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The Silliest English Laws

The Silliest English Laws


For many centuries, England has been a land of laws, rules, and regulations. Some of these laws have served their purpose and have been updated, while others remain in place, despite being outdated, irrelevant, and even ridiculous. Here are some of the silliest English laws that are still in existence.

Weird Animal Laws:

England is well-known for its love of animals, but some of the country’s animal laws seem quite odd. For example, it’s illegal to be drunk while in charge of a cow. It’s unclear why this law exists, but it dates back to 1872, when people used horses and cows for transport and were often drunk while riding them. Similarly, in Chester, it’s lawful to shoot a Welshman with a longbow on a Sunday, but only in the city’s walls. It’s an unnecessary racial law, and it’s unclear why it has not been struck down.

Crazy Driving Laws:

Driving laws in England may seem quite reasonable, but there are some that are downright bizarre. In the United Kingdom, it is illegal to sound your car horns if driving past a driver or horse that may spook. If a motorist is caught using the horn, they may face a fine. Similarly, if a person is caught speeding in England and Wales, they are fined based on a percentage of their weekly income, which some see as bizarrely disproportionate.

Unusual Marriage Laws:

England is renowned for its royal weddings, but it also has some of the strangest marriage laws in the world. For example, it’s illegal to marry your mother-in-law or sister-in-law, unless your spouse has died. That is, unless the mother-in-law is your step-mother, in which case it’s perfectly legal. Similarly, a man who dies with no valid will, and who has more than £5 in assets, may have his widow inherit everything. However, if the deceased has children, his spouse may only receive a portion of his assets.

Strangest Property Laws:

English property laws are some of the most complex and confusing globally. For example, it’s illegal to beat or shake a carpet or rug outdoors after 8 a.m. The law was created to prevent dust or dirt blowing onto someone’s property, but it seems odd today. Similarly, if a person finds lost property, they must return it to the police and await the owner’s claim. However, if the item is a whale, the Queen automatically becomes the new owner.


In conclusion, England has some of the strangest laws globally, many of which have become relics of the past. While some of these laws may seem odd and amusing, it’s vital to remember how laws have shaped society’s values and norms today. Some of the laws were created during different eras and may not make sense today, but they serve as a reminder of England’s legal system’s evolution. Nonetheless, it is crucial always to strike a balance between historical laws and a country’s current needs, as the laws that we create today will be our legacy for the future.

There are a variety of antiquated English laws that are still on record. The following are some examples of silly English laws that have yet to be officially abolished:

1.       English law states that an individual wearing a full suit of armor is not permitted to enter the House of Parliament.

2.       English law states that any whales that happen to become beached on any British shore are deemed property of the Royal Family; the head of whale is given to the King, while the tale is considered to be the property of the Queen.

3.       English Law states that applying a postage stamp upside-down on any piece of mail is considered to be a punishable act of treason.

4.       English law states that taxis and other varieties of livery vehicles are prohibited from transporting rapid dogs or corpses.

Stupid laws has more information on silly English laws that were never abolished.