Laws of Richard I (Coeur de Lion) Concerning Crusaders Who Were to Go by Sea. 1189 A.D.
("Roger of Hoveden," III p. 36 [Rolls Series].)

Richard by the grace of God king of England, and duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, to all his subjects who are about to go by sea to Jerusalem, greeting. know that we, by the common counsel of upright men, have made the laws here given. Whoever slays a man on ship. board shall be bound to the dead man and thrown into the sea. But if he shall slay him on land, he shall be bound to the dead man and buried in the earth. If any one, moreover, shall be convicted through lawful witnesses of having drawn a knife to strike another, or of having struck him so as to draw blood, he shall lose his hand. But if he shall strike him with his fist without drawing blood, he shall be dipped three times in the sea. But if any one shall taunt or insult a comrade or charge him with hatred of God: as many times as he shall have insulted him, so many ounces of silver shall he pay. A robber, moreover, convicted of theft, shall be shorn like a hired fighter, and boiling tar shall be poured over his head, and feathers from a cushion shall be shaken out over his head,-so that he may be publicly known; and at the first land where the ships put in he shall be cast on shore. Under my own witness at Chinon.

Henderson's Note

Richard's punishments for criminal crusaders, is interesting as showing the discipline that was to be preserved on the ships going to Jerusalem. Curious is the mention of tarring and feathering. As far as I have been able to ascertain this is the first appearance in history of this peculiar punishment, still in vogue in America, though never administered except informally.

Henderson, Ernest F.
Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages
London : George Bell and Sons, 1896.

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