There are various laws in the United Kingdom that you would be surprised to learn have ever come into existence. From making it unlawful to sing the “Happy Birthday” song in public to prohibiting a pet from mating with another from the royal household, some of these laws as displayed on EM law’s webpage are still in effect today.
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1. Sliding on an icy street
The metropolitan police act 1839, Section 54, makes it illegal to slide on an icy street. Anyone who makes or uses any slide upon ice or snow on any roadway or other highway to the common danger of the passengers’ can be prosecuted and penalised, according to the law.
The statute only applied to the London metropolitan region, but eight years later, the Town Police Clauses Act of 1847 expanded the prohibition to towns and cities throughout the United Kingdom.
2. Having a pigsty in front of your house
Another strange law to come into existence, according to the Town Police Clauses Act of 1847, prohibits having a pigsty at the front of your house unless it is duly hidden. This implies that if you have little or large pigs, they must be housed in the backyard or a covered area.
3. You cannot manage cattle while drunk
The Licencing Act of 1872 makes it unlawful to be ‘drunk when in charge of any carriage, horse, cattle, or steam engine on any highway or other public place. You might ask why such a law exists; it was put in place to keep people safe and prevent accidents.
4. Shaking your rug/carpet on the street
The Metropolitan Police Act of 1839 stipulates it is illegal to shake off dirty rugs and carpets. The law states that before 8 a.m., it is illegal to beat or shake carpets, rugs, or mats, excluding doormats. If you are discovered breaking this legislation, you may risk arrest or a fine.
5. Parliament members cannot wear any armour inside the parliament quarters
During the reign of Edward II of England, the Law prohibiting Bearing of Armour or Coming Armed to Parliament Act 1313 was passed. The legislation was imposed during a period of political upheaval in England that culminated in the proclamation of the Ordinances of 1311, a series of limitations placed on the monarch by the English peerage and clergy to limit his power.
6. Placing a postage stamp bearing the monarch’s head upside down
The Treason Felony Act of 1848 deemed it an offence to perform any action with the goal of deposing the monarch. There used to be rumours that by placing a stamp upside down, that would be considered treason.
However, this was proven to be just a myth, as mentioned by a Royal Mail spokesperson. They said, “It’s a myth and not true. There’s nothing to say that you can’t put a stamp upside down”.
In conclusion, the UK has some pretty strange laws that have been created over the years. While some of these may seem a bit far-fetched, some are actually still in place and enforced by the authorities. So, if you’re ever planning on visiting the UK, make sure to brush up on your knowledge of these odd laws.