Eavesdropping was illegal in England until 1967

A common criminal in 1966. A common Daily Mail reporter in 2013.

Times were tough in Britain pre-1960s, it seems. I can only imagine the decades of tough police-crackdowns on citizens putting drink glasses to walls and the nationwide ban on cupping your ears in public and straining your neck. But the blanket ban on eavesdropping was finally repealed in the Criminal Law Act 1967, which also made a few more crimes obsolete.

After the 1967 Act, the following was also no longer illegal:

Challenging someone to a fight
Which no doubt contributed to the glove-slapping duelling epidemic of the early 70s

glove slap the simpsons

I demand satisfaction!

Being a night walker
Good news for goths and vampires aswell

Back on the streets!

Being a common scold
I’d never heard of this, but apparently a common scold refers to “a troublesome and angry woman who broke the public peace by habitually arguing and quarreling with her neighbours.” Even weirder, the punishment for being a common scold was ducking; being placed in a chair and submerged in a river or pond.

cucking stool

She’ll think twice next time she complains about the length of her neighbour’s grass


One response to “Eavesdropping was illegal in England until 1967

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