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Englishry, or Englescherie, is a legal name given, in the reign of William the Conqueror, to the presentment of the fact that a person slain was an Englishman. If an unknown man was found slain, he was presumed to be a Norman, and the hundred was fined accordingly, unless it could be proved that he was English. Englishry, if established, excused the hundred.

It is thought that Danish invaders first introduced the practice in England, and that the Norman conquerors preserved and revived it.[1] Dr. W. Stubbs (Constitutional History, I 196) suggests such measures may have been taken by King Canute. But there is no direct evidence for this of an earlier date than the 13th-century legal treatise Bracton. [2]

Englishry was abolished in 1340.

See Select Cases from the Coroners Rolls, 1265-1413, ed. C. Gross, Selden Society (London, 1896).


  1. ^ Hon Dixon J. "The Development of the Law of Homicide". The Australian Law Journal (Supplement) (1935) 64. pp. 64-69.
  2. ^ "Englishry, n." OED Online. DRAFT REVISION Sept. 2008. Oxford University Press. <http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50075377>.