Wager of battel


  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Wager of battel (O. Eng. Law) the giving of gage, or pledge, for trying a cause by single combat, formerly allowed in military, criminal, and civil causes. In writs of right, where the trial was by champions, the tenant produced his champion, who, by throwing down his glove as a gage, thus waged, or stipulated, battle with the champion of the demandant, who, by taking up the glove, accepted the challenge. The wager of battel, which has been long in disuse, was abolished in England in 1819, by a statute passed in consequence of a defendant's having waged his battle in a case which arose about that period. See Battel.
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In literature:

The prisoner pleaded successfully the old Wager of Battel.
"Over the Teacups" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Upon this, Ashford, not having accepted the wager of battel, the "appeal" was stayed, and Thornton was discharged.
"Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham" by Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell
Where the ordeal fails to produce the desired result, wager of battel, in reality another form of ordeal, is resorted to.
"Legal Lore" by Various
If there be less wisdom, in this new mode of practice, than in the old wager of Battel, I perceive it not.
"Dealings With The Dead" by A Sexton of the Old School