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“the kindred is to be a man and a kin to him, and his word is
paramount to the word of every one of the kindred."* “ Three things, if possessed by a man, make him fit to be a “chief of kindred; that he should speak on behalf of his kin "and be listened to; that he should fight on behalf of his kin "and be feared ; and that he should be security on behalf of “his kin and be accepted.”+ “ It is the duty of every man of the kindred to listen to him, and for him to listen to his man."I We are told more definitely that he is entitled to maintenance from the ploughs of the kindred. He also has the privilege of imprisonment, whatever that may mean. || He is assisted by a council of seven elders, also by a "representative" of the kindred, and by one who bears the ominous title of " the avenger." The avenger punishes evil doers and leads the kindred to battle. This must imply important duties, for it is as a corporation capable of making private war that the kindred retains its chief importance in Welsh law.
representative ” must we are told be a learned man. It is for him to act as the chief's deputy, and we must regard him as the kindred's peace-maker, negotiator, and man of business. To the existence of the council of seven elders, the avenger, and the representative there is testimony in the “codes,” but hardly anything is there said of their qualifications, rights, or duties.**
Though there is some evidence that the kindred as a corporate body is still capable of possessing property, it is chiefly in the sphere of criminal law, or what we should consider the sphere of criminal law, that it finds scope for its corporate activity. The whole subject of Welsh criminal law is well deserving of examination, but here it is only necessary to premise a brief explanation, and one which will hardly surprise those who are acquainted with other
* Ibid., § 165.
+ Ibid., § 163.
|| Ibid., § 133
I Ibid., § 88.
Ibid., § 88, 162,
ancient systems of law. The Welsh laws in some cases inflict real punishments. Most frequently these are fines or mulcts payable to the king or lord, but mutilation and death are occasionally though rarely denounced. There is a real penal or criminal law. But this does not extend to what we are wont to think the gravest of all crimes. It does not extend to homicide. Neither manslaughter nor what we call murder was, strictly speaking, a crime at all. It was a legal justification for a blood feud, which feud might be composed by the payment of the slain man's worth or galanas, a payment of just the same nature as the wergild of our own old laws. Criminal or penal law, the law which does not extort reparation but punishes, seems to have followed the same course of development in Wales as in England. It is seriously doubtful whether at any time before the Norman conquest homicide, unless it was accompanied by some fvul and diabolic dealing which made it morth, was punished in this country by anything beyond a pecuniary mulct, while it is certain that the punishment of death had long been freely applied in cases of theft and even of petty theft.* There is some discrepancy between the various Welsh authorities as to the limits within which the blood feud is permissible. According to one version of the Venedotian code the slain man's kindred may only revenge his death on the person of the slayer. Apparently, therefore, in North Wales that step towards the abolition of the feud had been taken which in England was taken by King Edmund. In this case we are able to test the value of the Welsh authorities by appeal to a very trustworthy source. Edward the First issued a commission to examine witnesses from North Wales touching their laws, and one of these
* As to what constituted Morth, see Schmid, Gesetze, Glossar.
For " if the kindred disown the murderer, there is no claim upon them.” Ven. III., I, note, $ 19. Compare Laws of Edmund.
I Printed by Wotton in an Appendix to Leges Wallica,
gave evidence of just such a limitation of the blood feud as marks the Venedotian code and ascribed it to David ap Llywelyn, apparently the prince of that name who died in 1246.* In the other codes there is certainly no such limitation. An act of homicide if not duly paid for within the appointed time is still a signal for private war of kindred against kindred. That the revenge was not originally restricted to the person of the slayer should be clearly understood, for only thus can we understand the composition for homicide whether it be called wergild or galanas. The slayer's kindred must pay the money, not because they are bound to help a kinsman out of a difficulty, but because they themselves and every of them are liable to the revenge of the slain man's clan. With the money, wergild or galanas, they purchase not their relatives' peace, but their own. On the payment of the galanas within due time, what may fairly be called a treaty of peace is concluded. Three hundred men of the offended kindred swear that the slayer is forgiven, and everlasting concord and perpetual amnesty are estab. lished.t
Now first we must notice that though a man properly belongs to one kindred only, namely, that of his father, he is by no means a stranger to his mother's clan. If he slay or be slain, not only his paternal but also his maternal kin are
* The passage is curious:-" Ithel ab Philippi juratus dicit idem in omnibus "cum Kenewrek prejurato, adjiciens quod Princeps potest pro voluntate sua
leges corrigere et in melius reformare, exemplificando de David ab Lewel. avo " Principis nunc, qui delevit per se et consilium suum le Glanas per totam “ Northwalliam. Videbatur sibi et consilio suo quod culpa suos debeat tenere “auctores delinquentes, et non alios, qui nichil deliquerint, quod aliter fieri "consuebat colligendo Glanas, &c.” (Wotton, p. 524). Apparently Edward's commissioners did not understand this, for some one has written in the margin of the Roll, “ Inquirendum quid sit Lex Glanas. Examinandum de emend. Legis." We, however, have no difficulty in catching the drift of the remark. According to Ithel, David freed the kin from the feud because he thought it unjust that the innocent should suffer for the guilty, “ quod fieri consuebat,"
+ Ven. III., 1, $ 16.
involved in the feud. Seemingly it is thought that his mother's kin have only one-third share in him. They pay or receive a smaller part of the galanas, the greater part being paid or received by the father's kinsfolk. It is well worthy of note, that of this rule which is firmly established in Wales, we have evidence from England also.* Thus there are four kindreds involved in each feud, and apparently the maternal kin on the one side is at war with the maternal on the other, the paternal with the paternal. At least, paternal kin pay to paternal, maternal to maternal; and paternal swear peace to paternal, maternal to maternal.
When we pass to more minute rules, we find that these were evidently the subject of many differences of opinion, We are told what “ some say " and " others hold," and one Welsh lawyer frankly confesses that “the sharing of galanas" is one of “the three complexities of the law.”+ However, even on this dangerous ground, we may take a few steps.
In the first place we must distinguish from the galanas another payment, namely, the saraad. Whenever a person is subjected to any injury or disgrace, saraad is done to him, and must be paid for. Just as every man has a certain price which must be paid if he be slain, so he has a certain saraad or, as we may term it, “honour price,” which must be paid if he be insulted. I The latter price varies with the former. Thus, if a man's galanas be three score and three kine, his saraad is three kine and three score pence, the one being determined by the other. Similar instances of prices for minor injuries, dependent on the amount of the injured persons wergild are to be found in the old English laws. Now, if a man be slain, saràad is done him, and must be paid for. But saraad and galanas spring from different notions.
* Legg. Henr. Prim. 75, § 8, 9, 10. Supported by Alfred, 27. + Bk. X., 7, § 27.
Saraad seemingly means disgrace. I borrow the phrase “honour price” from the translation of the Irish laws,
The galanas is payable (as in the English wer) for very much less than murder. It is payable seemingly for every voluntary homicide; it is payable even in cases where a modern coroner's jury would be inclined to refer death to misadventure, or to the Act of God. Saraad, on the other hand, is payable only for injury wilfully inflicted. The difference is brought out thus : If an idiot slay a man, the idiot's kindred must pay galanas, but they need not pay saraad,* and such also is the case where the slayer is an infant.t To occasion saraad there must be bad will; but nothing of the sort is necesssary to give rise to galanas. But ordinarily, where there is homicide, both payments must be made. Now saraad is paid both by and to a narrower class of relations than that which pays and receives galanas. One-third is paid to the slain man's widow if he leaves one and the rest is divided among his near relations. Authorities
differ as to how near the relations must be who claim the · saraad. One names only father, mother, brothers and sisters
(whom we may call the household); another names brothers, first cousins and second cousins $ (whom, for reasons which cannot be here given, we may call the inheriting family), while others, perhaps describing the practice of a later date, after deducting the widows third mix the rest of the saraad with the galanas. || So again the saraad is paid by a narrower circle of relations than those who pay galanas. Generally, indeed, the books speak as if the offender pays the whole saraad, but it seems that at least in case of his insolvency his kinsmen to the distance of second cousins are liable.
Now here again is a curious likeness to old English law. The payment of the bulk of the wergild was preceded
* Bk. IV., 1, § 2, 4.
+ Bk. VI., I, § 17. Dim. II., 1, $ 14, 16. (In the last of these passages saraad in the English version seems a mistake for galanas.) § Ven. III., 1, § 19.
|| Ven. III., 1, note $ 22. Gwent. II., 8, § 1o.
Ven. III., I, § 19.