His first wife, who died at Oxford on the 15th of February 1553, was disinterred in 1551 and tried for heresy; legal evidence was not forthcoming because witnesses had not understood her tongue; and instead of the corpse being burnt, it was merely cast on a dunghill in the stable of the dean of Christ Church.
The judges might be satisfied of its existence and terms by the evidence of the witnesses to it, and then issue an order that whenever found it should be given up. Contracts annulled were ordered to be broken.
The decision given was embodied in writing, sealed and witnessed by the judges, the elders, witnesses and a scribe.
- Procedure, both civil and criminal, is somewhat slow, and the preliminary proceedings before the juge dinstruction occupy much time; and recent murder trials, by the large number of witnesses called (including experts) and the lengthy speeches of counsel, have been dragged out to an unconscionable length.
The procedure underwent great modification in 1686; but public penance was not taken away till 1855, and then confession to and absolution by the priest in the presence of witnesses was still required.