgator The compurgators acted in the character rather of jurymen than of witnesses, for they swore to their belief, not to what they knew; that is, the accused making oath of his innocence, they swore that they believed he was speaking the truth. The number of compurgators required by law was regularly twelve.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Compurgator one who testifies to the innocency or veracity of another
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
LL
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. compurgāre, to purify wholly. See Purge.

Usage

In literature:

I mean to go at once, to-morrow morning, before the bishop that he may grant me full compurgation from this charge.
"Grettir The Strong" by Unknown
Proofs of her art it would have been hard to establish; hosts of compurgators to attest her innocence would have sprung up.
"Harold, Complete The Last Of The Saxon Kings" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
The witnesses or compurgators stood in an outer ring within a fencing of cords running from stake to stake.
"The Thirsty Sword" by Robert Leighton
Associated Words: compurgation, compurgator, compurgatorial.
"Putnam's Word Book" by Louis A. Flemming
The king or one of his reeves, conducted the trial by compurgation.
"Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed." by S. A. Reilly
He takes his compurgators, his vouchers, his guaranties, along with him.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IV. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
Nor did "compurgation" cease wholly till Queen Mary's reign.
"A Short History of Scotland" by Andrew Lang
My neighbors, as my compurgators, could aver this fact, as seeing my occupations and my attachment to them.
"Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson" by Thomas Jefferson
Compurgators, in Saxon law, what, vii.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. XII. (of XII.)" by Edmund Burke
Compurgation, evidences of a practice similar to, ix.
"The Letters of Cassiodorus" by Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)
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