THE BREHON LAWS

A LEGAL HANDBOOK

BY

LAURENCE GINNELL

MDCCCXCIV

WHEN it became known some time ago that I had undertaken to lecture on the Brehon Laws before the Irish Literary Society, London, one friend congratulated me on the fine subject I had taken in hand, and another on the same day asked me why in the world had I chosen such an uninteresting subject. To these two friends, and the classes they typify, I respectfully dedicate this little volume.

L. G.


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CONTENTS

Chapter I.—Ancient Law

,, II.—Existing remains of Irish Law

,, III.—The Senchus Mor

,, IV.—Legislative Assemblies

Section

1. Introductory

2. The Feis of Tara

3. Tailltenn and Uisneach

4. The Aenach

5. The Tribal Assemblies

Chapter V.—Classification of Society

Section

1. Introductory

2. Kings

3. Professional Men

Sub-Section

1. Preliminary

2. The Druids

3. The Bards

4. The Brehons

5. The Ollamhs

6. Jurors

Section

4. The Flaiths

5. Freemen Owning Property

Sub-Section

1. Preliminary

2. The Clan System

3. The Céiles and the Land Laws

4. Devolution of Property

5. The Elizabethan Atrocities

Section

6. Freemen owning no Property

7. The Non-Free

Sub-Section

1. Preliminary

2. Bothachs and Sen-Cleithes

3. The Fuidhirs

Chapter VI.—The Law of Distraining

Section

1. Introductory

2. Definition and Scope

3. Distraint by Fasting

4. General Procedure

5. Capacity

6. Minutiae

Chapter VII.—Criminal Law

Section

1. The Book of Aicill

2. The Law Therein Laid Down

3. Capital Punishment

4. The Maighin Digona

Chapter VIII.—Leges Minores

Section

1. Marriage

2. Fosterage

3. Contracts and Wills

4. Artisans

5. Oaths

Chapter IX.—Native, not Roman

Chapter X.—Conclusion

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