In the 12 days leading up to Christmas we have looked at some of the obscure laws that are out there, some of which still stand! If you have missed any featured across our Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter they are listed below...

  1. Salmon Act of 1986 – it is illegal to handle a salmon “under suspicious circumstances”. Be careful with your fish platters over the Christmas break! salmon


  2. The Metropolitan Police Act of 1839 forbids people to shake their rugs out of the window before 8am. Make sure you leave any rug shaking until after breakfast!
  3. The Treason Felony Act of 1848 criminalised attempts to depose the monarch, placing a stamp of the monarchs head upside down in absolute defiance is a criminal offence. Watch out when posting your Christmas cards! post
  4. A 1313 statute is still in force forbidding entrance to the House of Parliament wearing a suit of armour. Stick to the Father Christmas suit this year!
  5. In York the law states that it is legal to shoot a Scotsman with a bow and arrow upon seeing one – Except on Sundays. Be careful out there!
  6. The Library Offenses Act of 1898 makes it illegal to gamble in a library. Save the gambling for Vegas! casino


  7. The Licensing Act of 1872 states that operating a cow, horse or steam engine whilst intoxicated carries either a prison sentence or fine. Drink (the Christmas Sherry) responsibly!
  8. By the law from Edward II back in 1324 all sturgeons and whales should be offered to the reigning monarch. If you stumble across either of these on your Christmas walks, make sure you offer them to the royal family!
  9. Section 12 of the Licensing Act 1872 states “every person found drunk in any highway or other public place, whether building or not, or on any licensed premises” could be penalised. You can get fined for getting drunk in a pub. This one has us baffled too! drinks


  10. In Scotland if a stranger knocks on your door and asks to use your toilet, you are legally obliged to let them – according to an old Scottish law, hospitality must be shown to all guests even if they are uninvited. ‘Tis the season to be welcoming!
  11. UK Law states it is illegal to use your phone to pay at a drive-through while your car is still running. Be careful at the McDonald’s drive-thru!
  12. It is illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day! (Well, it was in 1644, as 25 December that year fell on a legally-mandated day of fasting). We hope everyone is enjoying feasting on mince pies this year!mince pies

Merry Christmas to all!