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in England by the payment of a sum to the nearest relatives of the slain. This was the heals-fang; in the Latin versions “alfilfirchansio colli," the taking of the neck. “Heals-fang belongs to the children, brothers, and paternal uncles; that money belongs to no kinsman, except to those within the joint (binnan cneowe).”* Our older commentators supposed that heals-fang had something to do with the pillory. But Dr. Schmid has ingeniously suggested that it is connected with a mode of representing the degrees of relationship by reference to the various limbs of the human body which was well known among the Germans.’r It is the portion taken by those who “stand in the neck,” those who are within the joint (binna cnzowe); more distant relations “ elbow cousins," “nail cousins,” and the like have no share. However, there are many differences between the heals-fang and the samad, and we by no means intend to suggest that the resemblance between Welsh and English law is due to any survival of British customs in England, or to any influence of English upon \Velsh law.
The samad being paid, it remains to pay the galanas, which'is of considerably greater amount and importance. Some light on its distribution is thrown by the strange number which the \Velsh took as the unit of galanas. \Vhen these laws were written, the use of money, at least as a means of reckoning, had become common; but the galanas, an old traditional payment, is always expressed in terms of cattle. The unit of galzmas, if we may so speak, the worth of a mere free man, is “three score and three kine,” more noble persons being valued at “ six score and six,” or “ nine score and nine.” Now the number 63 is not only the product of two very sacred numbers, 7 and 9, but it is also the sum of the geometrical series I + 2 + 4 to six places. Six persons or classes of persons can pay 63 cows, the first person or class paying one cow, the second twice as much,the third twice asmuch again,and so forth. Apparently it was this property of the number which gave it a place in the galanas system.
‘ Schmid, Anhang, VII. (In the Record edition this is printed at the end of the laws of Edward and Guthrum).
1' Schmid, Glossar. Heals-fang. Grimm, Deulsche Rrchts Allarthiimer p. 468-470.
So far as we can see the burden of paying galanas was borne thus* :—Divide the whole sum by three ; one of the three parts falls on the slayer and his nearest relations, whom we will call his household. Of this the slayer himself pays one-third, his father and mother one-third, his brothers and sisters one-third, the father paying twice as much as the mother, and a brother twice as much as a sister. The remaining two-thirds of the whole sum are again divided by three, two-thirds falling on the paternal, one-third on the maternal kindred. Of each kindred, six classes of relations pay, the first class paying twice as much as the second, and so on. It will be seen that if the total sum be sixty-three, the class which pays least must provide the third of a cow ; while if the full galanas be “nine score and nine,” the class which pays least is liable for just one cow.
The mode of computing the degrees of relationship seems to be “parentelic," that is to say, my father and all his issue constitute a class or parentela, but these, since they take the household’s third, are not one of the six. The first of the six consists of my grandfather and his issue, other than my father and his issue; the second consists of my great-grandfather and his issue, other than my grandfather and his issue. Thus a sixth cousin is in the last class which pays or receives galanas. A mode of reckoning somewhat similar to this was apparently prevalent in England also,* and indeed is still involved in our law of inheritance, which exhausts my father’s issue before it passes to the next Ibarentela. t
* The passages most in point are, Ven. III., 1, and the version in the notes to that chapter, Dim. II., I. Gwent. II., 8. Bk. IV., 3. Bk. X., 3. The account in the text is compiled from these, and is not exactly borne out by any one of them. The discrepancies, however, seem due rather to imperfections of statement than to any difference of principle.
The right to receive galana_s is governed by much the same rules. There are, however, differences. In the first place, the lord at the time of which these laws speak takes one-third of the whole for his trouble in exacting payment. Then, again, the slain man of course receives nothing, and, consequently, the household’s share is somewhat differently distributed. But the most curious point is that a woman pays but does not receive galanas. The notion seems to be that she pays as representing her infant, or yet unborn children; for a woman who is past child-bearing, or will swear that she will never have children, is exempt, and if she have children of full age she is absolved by their payment.I In cases where she pays she is only liable for one-half of a man’s share.§
Apparently each class of relatives is liable to pay or entitled to receive the whole sum allotted to it, however few or many be the members of the class. Beyond the relatives bound to pay gahmas stand yet remoter kinsmen who, if the sum cannot be otherwise raised, are bound to contribute a “spear penny,” and can'only escape by swearing that they are of no kin to the slayer.H But all these rules are probably only rules apportioning the burden as between various members of the kindred. If the whole sum be not paid then there is war between the kindreds, even though certain members of the offending clan have been ready with their contribution—such at least must have been the old rule, though, doubtless, it was mitigated in course of time. .
" Schmicl, Gl0ssar., Cneéw.
1- But there are many difficulties about the \Velsh reckoning which I cannot pretend to have solved. Ven. Il.,r, § 12. Dim. II., 1, § r7-29. Gwent. IL, 8. § 1-7. Bk. IV., 3. It is, however, much more intelligible than the Irish.
1 Ven. III., 1, § 2r-23. Ven. II., 1, § 64L
§Ven. 11., 1, § 64. Dim. II., r,§ 16.
II Ven.III., 1, § 13.
We have already noticed the resemblance to English
law in the distribution of the burden and benefit of the composition between paternal and maternal kin in the
proportion of two to one. A division of the war into three parts, one of which is paid by the household, one by the father’s and one by the mother's kin, is found in the Lex Salica.* There is, however, little to be gathered from the so-called Leges Barbarorum concerning the mode of distributing the wer, and not much more to be gathered from the Anglo-Saxon authorities. Owing to the power in one case of the Frank Empire, in the other of the VVest-Saxon house, the old wer-gild system rapidly gave way before a system of punishment, and it is to the extreme north of Europe that we must look for any body of rules so complicated as the \Velsh. The Scandinavian lawmen seem to have delighted as did the \Velsh in elaborating the scheme, and anyone who will turn to \Vilda’s Strafrecht dcr Germanen will find a parallel for nearly every Welsh rule in some authority Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.t For instance, in the East Gothlanders’ law, as in the English, as in the Welsh, the paternal kindred pay twice as much as the maternal, while (and this is very remarkable) the West Gothlanders’ law has the rule that six classes of relations pay, each paying twice as much as the one which is one degree more distant.;‘
" Lex. Sal.—De composit. homicid. (Hessel’s and Kern’s ed., 388-396).
1' VV. E. VVilda, Strafrccht der Gcrmancn, p. 372, f. It seems to me that many, if not most of the writer’s conclusions concerning the early stages in the development of criminal law, though derived entirely from Teutonic sources, hold good also as to Welsh law. It is much to be regretted that of early Scotch law we have but the merest fragments, and at present it is hardly safe for any but an Irish scholar to speak of Irish law.
I Wilda, p. 379.
It is plain that since every manslaughter involved four kindreds in the feud, some nice questions might arise from the mutual interference of family obligations. A man might be called on to support his mother's kin in a feud against his father’s kin. Such a case is actually provided for, and in the strangest fashion. If a man slay another of his own kindred he has to pay to the kindred the galanas of the slain, and in this case he alone is liable, for the kindred cannot pay to itself.‘ He also forfeits his patrimony, and doubtless the law affords him but little protection against thejustice more or less irregular of a domestic forum ; but lawfully he may not be slain “since the living kin is not killed for the sake of the dead kin.”+ Now if a man in avenging the death of a maternal relation kill one of his own kindred and thereby forfeit his patrimony, he is to, be allowed an inheritance from his maternal grandfatheni Perhaps there is no more striking example ofthe queer mixture of barbarism and logic which characterises these Welsh laws. One of the few exceptional cases in which a woman can transmit inheritance to her son is where that son is a murderer.
Even long after the English had finally mastered Wales, and when there could no longer be any talk of the blood feud as a legal mode of redress, the payment and receipt of galanas continued. In the same way in England, long after Edmund's legislation and long after the Norman conquest, we hear of men paying and receiving the war-gild Among the W'elsh authorities there is a book of precedents for pleaders, seemingly of as late date as the reign of Edward the Fourth. This contains “ a plaint of galanas." “ This is the plaint of John, son of Madog, &c., on account “ of there being two parts on behalf of the father, and the “third on behalf of the mother of John, son of David, to “ whom came Maredudd, son of Phylip, and caused death
1- Gwent. ll., 39, Q 54. Gwent. II., 39, § 1. Bk. IX., 30, § 1.
‘ Gwent. II., 37, §. 2. x Dim. II.. 8, § 2!.