One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in Anglo-Saxon law) the right of the lord of a manor to try and to punish a thief caught within the limits of his demesne.
- ‘Barony jurisdiction included infangthief, the right to try a thief found with the stolen goods still on him.’
- ‘Infangthief was another outgrowth of the personal vengeance system, the right of vengeance being transferred to the government.’
Old English infangenthēof ‘thief seized within’.
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