An alfet (Old English: ālfæt, "fire vat") was an ancient cauldron filled with boiling water, into which an accused person was to plunge his arm up to his elbow. The arm and hand were then bound and left for three days. If the wound was found to have begun to heal cleanly the person was judged to be innocent. However, if the scald was infected or unhealed, the victim was held to be guilty. It was also used for purgation.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "article name needed". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al.
- Charles Dufresne, Sieur Du Cange, Glossarium mediæ et infimæ Latinitatis. 1840–50; 1883–87.
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