water, and by fire. This method of trial was introduced from the notion that God would defend the
right, even by miracle if needful.
(1) Wager of battle, was when the accused person was obliged to fight
anyone who charged him with guilt. This ordeal was allowed only to persons of rank.
(2) Of fire, was
another ordeal for persons of rank only. The accused had to hold in his hand a piece of red-hot iron, or
had to walk blindfold and barefoot among nine red-hot plough-shares laid at unequal distances. If he
escaped uninjured he was accounted innocent, aliter non. This might be performed by deputy.
hot water, was an ordeal for the common people. The accused was required to plunge his arm up to
the elbow in scalding hot water, and was pronounced guilty if the skin was injured in the experiment.
Of cold water, was also for the common people. The accused, being bound, was tossed into a river; if
he sank he was acquitted, but if he floated he was accounted guilty.
(5) Of the bier, when a person
suspected of murder was required to touch the corpse; if guilty the blood of the dead body would start
(6) Of the cross. Plaintiff and defendant had to stand with their arms crossed over their
breasts, and he who could endure the longest won the suit.
(7) Of the Eucharist. This was for clergymen
suspected of crime. It was supposed that the elements would choke him, if taken by a guilty man.
Of the corsned, or consecrated bread and cheese. Godwin, Earl of Kent, is said to have been choked
when he submitted to this ordeal, being accused of the murder of the king's brother.
This sort of ordeal was by no means unusual. Thus in Ceylon, a man suspected of theft is required to
bring what he holds dearest before a judge, and placing a heavy stone on the head of his substitute,
says May this stone crush thee to death if I am guilty of this offence. (9) Of lot, two
dice, one marked by a cross, being thrown.
In Tartary, an ostiack sets a wild
bear and an hatchet before the tribunal, saying, as he swallows a piece of bread, May the bear devour
me, and the hatchet chop off my head, if I am guilty of the crime laid to my charge.
Ordeal It was a fiery ordeal. A severe test. (See above, No. 2.)
Order! When members of the House of Commons and other debaters call out Order, they mean that
the person speaking is transgressing the rules of the House.
Order of the Cockle Created by St. Louis in 1269, in memory of a disastrous expedition made by sea
for the succour of Christians. Perrot says it scarcely survived its foundation.
Order of the Day (The), in parliamentary parlance, is applied to the prearranged agenda of Private
Members' Bills. On Tuesdays these bills always stand after notices of motions. (See Previous Question
To move for the Order of the Day is a proposal to set aside a government measure on a private members' day
(Tuesday), and proceed to the prearranged agenda. If the motion is carried, the agenda must be proceeded
with, unless a motion to adjourn is carried.
Orders In Orders or in Holy Orders. Belonging to the clerical order or rank.
To take Orders. To become
The word order means not only a mandate, but also an official rank, and in the Catholic
Church, a rule of life, as Ordo albus (white friars or Augustines), Ordo niger (black friars or Dominicans).
In Holy Orders is in the plural number, because in the Protestant Church there are three ranks of clergymen -
deacons, priests, and bishops. In the Catholic Church there are four major orders and four minor ones.
According to Du Cange, the Ordines majores are Subdeaconatus, Deaconatus, Presbyteratus, and
Episcopalis (Subdeacon, Deacon, Priest, and Bishop).
Orders of Architecture These five are the classic orders: Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite.
following was the usual practice:
CORINTHIAN, for temples of Venus, Flora, Proserpine, and the Water
DORIC, for temples of Minerva, Mars, and Hercules.
IONIC, for temples of Juno, Diana and
TUSCAN, for grottoes and all rural deities.
Ordigale The otter in the tale of Reynard the Fox (part iii.).
Ordinary (An). One who has an ordinary or regular jurisdiction in his own right, and not by deputation.
Thus a judge who has authority to take cognisance of causes in his own right is an ordinary. A bishop is