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Legally Stunned – Silly Laws in UK

Updated on September 4, 2010


This is part 2 of Legally Stunned. Part 1 was Legally Stunned – When the legal system doesn’t make any sense

Councils in UK are soon getting the power to revoke outdated Bylaws and create new ones. Laws are to be taken seriously, but you will understand why some laws are referred to as “silly”. I mean no disrespect. It's just the way most people refer to them. Some are set out below:


Some current Laws as at 04 Sept 2010

 Whistable 1956 – Drying Clothes
In some areas of Kent, Whistable, people are not allowed to dry clothes outside the house. 
Blackpool 1887 – No Carpet Beating 
Blackpool - Tourist place. (has a promenade & beach) This law prevents carpets from being beaten on the promenade. 
Gloucester 1968 – Frying Fish 
This regulates the frying of fish 
Over 100 years
Aylesbury - No Music
This law makes it illegal to play a musical instrument within 100 yards of a Hospital.

All of the laws above are in place now but look like they will be abolished and new ones implemented.

Some other Silly Laws we have had in the UK but thankfully have been abolished are:

  • Scolding Law - 1585
    This made it illegal for women to “cause a nuisance with abusive or argumentative language”. A woman guilty of scolding had to wear a scold’s bridle, or metal cage, enclosing her head. The Criminal Law Act of 1967 finally abolished the punishment, and women may now scold freely. Lol.
  • Kind laws towards women.
    In London it had been illegal for a man to hit his wife after 9pm. A wife needs some time for rest. A very humanistic law. I can’t find the year it was implemented but it is documented.
  • Also, by law it was legal for a pregnant woman to relieve herself anywhere she wished.
  • Tarrot card readings and fortune telling were classed as illegal. They were seen as forms of witchcraft, but the law has since been abolished.

There are many more, which include an executable offense to allow your pet to mate with a pet of the royal house without permission. As stated above, thank goodness all these laws have now been abolished.

Are there any laws you would like to see abolished in your country or any laws you would like to see introduced?


Ps. (May I also use this opportunity to thank readers who take time out to read my articles. I appreciate you all)



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    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 5 years ago from London, UK

      Lol Lisa. cheers. :-)

    • profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago

      They actually regulated frying of fish. That's really weird! Are there any stipulations on the crispiness? lol

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Glad you enjoyed reading it - SupportMed.

      Thanks so much for stopping. :)

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 7 years ago from Michigan

      Wow! Really has not been that long since women can 'scold in public.' Never heard of these, but it's interesting. Voted/rated.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      So glad you visited, Kaltopsyd. :)

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Wow, this was a very interesting read. While I was reading I had a silly law in mind but now I've forgotten... anyway, good Hub. Thanks!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Thanks Happyher. Glad you enjoyed the Hub.

      ** Cheers FGual - Nice to read from you.

      ** Lol Harvey, "tie it to the proper post". How are you to know? That's a funny one. Well, I could get away with it. I'll say I'm a Tourist. Thanks for stopping.

      ** True Nancy's Niche - How did they escape from the Asylum. Nice of you to visit. Hope all is well. Best Wishes.

      ** Lol JBeadle. Interesting comments. Nice to meet you.

      ** Thanks for stopping Stars439 - Reading your comments, you are such a gentle soul. :) Hope your leg is better. Regards.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      The one about beating rugs was sort of funny. I would hate to be down wind if someone is beating a nasty rug outside, but instead of calling the law I think I would just find somewhere else to be for a while. Very nice hub. God Bless You.

    • JBeadle profile image

      JBeadle 7 years ago from Midwest

      Very funny. I love these types of silly laws. I guess no one likes to go around removing them or maybe it is difficult to remove them once they are established? I wouldn't mind seeing that scolding law come back though! Especially when the scolding is for not shutting the cupboards. We have ghosts I tell you! It's not me.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 7 years ago

      Great article---and we to have state laws in the U. S. where silly laws remain on the books. Who are these people? How did they get out of the asylum and into a position where their absurdity, evoked such "silly" laws?

      “Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason."~Author Unknown

      Blessings to you and yours!

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 7 years ago from Illinois

      Lady, We have laws in the USA that are just as stupid. We still have laws in states that you must tie your horse to the proper post, when you are in town.

      Ha-ha, we're as dumb as you are! H

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 7 years ago from USA

      Hello LadyE. Yes, unfortunately there are silly laws, rules, and regulations everywhere. So the government is going to tell us how to fry our fish? Now that's a new one. Will read your related hubs.

    • HappyHer profile image

      HappyHer 7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      You have to wonder what people were thinking to come up with some of the laws we find throughout history. Interesting hub!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Thanks Wendy - Glad you enjoyed it.

      ** Hello saddlerider; I second that. What was man thinking? lol. Thanks for stopping.

      Best Wishes.

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      Wow unbelievable laws, what was MAN thinking back then. A bunch of drunks sitting in a pub debating what nuisance law they could conjure up against women? LOLLL too funny.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hello Jai - I did think of that and have gone back to check it. So many places document this. I'm guessing the word "hit" is probably referring to intimacy because it also stated - the woman needs rest. Weird laws...

      Thanks for stopping.

      ** Lol Allan. I was shaking my head too when I saw it on the News. Fish is food after all. Thanks.

      ** Hello Mike - that's true. They must have set the laws for a reason. Glad you enjoyed the Hub. I've been reading some funny laws in US too. Weekend's fine and I hope you enjoy yours.

      ** Hi Hello Hello - Nice of you to stop by. One law I would like to see put in place is that if the Tax Office miscalculate our payments, they are not to take it out of our wages later because it was not our fault and we've spent the money. Hope you saw the News about the TAX office making adjustments to about 6 Millions people's pay in the UK in the next coming months.

      Some will have a deduction, some will have a refund. Hope you and I fall into the "Refund" group. lol.

      Best Wishes.

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 7 years ago from Maryland

      I really enjoyed reading about these silly laws.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, Lady_E, for such a lovely hub to read. The World seems to be getting a lopsided with all the new laws. To me they seem to be more stupid. Oh well, keep our heads down and wait for the storm to pass.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      I enjoy how laws that might have seemed appropriate at the time can become so amusing as years pass. It is likely that what these laws were trying to accomplish made sense in a weird way at the time--even if they are nonsensical now. I have no strange laws of my own to share, but I enjoyed reading this and had to laugh at some of these things.

      I hope your weekend is going well.


    • Allan Douglas profile image

      Allan Douglas 7 years ago from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

      Sigh... what were they thinking?

      Actually I can sort of see reasons for some; not beating rugs on the promenade in a tourist town would prevent annoying the tourists who support local businesses, but no frying fish in Glouchester?!? (shakes head) I can't figure that one.

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 7 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      My question, Elena, is "Was it legal to strike a woman before 9pm?" My guess is that lawmakers (politicians) around the world have to "look busy" to validate their power and position. Thanks Lady E, Ciao!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hi Robwrite - I agree with you on that. The patients in the hospital need peace and quiet. Thanks for visiting.

      ** Nice to see you Vladimir.

      ** Hello Jim, those words ring deep. If people in Power asked for direction, the world would be a better place but I want to believe there are christians who are praying for leaders to make good decisions. I'm sure it states somewhere in the Bible that prayers should be made for those in Authority.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by. You must have a busy day in Church tomorrow. May all be well with you. Best Wishes. :)

    • matt6v33 profile image

      matt6v33 7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      oops got cut off, hit the wrong button: sorry:)

      In the Usa. What does one find;

      The Leader of the country, giving the finger to God, saying, I'm in charge Now, its Not about U, and Your ways, and what You have said, and desire, for us, the ones u created, its now about me, what i want, and what I, I, I, and what they (The american people) will now accept from Me, and will continue to teach and ensure all children will now obey, me, me, my, my, ooops not you Lord, Me, I! and of course the States Follow, with there people in there area. Forget God, Forget What He says, Forget What He wants, and expects, Forget what pleases Him, Forget, Dont Do, if u do, u will be punished. A Brief description of that country nowadays, and there mindset priorites. in essence, if U Listen, and Obey, and Trust God, and HIs ways for you, Your now punished, and r an outcast. How sad, but true for those that foolishy follow the ways of man, over the Ways of God, and Christ.

      Yes, sad, but the good news is, my young lady friend, guess what? "Heaven is not going to be crowed" when those of us, who choose His Way! I pray all, will Wake Up, and choose To Follow, and do those things, that will ensure their eternal destiny, with Him!

    • matt6v33 profile image

      matt6v33 7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      hello young lady,

      sure do appreciate u, just so u know!

      Great Topic (Food For Thought)!

      So sad, that man, chooses Himself, and his own views, counter to What the One says that actually created him. And thus not pleasing to Him, as well! In the USA,

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 7 years ago from HubPages, FB


    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 7 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Actually, I can understand the rationale behind some of those, like not playing a musical instrument near a hospital, but some of the others are just weird.