The United Kingdom has a rich and long history of habitation and governance. Over the years, this has resulted in a collection of peculiar laws that were appropriate for the time in which they were enacted. While some of these laws may still be in effect today, they can seem quite absurd and humorous.
Here are some examples of current and former laws in the U.K. that are both unbelievable and entertaining.
In the U.K. it is an executable offence to allow your pet to mate with a pet of the royal house without permission.
If someone knocks on your door in Scotland and wants to use the toilet, you legally must allow them to enter.
In the U.K. it is illegal to handle a salmon in suspicious circumstances.
As of 1939, it is illegal to carry a plank over pavement on a U.K. street. The exception is if you are unloading it from a vehicle.
Until 1976, all Taxis in the U.K. had to carry some hay in their cars to be legally operated.
In the 19th century it was illegal for women to eat chocolate on public transportation.
In the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell banned the eating of mince pies on Christmas Day, technically this is still law.
It is illegal to be drunk while in charge of a cow, horse, or carriage.
Unless you are The King it is illegal to eat a Mute Swan.
Placing a stamp that has the queen or king on it upside-down is considered an act of treason.
Since 1839 it has been illegal to beat the dust off of rugs or carpets in London. You can, however, shake your door mat, so long as it’s before 8AM.
It is illegal for someone to import potatoes that either are, or may be Polish potatoes.
It is legal for a pregnant lady to ‘relieve’ herself anywhere at anytime in the U.K.
As of 1313 it is illegal to enter the house of parliament while wearing a suit of armor.
As of 1322, all beached whales and sturgeon found in the UK belong to the crown.
Under the Vagrancy Act 1824, asking a stranger for some change, even if it’s for parking, is considered begging and is illegal.
In some parts of the U.K. it is illegal to hang your laundry out on a line.
The Metropolitan Police Act 1839 makes it an offence to “fly any kite or play at any game to the annoyance of the inhabitants or passengers in any street”.
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