Online Encyclopedia

MAYHEM (for derivation see MAIMING)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 935 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MAYHEM (for derivation see MAIMING), an old Anglo-French term of the law signifying an assault whereby the injured person is deprived of a member proper for his defence in fight, e.g. an arm, a leg, a fore tooth, &c. The loss of an ear, jaw tooth, &c., was not mayhem. The most ancient punishment in English law was retaliative—membrum pro membro, but ultimately at common law fine and imprisonment. Various statutes were passed aimed at the offence of maiming and disfiguring, which is now dealt with by section 18 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861. Mayhem may also be the ground of a civil action, which had this peculiarity that the court on sight of the wound might increase the damages awarded by the jury.
End of Article: MAYHEM (for derivation see MAIMING)
HENRY MAYHEW (1812-1887)

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