Halifax Law

By this law, whoever commits theft in the liberty of Halifax is to be executed on the Halifax gibbet, a kind of guillotine.

At Hallifax the law so sharpe doth deale,
That whoso more than thirteen pence doth steale,
They have a jyn that wondrous quick and well
Sends thieves all headless into heaven or hell.

Taylor (the Water Poet): Works, ii. (1630).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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