Restorative justice, sixteenth-century style

From the evening’s reading:

In 1547 Janet Bruce’s priest told her to go on to the High Street of Edinburgh, donate a wax candle to a chaplain, seek out Isobel Carrington, and say to her, in front of witnesses and in good Scots: ‘I grant here before three honest persons that I have fairly and wrangfully injurit and defamit you, sayand and allegand you are ane common bluidy whore. I knaw nothing but ye are ane honest woman and keeps guid pert to your husband.’
Janet was to say also to Isobel’s husband, Robert: ‘I failit far to you and your wife calling you ane cuckold, whilk I confess is nocht of verity for your wife is ane honest woman.’
For the sake of satisfaction on every side, Isobel was then to go to Janet and say: ‘Ye are ane honest woman, I never knew that ever ye swiffit with the auld official, and insofar as I rehearsed the samen I ask God forgiveance and you.’

Edinburgh: a history of the city, Michael Fry, 2009

Give or take the ‘swiffit’, not much change there in four hundred and sixty years.

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