an early common-law method of trial in which the defendant is acquitted on the sworn endorsement of a specified number of friends or neighbors.
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How to use compurgation in a sentence
For civil suits there was a provision against ‘wager of battle,’ and the accused again cleared themselves by compurgation.Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ripon | Cecil Walter Charles Hallett
But experience having shown that this method of trial was tumultuary and uncertain, they corrected it by the idea of compurgation.
compurgation was abolished in 1440 as its inferiority to trial by witnesses became fully recognized.Prize Orations of the Intercollegiate Peace Association | Intercollegiate Peace Association
With this assize too a practice which had prevailed from the earliest English times, the practice of "compurgation," passed away.History of the English People, Volume I (of 8) | John Richard Green
But the compurgation was now completed, and the Cid was compelled to do homage.The History of Chivalry, Volume II (of 2) | Charles Mills
British Dictionary definitions for compurgation
law (formerly) a method of trial whereby a defendant might be acquitted if a sufficient number of persons swore to his innocence
- compurgator, noun
- compurgatory or compurgatorial, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012