Thursday, 20 March 2008

Slings and arrows

Is is still unsafe for a Welshman to venture into Chester after dark? I went there once but I think I got away with it.

Today's Mirror recalls that old law that apparently bans Welshmen are banned from entering the city of Chester before sunrise and from staying after sunset.

It does not appear to be one of the laws Justice Secretary Jack Straw is intent on repealing in a general tidy-up of the statute book. Given his previous scepticism about Welsh devolution, perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised if he lets that law survive.

The Lords debated the Statute Law (Repeals) Bill earlier this week. The contribution of the Lib Dems "Shadow Attorney General" Lord Thomas of Gresford caught my eye:

"My Lords, I regret to see in the schedule the repeal of the Chester Castle Gaol and other Buildings Act 1807. I know that jail well.

What I do not see in the Bill is the repeal of a provision that is widely believed to appertain to Chester, that any Welshman caught within the walls in the hours of darkness will be summarily executed. Perhaps that has gone in an earlier statute law repeals Bill. I assure the Minister that I shall look into it to ensure that it is not still relevant."

I hope to bring you the result of his investigation here. The impact of some laws tends to be embellished as time goes by.

The Mirror includes another similar law: "In Hereford, you may not shoot a Welsh person on Sunday with a longbow in the Cathedral Close."

A handy tip should you ever be tempted to visit on another day of the week.

1 comment:

Valleys Mam said...

Does that apply to Welsh women as well..... makes note to go out in Chester in disguise in the night,
VM hiding her tall hat and shawl